Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee welcomed the national and international delegates and cinema buffs to enjoy the varied offerings at the 20th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) -- India's second oldest movie fest -- set to open Monday.
The eight-day extravaganza kicks off with a stellar opening ceremony where megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his celebrated family, superstar Shah Rukh Khan and a host of film personalities will rev up the glam quotient at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
Boasting of a rich oeuvre of 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. It will conclude Nov 17.
"In a few hours from now, the much-awaited 20th edition of Kolkata International Film Festival will be inaugurated. I welcome all international and national delegates and film lovers to our beautiful city," Banerjee posted on her official Facebook page Monday.
For the first time, the fest turns competitive with 15 films by women directors from across the globe vying for the top jury award -- the Golden Royal Bengal Tiger Trophy in the women directors segment. Also, this year there is no private sponsorship.
Headed by award-winning Australian filmmaker Paul Cox, the jury will comprise Iranian director Nikki Karimi and Indian filmmaker Amol Palekar and others.
"Amitabh-ji will inaugurate the festival. Shah Rukh Khan - our Brand Ambassador, and special guests Jaya-ji, Abhishek, Aishwariya, Deepika, Tanuja, Irfan Khan, Paul Cox - Australian film maker, along with many important national and international delegates will be present," she said.
Banerjee also wished them a "very happy stay in Kolkata and enjoying the spectacular celebration of cinema. My best wishes also to my film enthusiast brothers and sisters. Hope you would also enjoy the Film Festival".