Almost four years ago, Curtorim based musician Vince Costa released his debut music album titled ‘Saint and Sinner’. The album was written and recorded in his hometown, the village itself serving as a backdrop for his anecdotal tunes about life in the South, assembled with great care personally in his home studio. The album garnered praise and accolades from sources nationally and internationally, and while the world waited for the follow-up that never came, we now know why. The last four years have been a journey of discovery and history. It has been a deep dive and documentation of Curtorim in a way that has never been done before, and this time the accolades and awards are even bigger.
Just three days ago, Costa justified his absence from the music scene with the announcement of his latest endeavor – ‘Saxtticho Koddo – The Granary of Salcete’, a 37 minute documentary film that is a tribute to the agrarian culture of Curtorim. In his Facebook post, he says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. In my case, I’m not sure how many miles I traversed, but it took four challenging years.” Anyone who knows Costa knows that the man is a perfectionist. It was heard on ‘Saint and Sinner’, and now it is seen in a film that has already garnered recognition in the form of awards from various international film festivals, including ‘Winner Short Doc’ at the Asia Independent Film Festival, and official selections at Ethnografilm, and Royal Anthropological Institute’s Film Library.
On his official website for the film, Costa explains how Curtorim, located on the banks of the Zuari in Salcete the South of Goa, is a village that has had a strong agrarian heritage and is synonymous with the vast production of rice. This has earned it the title of ‘Saxtticho Koddo’ meaning, ‘The Granary of Salcete’. The documentary focuses on how this traditional occupation is affected by shifts in attitude, labor shortages, GMO’s and un unpredictable weather, only to name a few. Even though new technology is being introduced to help the farming community some very serious questions still remain to be answered. Costa explains, “The Culture of Goa and its connection with its paddy fields that everyone is so proud of comes from the economic relationship man has with the land. If the use of the land is changed, the culture will change accordingly.”
Since the documentary is currently doing the rounds at a number of European film festivals, ‘Saxtticho Koddo – The Granary of Salcete’ will not be streaming online, instead, there will be a number of screenings done locally, the first of which is scheduled for February 26, at Fundcao Oriente in Fountainhas, Panjim from 6 pm onwards. The film is one of four films to be screened, coordinated by the Portuguese researcher Maria do Carmo Piçarra (Universidade Nova de Lisboa). It will be followed by a discussion with the participation of Dr. Pedro Sobral Pombo (anthropologist, Goa University) and Vince.
For more information on ‘Saxtticho Koddo – The Granary of Salcete’, visit www.redmackerel.com, or follow Vince on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vicente.costa. The documentary has been written, directed and shot by Vince Costa, with editing by Gasper D’Souza. Drone photography has been handled by Dunstan Dias, with coloring by Prashant Sharma, and sound editing and sound design by Tilak Goswami.