20th Kolkata International Film Festival begins

KOLKATA: The 20th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), which opened on 10 November, saw the heavyweights of Bollywood and Hollywood attending it.

The eight-day extravaganza saw Amitabh Bachchan and his celebrated family, superstar Shah Rukh Khan, the state?s brand ambassador and a host of film personalities at the Netaji Indoor Stadium at Central Kolkata.

The inaugural ceremony will be presided by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with the Bachchan clan, SRK, Deepika Padukone, Tanuja and Irrfan Khan.

Boasting of a rich oeuvre of around 137 films from 60 countries, the fest will see 40 international delegates and 15 segments. There will be 31 Indian films, including 13 Bengali films.

For the first time, the fest will see 15 films by women directors from across the globe, competing for the top jury award, the Golden Royal Bengal Tiger trophy in the Women Directors segment.

Headed by award-winning Australian filmmaker Paul Cox, the jury will comprise Iranian director Nikki Karimi and Indian filmmaker Amol Palekar and others.

It should be noted that this year there is no private sponsorship.

The focus will be on cinema from Arab nations too and a special section has been earmarked as a tribute to legendary Bengali actress Suchitra Sen, who died on January 17 this year in Kolkata. Seven of her films will be screened as part of this.

Hollywood classics such as Guns of NavaroneThe Sound of Music and Jighangsa by Ajoy Kar will be screened in the ?Centenary Tribute? section.

The Satyajit Ray Memorial lecture will be delivered by director Govind Nihalani and the screening locations will be spread across 12 venues.

Other highlights include ?Children Screening? section and ?French Classics? segments, apart from contemporary world films of 2013 and 2014.

The inaugural film selected is the Italian movie Italo Barocco by Alessia Scarso.

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