The Show Must Go On: Low-key 26th KIFF inaugurated in Kolkata
Kolkata/IBNS: Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a low-key 26th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) was inaugurated virtually at the state headquarters Nabanna on Friday.
The inauguration took place in presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, KIFF chairman Raj Chakraborty, Tollywood film personalities, Bollywood filmmaker Anubhav Sinha.
Bollywood superstar and West Bengal brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, who couldn't fly to the city amid the pandemic, was present at the event virtually.
In a message to his film community, Khan said, "2020 has been the worst of the years all around the world... I have learnt from this pandemic that nothing matters more than the family. When I say family, I don't mean only our children, parents, wives, friends and loved ones but family is an extremely extended one. I feel Kolkata, Bengal and the entire country is my family.
"In 2021, we all in our line of work have to try and make our families happier than may have been in the last year. We have to pledge that whatever we do has to be for the country. We should dedicate this year entertaining all our families throughout the world."
Expressing sadness for not being able to turn up at the inauguration physically, Khan said, "I have been coming to the KIFF inauguration every year since 2011. I feel bad that I couldn't make my physical presence there because of the pandemic."
Raj Chakraborty, who is in charge of the festival for the second consecutive year, said, "All credits for hosting the 26th KIFF amid Covid-19 pandemic go to our Honourable Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The size of the festival has declined but the quality of it remained the same even this year. This year's festival has a bunch of new thoughts."
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stressed on following the Covid-19 protocols while visiting the cinema halls or participating in interactive sessions.
"Whenever people are going to watch a cinema at theatres or participating in interactive sessions, they should wear the mask," Banerjee said.
The latest edition of KIFF, which was about to be held in November, 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic, will run between Jan 8 and 15.
The inaugural film of KIFF will be late legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray's Apur Sansar at Rabindra Sadan at 5 pm on Jan 8.
In total, 81 feature films and 50 short and documentary films from 45 countries will be screened at eight festival venues of Kolkata in eight days.
A special tribute will be paid to Soumitra Chattopadhyay, Fernando Solanas, Kim Ki-duk, Basu Chatterjee, Rishi Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Tapas Pal, Amala Shankar and Santu Mukhhopadhyay, who passed away in 2020 leaving their fans to teary eyes.
The Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture this year will be delivered by Article 15 and Mulk director Anubhav Sinha.