Kolkata, Nov 10 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): The 17th edition of Kolkata Film Festival (KFF) commenced in style on Thursday evening at the Netaji Indoor Stadium with the auditorium witnessing an assemblage of eminent personalities from various corners of the cultural sphere.
It was actor Sharmila Tagore who inaugurated the festival as she mentioned about her love and deep connection with the city from where she started her journey in the world of films.
The podium was shared by other eminent personalities from the world of films like Ranjit Mullick, Supriya Devi, Sabriti Mukherjee, Sandha Roy, Goutam Ghosh, Prosenjit Chatterjee.
Apart from them eminent directors like Aparna Sen, Sandip Ray, writers Sunil Gangopadhay, Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay and Tollywood heart-throbs Dev and Jeet were present at the event.
The huge number of audience that assembled at the venue to witness the event were entertained by a soothing musical performance by Kolkata Music Academy Orchestra at the beginning. The tunes of Rabindrasangeet and the crafty manner in which it was played marked the right beginning of annual event.
West Bengal Chief MInister Mamata Banerjee said: “It is a galaxy of gathering from all the society, art, culture, film. This is called a great festival.”
“Kolkata is a sweet home. I welcome people to West Bengal. It will be number one with your investment. Kolkata should get a place in world culture,” she said.
The stadium blasted into huge rounds of applause and cheers as the chief guest of the festival and B-town actor Shah Rukh Khan walked down the podium and sat beside West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Sharmila Tagore.
SRK said that he was ‘touched’ by the fact that he was given a chance to be apart of the event.
“For me to come and be with such illuminated personalities is the greatest blessings one can have,” he said.
“The CM has taken it on herself to make it flourish. It is good to see the gathering,” SRK said.
“We hope that with this beginning cinema not only in our country but make a mark in rest of the world,” he said.
Sharmila Tagore shared her deep connection with the city from where she hails as she said: “It feels good to be here in this very comforting and familiar atmosphere of a festival, that too in Kolkata.”
“This is my home. I was grown up here. I went to school, the journey of film began here, i meet my husband here,” she said in a nostalgic tone.
She said that the film festival has underwent significant changes this year and hopefully it would help Kolkata to emerge as the centre of films.
“The film has introduced significant changes. I hope it will enable Kolkata as a centre of important films,”she said.
Tollywood beauty Koel Mullick was the ‘thali girl’ in this edition of the festival.
This is the first film festival that is organized by the new state government led by Mamata Banerjee.
In 1995 when the film festival started the journey and in this seventeen years it has become a part of Bengali’s emotion. It was for first time that the festival was inaugurated at Netaji Indoor Stadium instead of Nandan.
The eight-day long festival would screen 150 films from 50 countries of the world.
The films would be screened at various venues in Kolkata like: Nandan 1, Nandan 2, Nandan 3, Priya Cinemas, Navina, Star Theatre, SRFTI, Sisir Mancha, New Empire, Purbasree (EZCC) and Fame.
With the winter slowly zooming in the city the film festival would be the right event to commence the annual winter festival calendar that Kolkata hosts every year.
(Reporting by Supriyo Hazra / Photos: IBNS)