Amidst a galaxy of stars from Bollywood, Bengali cinema and foreign strands, megastar Shah Rukh Khan on Friday inaugurated the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival at a packed-to-the-capacity Netaji Indoor stadium here.
Flanked by yesteryear’s top heroine Rakhi Gulzar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and ‘thali girl’ Srabonti Chatterjee, SRK lit the ceremonial lamp to wild cheers from the audience.
Germany’s Oscar-winning director Volker Schlondorff, “Sex Lies and Videotape” actress Andie MacDowell, Slovak filmmaker Dusan Hanak graced the occasion, alongside Bollywood auteur Mahesh Bhatt, and BCCI President and former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly.
Also in attendance was Madhabi Mukherjee – known internationally for portraying the title role in Satyajit Ray’s “Charulata”, actor MPs Nusrat Jahan, Mimi Chakraborty, Shatabdi Roy and Deb Adhikary besides film directors Goutam Ghosh and Sandip Ray.
The colourful programme began with a montage of the history of cinema, followed by a short promotional film on Bengal’s film locations made by Parambrata Chatterjee.
Nusrat Jahan presented the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival commemoration trophy to SRK, as the audience fervently clapped.
A bouquet of 214 features and 152 shorts and documentaries from 76 nations are on offer during the eight-day gala.
Satyajit Ray’s children’s classic “Goopy Gayen Bagha Bayen” – celebrating its 50th year – would be the opening film.