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‘Juze’ strikes a chord with Goan audiences

Ever since Goa claimed the privilege to host the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) permanently about a decade and half ago, the seeds for the development of the ‘film culture’ were sown. However, the visible fruits of this labour started appearing only until about a few years ago.

These results could also be attributed to the fact that apart from IFFI, the state has been hosting a number of other international and regional film festivals, thereby exposing the Goan audiences to a plethora of world and multilingual cinema – a luxury that was largely absent until a few years ago.

In addition to the creation of a ‘filmy’ atmosphere by these multiple film festivals spread across Goa’s annual events calendar, which could be conducive for budding filmmakers from within the state, Goa also has in place a few schemes for financial help for home-grown filmmakers. However, very few Goan films have managed to impress the audiences and industry experts with their craft.

That was until now, as ‘Juze’, perhaps Goa’s best representation at film festivals across the globe, has managed to instil a sense of enthusiasm and pride in the locals towards Goan cinema. As a result, in a phenomenon rarely seen before, citizens are promoting fellow Goans to watch the film and the movement is snowballing.

Prior to being released in Goa recently on May 4, 2018, the film has been to film festivals in India like Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) Film Festival, Chennai International Film Festival, Pune International Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival and Kazhcha Indie Film Fest, Thiruvananthapuram. It has also been to the 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), Minsk International Film Festival in Belarus, Cork Film Festival, Ireland and Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Prague.

‘Juze’ was the only Goan film to be selected for the Indian Panorama section of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 2017 and Miransha Naik, the director of the film, was waiting for the opportunity to screen his feature film, ‘Juze’, in Goa. The story of the film is based around exploited migrant workers and their abusive slumlord, Juze. His realistic portrayal of a village and its issues has touched the hearts of people from across the world and it has already generated the right kind of buzz in Goa.

Sapna Sardessai, an ardent fan of cinema, recently took to social media after watching ‘Juze’, to urge fellow Goans to watch the film. Sapna says, “Public support (for Goan cinema) is pouring in only lately, maybe after seeing the success of a film like ‘Nachom-ia Kumpasar’ and the like. It is very heartening, especially after Goa’s only Konkani language paper, Sunapranta died owing to a dearth of readers!

Konkani needs to be promoted in every way possible; and what better medium than cinema?” Anwesha Singbal, another movie lover, who feels very strongly connected to Konkani, did her bit of promoting the film by broadcasting messages on WhatsApp, asking her friends to go watch the film. Speaking on what about the film prompted her to do so, Anwesha said, “I have always believed that Good cinema should be supported; this is not limited to just Konkani cinema.

No doubt the Konkani film industry is new and slowly evolving but something like ‘Juze’ is a perfect example of dedication and phenomenal hard work. For Miransha, the director, it is not about a Konkani movie; it is about a good movie and hence I really tried my level best to push it through all mediums.

From the story to acting to every bit of technicalities involved, ‘Juze’ amazed me. It is nothing less than good world class cinema. This is what is required to develop the film scene in Goa and hence we need to support the movie wholeheartedly.” [H]

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