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November 14, 2015

Star studded inauguration of 21st Kolkata International Film Festival

Star studded inauguration of 21st Kolkata International Film Festival

The 21st edition of Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), India’s second oldest film festival, that begins today, will raise a toast to Hollywood classics and shine the spotlight on cinema in relatively unheard Indian dialects.

As many as 149 films by 137 directors from 61 countries will be screened across 12 venues in the week-long extravaganza organised by the West Bengal government. The fest concludes on November 21.

Adhering to tradition, the fest had a star-studded opening with megastar Amitabh Bachchan inaugurating the event. His wife Jaya, actresses Vidya Balan, Sharmila Tagore and Moushumi Chatterjee also graced the occasion.

State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee presided over the ceremony. An innovative musical performance titled “Maestros of Bengal” was the highlight of the inaugural ceremony.

World of cinema

The films have been divided into 15 segments. The ‘Focus Hollywood’ section consists of a line-up of seven Hollywood gems spanning 1920 to 1970s.

These include Clyde Bruckman’s silent comedy film “The General”, Michael Curtiz’s romantic “Casablanca”, William Wyler’s historical drama “Ben-Hur” and Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’s musical “West Side Story”.

The rich filmmaking tradition of Europe will not be forgotten at the KIFF amid Hollywood glamour.

Six films each by French maestro Jean Renoir and Portuguese filmmaking legend Manoel De Oliveira are set to draw world cinema enthusiasts.

With new sections like ‘Films on Sports’ and ‘India Unheard’, it’s foraying into variety catered to youth and human interest issues. ‘India Unheard’ will showcase films in Ladakhi, Nepali and Konkani languages among others. Three films will be shown in the ‘Bengali Panorama’ section.

Royal Bengal Trophy

This year for the second time, the KIFF is a competitive event. The competition focuses on films helmed by women filmmakers.

Headed by Tagore, the jury comprising well-known Chinese-American actress Bai Ling, Polish director Filip Marczewski, Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz and Sri Lankan actress Swarna Mallawarachchi, will select the Best Film and Best Director from 14 short-listed movies.

The prize, the Royal Bengal trophy will be awarded to the Best Film and the Best Director.