The 2019 Kolkata Film Festival is all set to celebrate its 25th year this time, starting November 8.
Altogether 214 films, 57 documentaries and 96 short films will be screened at this year’s festival. Films from 76 countries will be shown at the festival. The focus country of this year’s festival is Germany.
German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff will be part of the festival, his films to be in the “Masterclass” section. Schlöndorff has won an Oscar as well as the Palme d’or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival for his film, The Tin Drum (1979), based on the novel by Gunter Grass. Schlöndorff has worked in Germany, France and the United States and was a significant part of the New German Cinema of the late 1960s and the 1970s, which also included Wim Wenders, Margarethe von Trotha and Werner Herzog, among others.
American actress Andie MacDowell is expected to be at the festival this year. MacDowell received critical acclaim for her role in Sex, Lies and Videotape that released in 1989, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Pictures Drama. She also received Golden Globe Award nominations for her performances in Green Card (1990) and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). If a restored copy of Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape is available, then MacDowell might be present at the screening, festival officials said.
An exhibition will be held on the life of German filmmaker, theatre director, actor, editor Rainer Werner Fassbinder at Gaganendra Shilpa Pradarshashala.
Six films of Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci will be screened in the “Homage” section this year. In the “Tribute” section, films of Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo, along with films of Bengali actors Jawhar Roy, Karuna Banerjee among others will be featured. Films of German author, academic, director Alexander Kluge and Slovak director Dušan Hanák will be shown in “Retrospective” section.
“Bengali Panorama” section will showcase 23 films and the “Unheard India” section will showcase 10 rare films in various Indian languages.
Four animated children’s films will be screened at Sisir Mancha (in the Nandan complex) on Children’s Day (November 14). A couple of German animated films will be shown this year on television screens fitted inside the Nandan complex. For the first time in the history of the festival, 3D films will be screened too. The films to be shown are Measuring the World (German-Austrian) and Pina (a 3-D German documentary film).
Workshops will be held on digitisation of cinema and film preservation. Kumar Shahani, noted Indian film director and screenwriter will speak at the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture on November 11 on “Future of the individual”.
This year too, apart from Nandan (and other halls in the Nandan complex like Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha) films will be screened at Priya, Bijoli and Minar cinemas too this year.
It was hinted at on the closure of last year’s event by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee that the silver jubilee of the Kolkata Film Festival will be a grand affair. Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Rakhi Gulzar and Mahesh Bhatt among others will be present on the inaugural day.
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