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November 3, 2015

21st Kolkata Film Festival to offer the best of World Cinema this year

21st Kolkata Film Festival to offer the best of World Cinema this year

The 21st edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival, organised by the State I& CA Dept,  has grown in its stature by leap and bounds in the past three years and this year promises to be more exciting. It will be starry affair right from Day I, with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, Moushumi Chatterjee and Vidya Balan, among others, gracing the inaugural ceremony on November 14.

The biggest incentive for cine buffs, for example, is the screening of Carlos Saura’s `Zonda, folclore argentino’. In a coup of sorts, this is the first film festival in India that will get to screen the Spanish master’s latest movie.

Some months back, West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had sent a delegation to the Cannes Film Festival to facilitate the selection of good movies for KIFF. The efforts seem to have paid off. The organizers have successfully managed to get quite a few award-winning films from this year’s Cannes, Berlin and Venice film festivals, including Jafar Panahi’s Iranian drama titled `Taxi’, which won the Golden Bear and the FIPRESCI Prize at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. Then there is Tsai Ming-liang’s `Afternoon’ that was screened at this year’s Venice International Film Festival as well as Alexander Sokurov’s 2015 French drama titled `Francofonia’ (screened at the main competition section of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival).

Nanni Moretti’s `Mia Madre’, Takeshi Miike’s `Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld’ and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s `The Assassin’ are a part of the KIFF screening list. Andreas Dresen’s `As We Were Dreaming’, which was in the main competition of Berlin International Film Festival, has also been selected.Festival-favourite Kim Ki Duk’s Stop’ and Mani Ratnam’s `OK Kanmani’ that was premiered at the Busan Film Festival’s Window to Asian Cinema category have made it to KIFF as well.

Mr Bachchan’s inaugural speech at last year’s KIFF was one of the most-talked-about subjects related to the film festival. This year too, the expectations are no less from the actor. The presence of stalwarts apart, KIFF’s inaugural ceremony will have a unique audio-visual presentation. The show is being conceived by Bickram Ghosh. Participating in this programme will be stalwart musicians like vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan, sarod player Pt Tejendra Narayan Mazumdar, saxophone player George Brooks and percussionist Taufiq Quereshi. Percussionist Ratul Shankar is composing the theme music for the KIFF.