Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: The 14th Kolkata Film Festival was inaugurated by well-known director Mrinal Sen here on Monday in the presence of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and several other film personalities and dignitaries.

The festival will be on till November 17, during which 276 films from 62 countries will be screened at eleven theatres. Selected films will also be screened in Siliguri, Barasat and Burdwan.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bhattacharjee said: “The films screened this year are mostly contemporary ones and depict the miseries, unique human relationships as well as the social framework in the present world.”

He appreciated the manner in which various corporate houses, city film clubs and students from the Calcutta University and Jadavpur University pitched in with monetary as well as human resources.

Describing the festival as an integral part of the city’s cultural landscape, Mr. Bhattacharjee said, “It is a unique opportunity for directors, actors and technicians to watch the best films made in the last two to three years.”

National-award-winning actor Soumitra Chattopadhyay, who is also the chairman of the festival committee, pointed out that some people might call such festivals “cosmetic luxury,” but the truth remained that “films are an indispensable part of our lives.”

Tight security

The festival was inaugurated with the screening of an Italian film, Rosso come il cielo (Red Like the Sky), directed by Cristiano Bortone.

Following last year’s experience when a segment of the city’s intelligentsia had protested at the venue to protest against the Nandigram violence, causing much embarrassment to the State government, the Kolkata police took stringent security measures this time to avoid untoward incidents. A large number of policemen were deployed at the venue.

The festival will screen evergreen classics of directors like Jacques Tati, Theo Angelopoulos and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, among others. A special segment screening the restored movies of Satyajit Ray will be an additional attraction.