Next year’s festival will be competitive: Mamata

Expressing happiness at the harmonious connection between film industries of the country and their counterparts abroad, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee promised at the closing ceremony of the 19th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) on Sunday that next year’s festival would be competitive.

“Bengal should break Bengal’s records… this is what we want… It is our duty to do so,” Ms. Banerjee said.

Referring to the 189 films from 66 countries that were screened at the eight-day festival, Ms.Banerjee said, “Tollywood [the Bengali film Industry], Tellywood [the small screen industry of West Bengal] as well as Bollywood have beautifully worked in complete harmony with Hollywood.”

Urging people from various fields – television, Tollywood, music, literature, sculpture and painting – to “bring back the golden era of Bengal,” Ms. Banerjee said, “what Bengal thinks today, many will think tomorrow .”

The Chief Minister described the soil of West Bengal as “purer than gold” and pointed out that many internationally-acclaimed luminaries in the fields of literature, cinema, and even the spiritual world were from the State.

She also urged expatriate Bengalis “not to forget Bengal and always maintain a close relation with it.”

Awards & tributes

Five prominent actresses – Moushumi Chatterjee, Sushmita Sen, Rani Mukherjee, Bipasha Basu, Koel Mallick – who are either from the State or have links with it, were awarded the Panchakanya Sanman (Honour to Five Daughters).

Tributes were also paid to legendary film makers such as Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Tapan Sinha and iconic music composer Salil Chowdhury.

Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, noted filmmaker from Bangladesh, was given the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema award for his critically acclaimed film Television.

Expressing her joy at being able to participate in this year’s festival, veteran actress Moushumi Chatterjee said, “I am grateful to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as well as to all those who have participated in the event.”

Sushmita Sen described the film festival as a “celebration of a collective consciousness” while Koel Mallick said, “It was a great pleasure for all cine lovers to watch films by famous directors.”

Keywords: Film FestivalKIFF