The West Bengal government has decided to go ahead with this year’s edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the week-long event on Friday, January 7. Unlike the elaborate opening ceremony conducted every year with stars like Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan in attendance, this year’s programme will be low-key with Mamata Banerjee launching the event virtually from the Bengal secretariat.
Due to the ensuing Covid-19 pandemic, festival organisers have decided to stick to 50 per cent occupancy in all the 10 venues as per the state government’s recent directives, announced Bengal Information & Cultural Affairs Minister, Indranil Sen.
A total of 160 films from 42 countries will be screened during the festival ending on January 14. This year’s festival will pay a special tribute to Satyajit Ray on his birth centenary with his cult film Aranyer Din Ratri opening the event. A total of 14 Ray films will be screened at the festival. Tributes will also be paid to film scholar Chidananda Dasgupta and Hungarian filmmaker Miklos Jancso. Tributes will also be paid to Dilip Kumar, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Claude Carrier, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Swatilekha Sengupta.
A special section has also been dedicated to the 75th year of Indian independence.