New Town debuts on film festival map

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 14.11.14

For the first time, New Town is getting to host Kolkata International Film Festival. The opening ceremony at Nazrul Tirtha was held on Tuesday and two films will be screened there daily till Sunday. The festival's closing ceremony too will be held at Nazrul Tirtha on November 17.


Purbashree auditorium, in EZCC, has been a venue for the festival for several years now and since last year Inox, in City Centre, has also been added but Nazrul Tirtha is a first for New Town.


Civic chief Krishna Chakraborty and SDO Pawan Kadyan light the lamp at EZCC. (Saradindu Chaudhury) and in picture below, Balaka Abasan residents Mrinalini and Mrinmoyee Biswas perform at the opening of the New Town chapter of the festival. (Mayukh Sengupta)


At the inauguration, Debasish Sen, chairman cum managing director of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco), that is in charge of Nazrul Tirtha, said: "We have worked hard to ready the venue, acoustics etc. so residents get a wholesome cinematic experience without having to step out of the township. We have noted that across the city the noon show on weekdays draws very few viewers. So we decided to host shows at the two most popular timings - afternoons and evenings." Minister Firhad Hakim was supposed to inaugurate the ceremony but had to cancel at the last minute.


Residents and office-goers of the area are jubilant. Nibedita Ray, an employee of IBM nearby, had walked over on Tuesday during lunch hours to buy tickets for the evening show. "The venue and timings are so convenient that five of us will be watching the Taiwanese Help Me Eros after office today. I'm sure we'll come for more films," smiled Ray.


Koushik Pattanayak, a resident of the New Town's East Enclave Co-operative Housing Society, had taken a half-day leave from office to watch the opening film. "My office is in Bikash Bhavan so till last year I would go to EZCC for the festival. But I can watch many more films this year since the venue is within walking distance from my complex," Pattanayak said, before entering the hall.



The Salt Lake chapter of the festival is under Bidhannagar Municipality and a host of councillors, led by chairperson Krishna Chakraborty and SDO Pawan Kadyan, inaugurated the event at EZCC on Tuesday, a couple of hours before the New Town opening. Bangladeshi actress Joya Ahsan joined them on stage later.


"The municipality has taken over the reins of this leg of the festival for the last three years once we realised how many film-goers there are in the township," said Chakraborty. She added that talks are on with schools to bring students to watch films free of cost on Children's Day.


The bouquet of films on offer across the three venues is diverse. On Friday Inox will feature the Saudi Arabian film Wadjda, about an 11-year old girl who wants to buy a cycle but whose mother will not let her, fearing the wrath of the society that forbids girls from riding cycles. So Wadjda decides to take part in a Quran recitation competition to win the prize money and buy the cycle.


The Bangladeshi film Gaariwala will be screened at Nazrul Tirtha on Friday. It is about two children who race carts. On Monday, EZCC will screen Memories on Stone, about two friends trying to make a film in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.


The tickets at Nazrul Tirtha are priced at Rs 60 and 80 (balcony seats). At EZCC, the tickets cost Rs 60 and at Inox, they are Rs 80.