The diet may be heavy with films from all over the world but like it was said earlier, man does not live on film alone. Everyone needs food and drink to make it a complete experience. And yes if it is done in a clean and sanitized fashion it would be even wonderful. Not so at the food court at the film festival at INOX.
Delegates have come in from all over the world. And yes, several students from all over the country are studying cinema. Budgets are meagre at best and for the students it is an opportunity to see what is emerging in the world of cinema. That however does not seem to be the focus of the organizers of the food court. The food court is expensive, organized in a manner that seems like an afterthought. There are three stalls that provide largely vegetarian and non-vegetarian dish. Importantly in these Covid times, the importance of sanitization seems to have taken a backseat. Since the time the festival commenced, it can be safely said the place has not been cleaned or importantly table clothes changed. It is not unusual to come across table clothes that are dirty and not changed at the end of the day.
A delegate who preferred to call herself Didi said she would have liked more stalls which would mean more choice in terms of food. She said “I have come here for the movies but it would have been nice if there was some more choice and yes some more cleanliness. It is an international film festival and such things are important”. Mrinal Joshi a delegate from Pune said it was so so and her friend Mrinal said there were a lot of things that were mismanaged at the festival like the cancelling of screenings, screenings being postponed and yes the food could have been so much better and importantly cheaper.
Shiva from Tamil Nadu bemoaned the pricing and the fact that tables were not cleaned everyday was not very good. Bhuvana, a film student also from Tamil Nadu said the fact that there was no variety in the food was not nice. She felt it could have been cheaper.
The only stall that was doing very well was retailing beer. There were delegates visiting it and consuming it with great enthusiasm. Shubhash Phal Dessai Vice Chairman of ESG said he would be conducting an inspection right away along with the vendor and caterer and ensure things would be better on Friday. When asked why LIC was having a stall he said it was given to them because they were one of the sponsors. He reiterated the fact that it was important to have variety which was possible in the past but due to the virus, everything was done at INOX. He said he would speak to the caterers about providing more choice.
One hopes the voice of the people is heard and the entire experience is better from today.