City of Joy welcomes 22nd edition of Kolkata International Film Festival
The inaugural ceremony of the 22nd Kolkata International Film Festival couldn’t be more glamorous this year. Bollywood celebrities Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Jaya Bachhan, Shahrukh Khan, Kajol and Jaya Bachchan along with the chief minister Mamta Banerjee made the event glitter with their gracious presence on November 11 at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata.
A total of 155 films from 65 countries will be screened across 13 venues from November 11-18. Special tribute will be paid to Japanese filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi, with six films of the master being screened at the festival. Twelve films in documentary competition and 79 films in short films (non-competition) will be part of the film fest along with seven films on biopic documentary.
Chinese and Marathi cinema will be the regional focus. Gautam Ghose, chairman of KIFF 2016, said, “Marathi cinema is doing well in festivals and at the box-office. We will also hold sessions on the future and progress of Marathi cinema. Veteran actor Mohan Agashe will be present.” The Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee actor and theatre personality, Agashe will also deliver the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture on November 12. One of the highlights of the festival this year will be a special exhibition on Uttam Kumar.
Belgian filmmaker Marion Hänsel, who has directed films such as Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, will be the jury chairman of women director competition. Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman has been appointed as jury chairman of Innovation in Moving Images. Homage will be paid to Australian filmmaker Paul Cox and Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami (who passed away this year) and others. The festival will also remember the 450th death anniversary of William Shakespeare by screening some of the major film adaptations of the bard’s works.
Among additions, debuting this year is the international competition in innovation in moving images with nine films from seven countries. Atanu Ghosh lists a few films, which are a must-watch this year. Atanu, who has directed Bengali films like Takhan Teish (2010), Rupkatha Noy (2013), Ek Phaali Rodh (2014) and Abby Sen (2015), is looking forward to watching a few films by some of the masters which are as follows:
- Summertime and Three Worlds: Three films of the French filmmaker and actor, Catherine Corsini, will be screened in the Special Screening section out which these two shall be on top of the “must watch” list.
- Ugetsu and The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums: Six films of Japanese filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi will be screened in the Great Master section. Atanu recommends cinegoers to watch Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu (1953) and The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939).
- Othello: Atanu advises cine goers to watch Oliver Parker’s Othello (1995), an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s work under the Literature and Cinema section at the festival.
- Ashes and Diamonds: Andrzej Wajda, one of the most celebrated Polish filmmakers, passed away on October 9 this year. Atanu highly recommends every film lover to watch Wajda’s films.
- Pinneyum and Tope: Malayalam filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan is one of the most prominent figures in the history of Indian cinema. Atanu says it’s mandatory for every film lover to watch Gopalakrishnan’s films.