Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha, who is credited for films with a social message like Article 15, Thappad, delivered the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture at the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), where Mulk was screened as a tribute to late actor Rishi Kapoor. As the festival, which began on Jan 8, ended on Friday, India Blooms correspondent Souvik Ghosh looks back at his words during his festival visit
Kolkata/IBNS: The USP of any International Film Festival is that this is the only space where you get to watch films from beyond Hollywood and UK. You have no chance to watch films from other countries and especially the ones that capture the top awards in every section. Let us take a closer look.
Why is it always that at international film festivals, nations we know little about pull out the most outstanding films as if out of a magic hat? 26th KIFF is no exception. National Award winning film writer Shoma A Chatterji picks out around four films screened in the International cinema section some in competition and some not because they have already been screened at other film festivals.
Kolkata/IBNS: Ananth Mahadevan, a theatre actor who shifted to television, cinema and OTT platforms and also turned to writing scripts, is now a reputed filmmaker in his own right.
Kolkata/IBNS: Mulk, directed by Anubhav Sinha with a track record of 20 years in Bollywood, is the tribute being paid to the memory of the versatile and talented Rishi Kapoor who passed away of cancer last year.
Mulk directed by Anubhav Sinha with a track record of 20 years in Bollywood, is the tribute being paid to the memory of the versatile and talented Rishi Kapoor who passed away of cancer last year. Sinha was chosen to deliver the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture at the 26th KIFF this year. The subject he spoke on was “Social Responsibility and Mainstream Indian Cinema”. So, it was a double whammy for Sinha. He admitted in his address that the main attraction for him to deliver the speech was that his name would appear alongside Satyajit Ray on the posters, announcements and notices.
Ananth Mahadevan, a theatre actor who shifted to television, cinema and OTT platforms and also turned to writing scripts, is now a reputed filmmaker in his own right whose film Mai Ghat/Crime No 203 has been acclaimed across the world including a top award at the 25th KIFF now comes with his latest film Bittersweet which establishes, with documented proof, that the sweetness of sugar disguises the sharp bitterness that consumes the lives of men and women, specially women, who work in the sugar farms in Beed, Maharashtra, which supplies 50% of the sugar produced by Maharasthra.
Kolkata/IBNS: Reacting to the ongoing farmers' protests in and around Delhi, filmmaker Anubhav Sinha on Saturday said the deaths of a number of peasants during the agitation are "terrible" and "should not have happened".
Kolkata/IBNS: The online seat booking system in the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) has been called off by the organisers after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made an impromptu announcement of allowing all people with special cards to enter into the theatres.
This year, the Asian Competition (Netpac Jury) features six films of which three are from India. Among them is the Bengali film with the intriguing title – Priyo Chinar Pata Iti Segun which translates into English as Fire of Teak, Flame of Chinar which symbolises the tragic closure to a very unusual love story where two “outsiders” meet in Kolkata, fall in love but the boy cannot come back to marry the girl.
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.
Kolkata/IBNS: What better film than the Suchitra Sen-Uttam Kumar-starrer Saptapadi to pay a centenary tribute to Hemanta Mukhopadhay in celebration of his centenary? Let us take a look.
Kolkata/IBNS: The KIFF had scheduled a retrospective of Federico Fellini’s films at the 15th edition of the festival in 2009. This year round, it is a centenary tribute. This time, we will get to watch five films and a documentary. These are I vittolini (The Wastrels), The Voice of the Moon, La Dolce Vita, Juliet of the Spirits and 8-and-a-half.
Kolkata/IBNS: The 26th edition of Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) will pay tribute to late actor Irrfan Khan for his rich contribution to Indian and world cinema.
Kolkata/IBNS: Mee Raqsam (I Dance) finds a special place at the KIFF this year. It marks the directorial debut of famous cinematographer Baba Azmi, the only son of the late Kaifi and Shaukat Azmi, the younger brother of Shabana Azmi and the brother-in-law of Javed Akhtar.