The 24th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) will be inaugurated on November 10, said the Information and Cultural Affairs department Principal Secretary Vivek Kumar in a press conference held at Nandan premises on Saturday, in the presence of eminent director Goutam Ghosh, famous Bengali actor Prasenjit Chatterjee, actress Rituparna Sengupta and Indranil Sengupta.
Just like every year, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee is scheduled to do the honors on 10 November, which will continue till 17 November.
The inaugural ceremony will take place at prestigious Netaji Indoor Stadium followed by the inaugural film ‘Anthony Firingee’ an Uttam Kumar-Tanuja starrer and Sunil Bandyopadhyay directorial.
Bengal brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan with wife Jaya Bachchan, Wahida Rehman, Nandita Das, Sanjay Dutt will be present from the Bollywood star brigade at the inaugural programme, while others eminent directors from across the globe like Iranian director Majid Majidi and Australian film makers Philip Noyce, Jill Bilcock and Simon Baker are reportedly enrich the guest seats, said the State Minister and KIFF Chief Advisor Arup Biswas at the press meet.
As this year will see the 100 years of Bengali cinema, Bengali cinema will be the highlighting part of KIFF and the Hiralal Sen Memorial Award will be conferred on the best film in the ‘Competition on Indian Language’s Films’ (Rs 7 lakh) and the best director (Rs 5 lakh) as a tribute to that legend filmmaker. On the 100 years of Bengali cinema, 14 timeless Bengali classics will be screened, said Vivek Kumar.
Besides, there would be a special tribute section to veteran Bengali actress late Supriya Devi where the Ritwik Ghatak directed ‘MegheDhaka Tara’ will be screened.
Australia has been named as Focus Country for 24th KIFF and Tunisia as Special Focus Country. KIFF will be showcased 171 feature films and 150 shorts and docus from 70 countries. 26 films from Australia as the Focus Country and 8 films from Tunisia as the Special Focus country will be screened in the film festival.
Total 321 (feature films, short and documentary films) were selected 1500 entries from all over the world, the highest among all the 23 previous editions of the KIFF, said Vivek Kumar.
In the Competition Category, there will be sections such as International Competition, Innovation in Moving Images, Competition on Indian Language’s Films, Asian Select (NETPAC Award), Competition on Indian Documentary Films, and Competition on Indian Short Films. Cinema International, Children’s Screening, Bengali Premiere, Documentary Films and Short Films and the like would form the Non-Competition Category, according to ministry report.
This year the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture will be given by ‘Manto’ director Nandita Das.
The theme song of KIFF 2018 has been sung by Kolkata-girl Nikita Gandhi.
The Information and Cultural Affairs department Principal Secretary Vivek Kumar also hinted that they are planning something bigger for the next year as Kolkata International Film Festival will see 25 year, the silver jubilee in 2019.