Film fest draws crowd
Residents of Snehodiya senior citizens’ home were given season passes to watch the 25th Kolkata International Film Festival at Nazrul Tirtha.
The passes were distributed at the inauguration of the New Town leg of the festival on November 9. “This is the fifth year we are hosting the festival and have taken the initiative to distribute season passes to the 16 residents of Snehodiya,” said Debashis Sen, chairman cum managing director of Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation, that is in charge of the facilities.
Also present were minister and MLA Sujit Bose and film director Raj Chakraborty, who is also chairman of the festival.
The first two days of the festival were eclipsed by the Bulbul cyclone but ardent film buffs turned up anyway. “I have always wanted to watch films at a festival but never had the chance. This time my friends agreed to come with me and we want to watch as many movies possible, come rain or storm,” said Rishiraj Dutta, a B.Com student, on Saturday.
The elderly Snehodiya residents who received the passes are pleased too. “I had a very hectic working life but I love movies and now that I’m retired I can watch the films screened here at leisure,” said Uday Kar. “I hope they allow this privilege next year too.”
Swapan Kumar Ghosh, however, felt the arrangements could have been better. “The ACs were turned off during An Unfairy Tale and it got so stuffy that we had to leave Nazrul Tirtha right after it. We couldn’t stay and watch the next show.”
Nazrul Tirtha drew crowds from far and wide. Meena and Pradip Chakraborty had come to watch The Weeping Woman from Sodepur. “We have work in New Town so try to squeeze in some films on the go,” said the couple on Tuesday.
Tickets at the venue are selling at Rs 60 and 80, other than the passes that are being centrally distributed from Nandan. So far the biggest crowd has been for the Ronny Sen-directed Cat Sticks that went almost houseful. “We are waiting till an hour before the show to sell tickets in a bid to avoid confusion over last minute changes that are taking place at some venues,” said a senior official.
In Salt Lake, the films are screening at City Centre and Rabindra Okakura Bhavan, besides a special screening of the film Praktan at CJ Park. Rabindra Okakura Bhavan, which is actually an auditorium, has installed a temporary 2K resolution projector for the purpose. “On the first day, the response was low as the weather was inclement but later people started coming in good numbers,” said an official.
On Tuesday, Sayak Majhi, a first year student of St Xavier’s College, had come to make enquiries about Feluda 50 Years Of Ray’s Detective and a film by veteran German director Alexander Kluge. “This venue is great for us in Salt Lake,” said the CC Block resident.
Today is the last day of the festival.
input from Sudeshna Banerjee