Treat awaits Kolkata's movie aficionados at 24th film fest
Kolkata: The countdown for the eight-day long 24th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) has begun with just a few hours left for the inaugural ceremony of the country's second oldest film fest to begin at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with several dignitaries from the world of cinema including Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Biswajit Chatterjee, Waheeda Rehman, Nandita Das, Mahesh Bhatt, Sanjay Dutt, Majid Majidi and Australian directors Philip Noyce, Simon Baker and Jill Bilcock will be present at the extravaganza. Along with them, Soumitra Chatterjee, Sabitri Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukhopadhyay, Goutam Ghose and Ranjit Mallick will also grace the occasion.
For the past few years, the film festival has been organised in such a way that it reaches more number of people belonging to all walks of life for which, the Chief Minister must be given special credit.
Hectic work is on to complete the final touches to the preparations where inauguration will take place. At the same time, rehearsals for Saturday's inaugural ceremony have also taken place.
Starting from the main gate to the interior of the Netaji Indoor Stadium, the whole area has been decorated with huge cutouts, placards and flowers. Similarly, all the 16 venues where 171 films will be screened from November 11 onward have also been decorated. The "flagship event of the Bengal government" will screen 150 short films and documentaries this year. In a first, films will also be screened in Howrah and Dum Dum respectively.
"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. 14 iconic Bengali movies will be screened.
The focus country is Australia, and 27 Australian titles, old and new, will be screened with a retrospective in honour of director Philip Noyce. A Special Focus section will screen nine contemporary Tunisian films.
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.