In commemoration of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017, Britain will be the focus country for the 23rd edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), India’s second oldest film festival, which will also pay homage to icons of Indian cinema Tom Alter, Om Puri and Ramananda Sengupta.
The festival beginning here on November 10 will screen an assemblage of 143 films spanning 53 countries under 16 different categories till November 17.
“As many as 13 films from Britain will be shown during the festival while six films of acclaimed English filmmaker Michael Winterbottom will be screened as part of retrospective,” Yadab Mandal, KIFF Director, said here on Sunday.
Stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan will be present at the inaugural ceremony on November 10. Tamil film icon Kamal Haasan and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt are also slated to attend the ceremony, to be presided over by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Three films will be showcased in memory of cinematographer Sengupta (“Headmaster”) and actors Tom Alter (“Shatranj Ke Khiladi”) and Om Puri (“Sadgati”).
As for the competitive section, the women’s director’s competition has been replaced by ‘Innovation in Moving Images’ with a prize money of Rs 51 lakh for the best film and Rs 21 lakh for the best director.
Indian languages competition section has been introduced this year in which 10 films in nine languages will fight it out for the Hiralal Sen Memorial Award. Also, there’s a prize money of Rs 700,000 for Best Film and Rs 500,000 for Best Director.
“As many as eight films in as many languages (Monpa, Konkani, Kodava, Boro, Dogri, Maithili, Khasi and Chakma) will be featured in the ‘Unheard India: Rare Indian Languages’ section,” Mandal said.
Apart from Winter bottom, in the retrospective category, six films of Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, one of Thailand’s most celebrated working directors will be screened.
In a toast to cinematic technique, an exposition of original equipment used by the LumiAre brothers, auteur Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak has been planned.
A total of 93 foreign language films be screened through the festival and 50 from India.