Bekas will be the inaugural and Rocket, the concluding film

The sixth edition of the Bangalore International Film Festival will be inaugurated on Thursday at the Jnanajyothi Auditorium.

Distinguished actor-director-producer Kamal Haasan , Iranian film-maker Pouran Derakhshandeh, director of the Hof Film Festival at Germany Heinz George Badewitaz, and actors-turned-politicians Ambarish, Umashree, Radhika Pandit, Sudeep and Ramya will grace the inauguration. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his Cabinet colleagues will be present during the launch.

Over 160 films from 52 countries will have 230 screenings at Fun Cinema, Lido Inox, Sulochana and Priyadarshini from December 27 to January 2. Movies of Dr. Rajkumar and Bimal Roy in the retrospective section will be an added attraction for the present generation of movie buffs.

According to H.N. Narahari Rao, Artistic Director of the film fest, over 2,000 delegates and 1,000 dignitaries and film personalities will participate in the festival. Organisers have not yet decided on distributing daily passes to film enthusiasts.

“A decision on issuing daily passes will be taken after watching the attendance at various screens. We don’t want to create problem for the delegates and dignitaries, who have registered their names,” he explained.

The inaugural film will be Bekas, the debut film of Kurdish-born, Sweden-educated director Karzan Kader. Bekas is a colourful film filled with musical rhythms “which grants access to a world few westerners are familiar with,” according to the festival organisers.

It is set in Kurdistan during Saddam Hussein’s regime. Produced in 2010, the film narrates the story of Zana and Dana, who get a glimpse of a superman movie for the first time and decide to escape from the hard life in Iraq to the superman’s home, the United States.

The concluding film will be Rocket directed by Kim Mordaunt, which the BIFFes organisers have procured with the greatest difficulty. Mr. Rao said that the film, set against the lush backdrop of rural Laos, is a spirited drama that tells the story of 10-year-old Ahlo, who yearns to break free from his ill-fated destiny. After his village is displaced to make way for a massive dam, Ahlo escapes with his father and grandmother through the Laotian outback in search of a new home.