22nd Kolkata International Film Festival to open today
Big names from Indian cinema gracing the occasion are Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and Kajol among others.
The surprise package is the opening film Benche Thakar Gaan (Song of Life) (Bengali) directed jointly by Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha.
The KIFF is a competitive festival that installed the Royal Bengal Tiger Award in 2014, and awards the best film in the special section for Women Directors.
The novel addition this year that is also competitive is the section called Innovation in Moving Images that defines the ideology of this festival.
The two awards in this category will be bestowed on Best Film by a Woman Director and Best Woman Director and as many as 15 films from 13 countries are competing for these awards.
This year, cinebuffs in the city and beyond will get the opportunity of choosing from 155 films across 65 countries screened across 13 venues in addition to the concept of paraye paraye cinema (cinema in every neighbourhood) that will be in realization of the ideology of “Cinema for All, All for Cinema” where film lovers will get access to special tents set up in different venues of the city without needing to buy tickets for the shows.
China is the “country focus” of the festival this year to be graced by a special Chinese delegation visiting the city specifically to participate in the festival.
The festival will screen seven contemporary Chinese films chosen on the basis of the box office success of the films. Li Shaohong, woman director of China is part of the International Jury.
The regional focus is centred this year on the resurgence of Marathi cinema in recent times. Four to five Marathi films will be screened which includes the internationally awarded Court directed by the young theatre director Chaitanya Tamhane.
Centenary tribute screenings are being paid to Kanan Devi, Molina Devi, Masaki Kobayashi, Bikash Roy, Ramananda Sengupta, Gregory Peck, Satyen Bose and four films of Bert Haanstra,
Special tributes have been organized through screenings of films by Ken Loach, Emir Kusturica, the Dardenne Brothers, Peter Greenaway, Olivier Asayas, Arturo Ripstein, Marion Hansel, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Buddhadeb Dasgupta.
(Reporting by Shoma A. Chatterji)