Rising curtains will reveal three boys gamboling on the streets of Berlin during World War II, as the City of Joy readies itself to reflect on the War through the lenses of eight contemporary filmmakers during the Kolkata Film Festival that begins here on Tuesday. It will end on November 17.
“While scores of films have been made on some aspect of the World War II, what distinguishes these films is that they have all been made in 2008-09,” said director of the Festival Nilanjan Chattopadhyay.
“None of the directors were even born when the War took place and so these films are a deconstruction of World War II through historical records, other films and documentaries and reveal the reaction of the post-war generations,” Mr. Chattopadhyay said.
Eight films, including Mark Herman’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas that hurtles the Festival into ‘action,’ have been selected by the organisers for the ‘Remembering World War II’ package.
In the 15th version of the Festival, 228 films, including 175 feature, 38 short films and five documentaries will be screened at eight venues across the city.
A curtailed budget meant fewer international guests, but the Festival will host Márta Mészáros from Hungary and Caroline Link from Germany.
Peter Raymont ( Shake Hands With The Devil: The journey of Roméo Dallaire and A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman) and Anthony Fabian ( Skin) will be present at the screenings of their films and interact with the audiences, especially film students, Mr. Chattopadhyay said. Director Mani Ratnam will the chief guest.
Five films based on the works and scripts of acclaimed Columbian writer Gabriel García Márquez will be the most anticipated.
Márquez aficionados can revel in the screen version of the popular novella No One Writes to the Colonel as well as four other films based on scripts penned for the screen by the author.
“The Mexican embassy approached with this package and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Mr. Chattopadhyay added.
Mexico is also the ‘Country in Focus’ with a section comprising seven films in addition to ‘Márquez on Celluloid.’
Centenary tributes will be paid to American film and theatre director Elia Kazan and acclaimed Hindi film director Bimal Roy.
Films by the masters like Federico Fellini, Rogério Sganzerla, Ousmane Sembene and Yilmaz Guney will be screened in the ‘Homage section.’