Kolkata Film Festival (KFF) 2011: The City of Joy welcomes world cinema with arms flung wide

Calcutta, Nov 8, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Raising a toast to the global film industry, the Kolkata Film Festival (KFF) is all set to spread the movie magic from November 10, 2011 onwards.  The frenzy of lights...camera…action will rule the city for 8 days.  With 125 directors, 50 countries across the world and mega screening of 150 films from diverse categories, this event will have something more to offer this time.  As an evident sign of change (read, the Green Revolution!), this is the year of many firsts for the film festival. For the very first time in history, the former Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will be missing from all the action. However, his absence will be made for by the omnipresence of Mamata Banerjee and what’s more?...she has clearly won herself points by roping in the King Khan of Bollywood to make an appearance at the inaugural ceremony of the 17th Kolkata Film Festival. And that too for free!...hard to swallow?...well, hear from the horse’s mouth, “We are not paying him anything at all due to budgetary constraints. He has agreed to come on his own,” information and cultural department secretary Nandini Chakraborty said.

Coming up are the other “firsts”. The inaugural event of KFF is to be held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. With this unconventional move of holding its inaugural event at the Netaji Indoor Stadium instead of the regular Nandan Film Complex, KFF has broken yet another of its traditions. Since the very start of the KFF in 1995, the Nandan- West Bengal Film Centre has been the consistent venue for its inaugural function until this year. Apart from this, the introduction of an all-new competitive section will witness for the first time 12 Asian films contending for the NETPAC Award.

Also promising a generous dose of glitz and glamour, this movie fest in its new avatar will hold its movie screenings at 11 theatres across Kolkata including Fame multiplex, for the first time this year.

The festival will open with an inaugural screening of “The Magican” by Dutch film director, Joram Lursen. Divided into 15 categories, this event will pay a centenary tribute to Ashok Kumar by screening his famous Bollywood film, “Kismet".  Also a special tribute will be paid to the phenomenal Bengali icon, Uttam Kumar by staging a documentary that will capture him beyond his life and works. To let loose a few strands of info… an exotic breed of international films including Hungarian, Iranian, Turkish and German films such as "The Turin Horse", "Certified copy" and "The Faust" respectively will be screened. Along with this, a retrospective on the Japanese director Shohei Imamura and an assorted platter of critically acclaimed Indian movies will present a heady mix of such exquisite marvels the allure of which is hard to beat.

A special screening of Ketan Mehta’s “Rang Rasiya” and a few chosen short films by students will be an added bonanza for the quintessential cinema lover. Besides, Bengali masterpieces selected from the six decades of Tollywood will be featured alongside a colorful program by the Artistes’ Forum that would mark the journey of Bengali cinema to its present day. The famed Bollywood names like Anant Mahadevan, Ketan Mehta and Santosh Shivan will also be present at this cultural fiesta.

Also, the commercial event, Film Mart, at the 17th KFF is going to be a big affair. With 16 stalls and spread over an area of 6000 sq ft, this will be just the right place for the film industry for getting some highly profitable business done. There will be an extensive showcase of completed and under-production films by producers, directors and television channels attracting buyers and investors.

With so much of action and more, we can hardly wait!

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