Grand ceremony concludes 25th KIFF

The 25th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) got over today. A grand ceremony was held at Nazrul Mancha to conclude the festival.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee handed over the Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Awards for the best film and the best director and the Hiralal Sen Memorial Award for the best film in an Indian language.

Some of the top personalities from the film industries of Mumbai and Kolkata, and actors, directors and producers of several of the foreign films that were shown at the film festival graced the glittering closing ceremony. Shabana Azmi was the chief guest at the programme. The KIFF was inaugurated by Shah Rukh Khan on November 8.

List of all the awards presented today:

Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Award for …
Best Film: The Weeping Woman
Best Director: Vaclav Marhoul (for The Painted Bird)
Best Indian Documentary Film: Abridged
Best Indian Short Film: Summer Rhapsody

Special Jury Award (among international films): Aga’s House

Hiralal Sen Memorial Award (for Indian language films) for …
Best Film: Mai Ghat: Crime No 103/2005
Best Director: Indrashis Acharya (for Parcel)

Special Jury Award (among Indian films): Run Kalyani

NETPAC Award: Devi Aur Hero

Excerpts of the chief minister’s speech:

My congratulations to the media for covering KIFF very well. My congratulations also to all the concerned officials. We have to start thinking from today on how to improve on this for next year’s KIFF.

I appreciate the freedom of expression that Shabana Azmi ji talked about. This is essential for everyone, more so in these times. This is our constitutional and democratic right.

I will request everyone to come back every year. Consider this as your ‘home state’; without you this film festival is not possible. Remember, Kolkata is the ‘sweetest part of the world’. We love everyone irrespective of religion, race and culture because humanity is the most important pillar of democracy.

I love films. I request all those related to films to ensure a connection between different film industries as that would enrich us and help us achieve greater things. Advance greetings to everyone for the New Year. Thank you!

Bangla will hold its head high, will fight to live: Didi

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today inaugurated the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF). The inauguration came alive with the presence of star actors and directors from India and other countries.

After welcoming the stars, she said that cinema has to be made more far-reaching in its influence. Mentioning the fact that this is Bengali cinema’s centenary year, she said that there is an innate connection between Tollywood, Bollywood and Hollywood.

She reminded the audience that all delegates who come to KIFF year after year go back enamoured, saying this is a unique experience. Our large-hearted acceptance of all is what everyone appreciates, and so come back time and again. We are thankful to them, she said.

She said that Bangla wants to be the best in the world – become ‘Biswa Bangla’, as she has very often said – by taking everyone along, not by pushing anyone out. The mentality of Bangla is about inclusion, not exclusion.

From cinema to sports to culture to education – Bangla is ahead in every field. Bangla is the only State in India to boast of so many Nobel Prize winners. Bangla is the cultural capital of the country. Bangla wants to take everyone along, to love everyone. Bangla will always hold its head high, will fight to survive, she said.