The 28th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), which took place between December 15 and December 22, 2022, brought cinephiles and enthusiasts back to the theatres after a pandemic induced hiatus of two years. Following the opening ceremony which saw film luminaries like Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and a star-studded dias of Bolly and Tolly celebs and dignitaries coming together and talking about the importance that cinema holds as a universal language transcending linguistic, national and psychological barriers, the seven days celebrated cinema in its absolute glory acting as a vehicle of change.
Nandan, buzzing with the familiar air, hosted people coming together, talking, laughing and spending evenings together warmed by cups of tea and snacks and discussions on cinema, music and much more.
Celebrating the legacy, life and the filmography of Amitabh Bachchan, there was an exhibition on the same at Gaganendra Pradarshashala and Nazrul Tirtha which detailed his journey as an actor, and the rich body of work that he keeps adding to and working on till date. The exhibition was inaugurated by Jaya Bachchan on December 16. Another exhibition was curated at the Nandan Foyer and Nazrul Tirtha to pay homage to Jean-Luc Godard, the leading face of the French New Wave, who passed away in 2022. A string of masterclasses were organised which included ace cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee and director Anindya Chattopadhyay taking on “How an Idea is transferred as an ‘Image’ in filmmaking”; actors Neeraj Kabi and Sohini Sengupta talking on the concept of “The Actor”, and Shaji N. Karun and Atanu Ghosh in conversation on “Visual Metaphors and Moving Images”. Ektara Mancha hosted numerous Cine Addas with popular film personalities talking on a spectrum of issues and ideas surrounding art in its various forms. Delivering the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture was veteran director Sudhir Mishra who talked on “Understanding Cinema in changing times of OTT”.
Over the seven days, numerous films from across the world graced the screens of Kolkata spread across venues. The ‘Centenary Tribute’ section had films of Alain Resnais, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Michael Cacoyannis, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Asit Sen, Bharati Devi, K. Asif, Ali Akbar Khan, Dilip Kumar; the ‘Special Tributes’ paid homage to Pradip Mukherjee, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Angela Lansbury and Tarun Majumdar.
The ‘Retrospective’ section tributed Amitabh Bachchan with special screenings of Deewar, Kala Patthar and Black, while the ‘Homage’ section had KIFF tipping its hat to the genius of Jean-Luc Godard with screenings of Breathless, A Woman is A Woman, Contempt and Alphaville.
Amitabh Bachchan: A living legend
Gagnendra Pradarshashala housed the Amitabh Bachchan: A Living Legend exhibition which outlined his trajectory as an artiste and the body of work that defines the man and the era which he heralded representing India on the world map.
(L-R) Bonny Sengupta, Koushani Mukherjee. Ishaa Saha, Nazifa Tushi, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Chanchal Chowdhury, Sourav Das and Anirban Bhattacharya on Ektara Mancha
Jean-Luc Godard : The Immortal Object of Art Exhibition
The exhibition on Jean-Luc Godard had panels which talked about Godard, the auteur, the firebrand personality, the craft that he employed, his ideals and the filmography he leaves behind for posterity.
Satyajit Ray memorial lecture
Sudhir Mishra delivering the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture
Neeraj Kabi delivered a talk on the concept and the encompassing definition of ‘The Actor’
Sudeep Chatterjee in conversation with Anindya Chattopadhyay on “How an Idea is transferred as an Image in filmmaking”
TT Camera spotted
Jaya Bachchan with Prosenjit Chatterjee
(L-R) Riddhi Sen, Chanchal Chowdhury, Paoli Dam
(L-R) Vikram Chatterjee, Badshah Moitra, Jaya Ahsan
Sights & moods at KIFF
The sights and sounds defined KIFF’s essence like always. Nandan got to embrace the charm of a packed KIFF after a gap of two years owing to the pandemic; every moment captured seemed dearly awaited and cherished. From the innocent eyes of a child staring into the expanse with curiosity, to groups coming together clicking and making memories, tackling the ensuing FIFA World Cup fever and queueing outside ticket counters, KIFF bloomed back to its characteristic charm and flair, with the air bearing a sweet nip and the sounds of filmy chatter floating in.
Pictures: B. Halder