SRK, Sharmila to lend glamour to Kolkata Film Festival

Kolkata: The Kolkata Film Festival (KFF) this year aims to be the most glamorous ever by inviting stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Sharmila Tagore, adding a competitive section and screening films at a multiplex.

SRK and the veteran Bengali actress will inaugurate the eight-day festival at a gala opening ceremony at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here on November 10, officials said.

Bollywood film directors Santhosh Sivan, Anant Mahadevan and Ketan Mehta are also expected to attend the fest where altogether 150 films will be screened from 50 countries.

For the first time in the 17-year-old history of the non-competitive film festival, a new competition section has been introduced.

"Twelve Asian films will be competing for a NETPAC Award, which will be introduced for the first time. This will give us more visibility and popularity," said veteran actor Ranjit Mullick, chairperson of KFF.

To pay homage to Bollywood legend Ashok Kumar on his hundredth birth anniversary, a centenary tribute has been planned with the screening of `Kismet`.

A special tribute will be given to Uttam Kumar, the hero among all the heroes of Bengali cinema, by screening hissuperhit film `Nayak` and documentary `Mahanayak – A Superstar`s Journey`, which chronicles his life and work.

Out of the eleven venues for film screenings, Fame multiplex in South City Mall has also been added for the first time.

Other venues include Nandan, Sisir Mancha, Rabindra Sadan, SRFTI, Purbasree (EZCC) and cinema halls New Empire, Navina and Star Theatre.

Altogether 40 dignitaries, including international, have accepted invitations to attend the extravaganza.

Dutch film director Joram Lursen`s `The Magicians` will be the inaugural film.

In the world focus section, ten films from Switzerland and seven from Taiwan will be screened.

Some recent Bengali films like `033`, `Houseful`, `Ichhe` would also be screened.

In the homage section, tribute will be paid to Italian director Luchino Visconti, eminent film critic and director Chidananda Dasgupta and Hindi film director Mani Kaul.

The artists` forum is planning to pay a tribute to Bengali cinema on the concluding day of the festival with performances by Tollywood stars.

"For the rest of the year, all artists working in the film industry don`t get to meet but this festival gives us an opportunity to meet," said reigning superstar of Bengali cinema Prosenjit Chatterjee.

With Rs 2.75 crore, KFF budget has taken a massive jump.

The state government has provided Rs 60 lakh while the rest of the amount has been rasied through corporate sponsorships, said KFF officials.

A theme song by singer Nachiketa Chakraborty has also been introduced for the first time to promote the festival through television.

PTI