KIFF To Celebrate Its Silver Jubilee With Golden Films

globalmovie     08 Nov,2019         No Comment

Announcement of thr 25th KIFF_1

By  Sudipto Mullick                                                                                                                                   While the Kolkata International Film Festival, which was incepted in 1995 will
celebrate its silver jubilee, a world renowned Satyajit Ray film will be in its 50th year
of existence. Quite interestingly, the authorities have decided to screen a digitally
restored copy of that classic, Goopy Gayen Bagha Bayen, as the inaugural film.
Dwelling on restored clasics, in fact, there will be 8 such films that have completed 50
years which will also be part of the screening schedule in this year. Golden oldies also
include The Adventures Of Prince Achmed one of the oldest surviving animation film
from 1926.
As with the old so with the new – on one hand 35 mm projection system will be
reintroduced in this year's festival while for the very first time in its history there will
be two 3D movies to be screened, that too in two different venues.
Kiff has been rapidly gaining grounds in no less part due to its Royal Bengal Golden
Tiger Trophy that comes with a 51 lakh INR and 21 lakh INR prize money – among
the highest purse at International film festivals – for the best film and the best director
respectively. Besides the Indian language competition section which carries a 7 Lakh
INR prize money for the best film and 5 lakh INR for the best director, the best
documentary and the best short film awards have been shored up from one lakh INR
each to 3 lakh INR and 5 lakh INR respectively.
No surprise that they registered the highest number of entries and films to be
screened – 2,492 and 366 (214 feature films and 152 short) respectively across 76
countries, this year. Incidentally, no less than 48 films – 29 in Cinema International
and 19 under Maestro (special section dedicated to renowned filmmakers), released in
2019 will be screened. An exhibition of posters of all the major films featured in the
festival will be find a place in the main premises.
Germany will be the focus country and they will field 42 films including pre-
independence Indo-German co-productions, Shiraz: A Romance of India (1928),
Prapanch Pash: A Throw of Dice (1929) and Achhut Kanya (1936) – all directed by
Franz Osten, the first two, are silent films co-produced and starred by Himanshu Rai
while the third, an Hindi-Urdu production, independently produced by Rai stars
Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani. Germany had a great part to play in early Indian film
movement as Friso Maecker, the director of Goethe Institute, who are instrumental in
arranging this package, told us that "some of the oldest Indian films were shot by
Osten and Joseph Wirsching, who were part of the core team that started Bombay
Talkies". The earlier mentioned two 3D films – a documentary, Pina by Win Wenders
on celebrated modern dancer Pina Bausch and Measuring The World (by Detlev
Buck) on the friendship of Alexander Von humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauß, also
comes from the German stable. Critically acclaimed German poet, architect,
philosopher, academic and of course a film director will be given retrospective as will
be the Dusan Hanak from Slovakia.
Another German director, Volker Schlondorff – a member of the New German
Cinema which also included Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Margarethe von Trotta
and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and know for his film, Tin Drum based on the
eponymous Gunter Grass novel will hold a master class. The other master class will

be helmmed by Four Weddings And A Funeral famed American actress and model,
Andie Macdowell. Though there will be no films by notorious bad boy Rainer Werner
Fassbinder, his career as actor, playwright, theatre director, composer,
cinematographer, editor and essayist can be gleaned through an exhibition of his
This year's Homage section dedicated to Bernardo Bertolucci will have six of his
films screened and another Italian director, Gilli Pontecarvo, most known for his
Battle of Algiers, will be accorded the Centenary tribute.
'Future of the Individual' will be the topic of the
Satyajit Ray Memorial lecture that will be delivered by screenwriter Kumar Sahni.
Kids will not be forgotten to be entertained with a 4-film special screenings on
November 14, the children's day.
One of my favorites, India Unheard, a section dedicated to rare Indian languages, this
year will see film screened in Santhali, Nagpuri, Poniya, Tulu, Bodo, Konkani,
Kodava, Byari, Banzara and Rajasthani.
The journey of the last 25 years will be commemorated with an exhibition on the
innugural day and another trip that the guests will be encouraged to go on will be a
guided Heritage trip mooted from this year.

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