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When will Konkani reach the small screen?

Various factors, including migration, have led to the rapid growth of regional satellite television channels, reaching out to their viewers across the nation and even the globe. And while a number of Indian languages find a place in this regional bouquet of channels in different parts of the world, Konkani is sadly missing.With the Goan diaspora settled across the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe and North America,it is surprising that Konkani is yet to have a satellite television channel airing entertainment shows.Kevin D’Mello needs no introduction when it comes to Konkani films. He has starred in many noted films
such as‘O Maria’, ‘MMS’ and ‘Soul Curry’. A theatre actor who made a mark in Konkani cinema, Kevin feels that Goa can do a lot more with television. “Goa doesn’t have a satellite channel. Once that starts, everything will be in place. Someone should take the initiative and start a satellite channel the way other languages have channels such as Asianet, Zee Marathi, Zee Punjabi, etc.”
“Content in Goa is strong and there are original, unique stories which can be portrayed beautifully on screen. Konkani too can have a new platform, with a little push. There are directors who are interested in directing episodes, but nothing has materialised so far,”he adds.Swapnil Shetkar,the director of the‘Home Sweet Home’film series, says,“If we have a
good market, good creativity and content will follow.It’s a domino effect, really. Goa doesn’t have a satellite channel as of now. As such,hardly any MNC or good brands will invest in
advertising on local Goan channels. Once this issue is solved, Konkani can have good series’
on television,” says Swapnil.
John D’Silva, a noted Konkani actor,is very enthusiastic about promoting Konkani. “There is a lot of scope for Konkani serials on our cable TV. Someone has to come forward and sponsor the serials; that should get all cable TV networks to start telecasting Konkani serials. To put Konkani television on satellite is not easy and it will take time, but where there is a will, there is a way. We have to be optimistic that one day,we will have  Konkani satellite channels. In the meantime, we can start Konkani series’on cable TV for the entertainment of the people of Goa,” says John, who was recently seen in the short film ‘She was robbed on the Highway’,alongside Kevin D’Mello and Sonam Morajkar.
“Another issue that is hindering the idea of a Konkani TV series is that there is no proper clarity for cable channels in Goa,and if you want to get a sponsor on board, their main concern will be audience reach. They would not want to invest in something that doesn’t have much reach. There is a lot of scope for creativity and content,and an audience for these shows is also present,” adds John.
Sahitya Akademi Award winner Damodar Mauzo is a short story writer, novelist,critic and script writer. He has written screenplays and/or dialogues for five Konkani films-‘Shitoo’, ‘Aleesha’, ‘Sood’, ‘O Maria’ and ‘Enemy?’. When it comes to writing for a TV series, Damodar says that there is no dearth of creative content for the channels. “There is definitely more content available for a TV series in Konkani. The shows can also give a boost to local channels,and there are many individuals who can write short stories for episode and generate TV content,” says Damodar. [H]

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