Often described as the most knowledgeable film festival in the World, the 15th Kolkata Film Festival was opened yesterday by Mani Ratnam with the first movie to be filmed being the Holocaust movie, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. “It is an honour to be in this city which has given the world such stalwarts as Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and my mentor Mrinal Sen,” said the veteran director.
The festival will showcase 228 movies from 56 countries during the next week in a remarkable feat of worldwide research, planning and distribution. The films are divided into a number of different categories including Contemporary World Cinema, Documentary films, Century Tribute, Homage, Short films, Marquez on Celluloid, Encounter, Honour, Mexico in Focus, Indian Select and Remembering World War 2.
Amongst the Indian Select movies are the fascinating Oscar-bound Harish Chandrachi Factory, the lyrical Khargosh based on the short story The Clever Rabbit, the absolutely marvellous love story Phir Kabhi with veteran actors Mithun Chakraborty and Dimple Kapadia, and the Kollywood movies Poo, a desperate story of unrequited love starring Srikanth in one of his best roles and the lovely Parvathi Menon, and finally Subraimaniyapuram — featuring Jai and Swathi, a simply stunning tale of revenge.
You won’t be able to get a cab in Kolkata this week. The taxi drivers of the city pride themselves on being the most knowledgeable film buffs in the world and it’s guaranteed they will be spending the week camped outside their local independent!