Kolkata International Film Festival kicks off today with Bergman classics and Majidi's stories
The Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) that kicks off in the City of Joy today promises an impressive lineup of films. From Australian films, and work by ace Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi to a segment dedicated to Swedish director-producer Ingmar Bergman for the centenary tribute, there's a diverse assortment of movies for film buffs.
The eight-day extravaganza will also screen award winning international films from countries like the US, Spain, France and Russia, and includes 171 feature films, 150 shorts and documentaries from 70 countries. Bollywood's superstar, Amitabh Bachchan will will inaugurate the event on Saturday in the presence of West Bengal's brand ambassador and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Majidi and Australian directors Philip Noyce, Simon Baker and Jill Bilcock. The opening ceremony will be presided over by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.. Actors Sanjay Dutt, Jaya Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman and Nandita Das would also be present at the opening ceremony.
As Australia is the focus country for this edition of the KIFF, screening of twenty six old and new films will take place across venues. Australian director Philip Noyce, the maker of Angelina Jolie starrer "Salt", is being honoured with a retrospective.
"Antony Firingee", a 1967 Bengali musical drama with Uttam Kumar and Tanuja in the lead, has been chosen as the inaugural film to mark the 100 years of Bengali cinema.Cinema connoisseurs can enjoy the films in 16 different venues in the city and Howrah district.
Thirteen films are competing for the top prize in the Indian Language section including "Widow Of Silence" by Praveen Morchhale, "Nirmal Enroute" by Rishi Deshpande.The best film would be given an award of Rs 51 lakh, and the best director Rs 21 lakh, with both receiving a golden trophy christened "Royal Bengal Tiger", the organisers had announced earlier.
Four popular works of Iranian filmmaker Majidi including "Beyond the Clouds", starring new Bollywood sensation Ishaan Khatter will also be screened.
Veteran Bengali actress Supriya Devi, who passed away on January 26, is being remembered with a special screening of her film "Meghe Dhaka Tara" directed by Ritwik Ghatak.
Four films including Shoojit Sircar's "October" (2018) are up for a special screening at the festival.