Event companies who had bid for the organisation and event management of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2018, which is an annual event held in Goa, have accused the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) of foul-play, favoritism, manipulation of bids and ‘golmaal‘ – as one organizer who spoke to IndiaScoops.com termed it.
According to a report by the Navhind Times, Ferriswheel, a Mumbai-based Event Management Agency has been selected by the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) for organizing the 49th edition of the festival to be held in Goa from November 20.
Ferriswheel is run by Shubhra Bhardwaj. It’s website was not online, or has been taken down, but we managed to view a cached copy of the website, which lists Shubhra Bhardwaj as the founder and creative director of the company. According to company information, besides Shubhra Bhardwaj, one Manju Anand Bhardwaj is also listed as a director of the company.
At Rs 4.77 crore, Ferriswheel was the lowest bidder among the three firms, which had submitted their bids in response to a related tender floated by the ESG. However, the other event companies in the fray have alleged that the process was manipulated to favor one particular company, while others were not allowed to bid.
Sources claimed that other smaller contracts and work orders like the painting contract for IFFI 2018 have been issued in a very arbitrary manner, thus favoring or benefiting one or two individuals or companies, with connections to certain Union or State level Ministers or bureaucrats. They claimed that the event management agency which bagged the contract this year is linked to a particular Union Minister and is close to or a patron and supporter of a particular political party.
The ESG is headed by the Chairman Manohar Parrikar who is also the CM of the State and who has been bed-ridden for the last few months as he is being treated for pancreatic cancer.
The event companies claimed that Parrikar has not chaired a single meeting of the ESG over the last 3-4 months and some bureaucrats and 1-2 other officials who are running the show have manipulated the entire bidding process to suit their personal or vested interests or at the orders of a controversial Union Minister in Delhi.
According to the Navhind Times, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ESG Ameya Abhyankar said that the particular EMA was the lowest financial bidder and highest technical bidder during presentations by the bidders, reports the Navhind Times. Abhyankar was not available to comment when IndiaScoops.com tried to contact him in this regard.
“We have now sent the name of this agency to the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for approval,” he added, pointing out that last year, an event management agency was hired for Rs 6 crore for IFFI 2017, as reported by NT.
Several large events such as the Commonwealth Games at Delhi in 2010, the First South Asian Winter Games at Dehradun, Auli in 2011 and the Kerala Handover Ceremony at the National Games Ranchi 2011 were handled by the Ferriswheel Event Management Agency, in the past, it has been claimed, but the rival event organizers have a different story to tell.
The selected agency will be in charge of the opening and closing ceremony of IFFI 2018, to be held at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium, claim media reports.
Meanwhile, IFFI 2018 will include ‘Talent Hub’, a ‘short film incubation initiative’ for makers of short films. The desiring film-makers, under the particular initiative, can pitch their short films, of 30 minutes or less, on the “most unconventional ideas, which are individualistic and hold clarity of vision in their treatment”.
From the short film scripts submitted by director-scriptwriters across the country, ten will be selected for ‘grooming’. During the grooming process of the film-makers, they will receive guidance from ‘mentors’ including director, screenplay writer and cinematographer.
Three of the final ten film-makers will get a chance to convert their scripts into films, funded by the directorate of film festivals, and will get an opportunity to screen their films at the 50th edition of the IFFI, to be held next year.