The sun definitely lit up the ad village at the Cavelossim Beach, Goa. Not as packed with people as the previous years - yet the zest was certainly there. Whether it is the recognition from fellow professionals, the general ambience, the free flowing drinks or the meeting up of old colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere, the spirit of the event certainly remains the same.
The discussion ranged from what got them to the ad fest to whether they agree that scams should have a separate category.
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Sitting in the shack which belongs to Rediff for these three days and sipping beer, the 26 year old tells us that he's had a look at all the work that has been short listed. That is the only learning that he takes away from the three day festival.
Does he look forward to any of the international speakers who are scheduled to speak, we ask. "Not really," he quips, before adding, "Sir John Hegarty. That one I'll attend." He mentions that the schedule this time is quite haphazard and he doesn't really have a clue beforehand about what is happening, where and at what time.
Savio Alva, senior copywriter, JWT, is here to listen and learn - but that does not mean he's overjoyed with what he has heard and learnt. "I think it would have been great if they had younger speakers this time," he says. He is looking forward to listening to the other speakers, though.
The Young Lotus winner at the AAAI has been attending the Goafest for the past two years and says that the exciting part is the crowd, though this time it's much subdued.
Of the short listed work that has been put up, Alva says, "It's disappointing. Also, the finishing could be better."
Being the winner of the Young Lotus organised by the AAAI, the 28 year old had a chance to be at the APAC Adfest held at Pattaya this March, and it is against this work that he compares the entries at the Goafest.
Dawar looks at the event as a good opportunity to take a deserved break from work and have a good look at the work done by the others.
Thinking out loud, we ask both if they'd feel the same way about the Goafest if it was held at any place other than Goa. Dawar, who is more at ease and happy with the Goafest, says that the entire charm and magic of the festival would be lost.
Surprisingly, Alva doesn't feel that anything would change if the three day fest was held at any other place. "Goa doesn't add anything extra to the fest, it's a holiday destination which people can take on weekends in any case," he shrugs.
The duo agrees that a separate category for unpublished work wouldn't be a bad idea. "Perhaps the senior rung of the fraternity need to sort out certain things so that scams aren't the judging parameter for a young creative guy's career prospects," says Dawar.