It is that time of the year again when the warm light of the cinema screen will fall upon the thousands of cinema lovers in the city of joy. It is that lovely time in the month of December when film lovers of the city wait in queues and flock from one movie screening to another. It is the time of the Kolkata International Film Festival.
The festival started in the year 1995, drawing inspiration from the stalwarts of Bengal cinema such as Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, and Mrinal Sen to name a few, who have also contributed to world cinema. Over the years the festival has earned international accolades but has remained confined to the more sophisticated and elite cinephile fraternity.
In 2011, the West Bengal State Government opened the doors of this gala to the masses and since then, the spectacle of KIFF has reached the common masses, touching the hearts of thousands of cine lovers who wait every year with bated breath to get absorbed in this carnival of world cinema.
This year’s festival, which is the 28th edition of KIFF, organized by the Information and Cultural Affairs Department, Government of West Bengal started on the 15th of December and will continue till the 22nd of December, 2022. Starting from riveting documentaries to heart-touching feature films and impactful short films, this year’s festival has it all.
The hoardings of this year’s KIFF have had an immense impact on social media for their creativity and universal appeal. A poster where Charlie Chaplin from The Kid (1921) is in juxtaposition with Apu from Pather Panchali (1955) has deftly drawn a connection in their childish innocence through parallelism. Ralph Fiennes from The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) is portrayed in another poster with Rabi Ghosh from Galpa Holeo Satyi (1966), conveying the similarity between the two caretakers, one of a hotel and another of a middle-class family caught in jarring family arguments. Another particular poster that appealed to many on Instagram and in real life was the one in which Amitabh Bachchan from Sholay meets Al Pacino of Scarface drawing similarities between the ravishing masculine characters portrayed by them in their respective films.
Each year KIFF and its curation of films impress upon their viewers the beauty of world cinema and the ability of the medium to move its audience. With a unique curation and wonderful screening arrangements, this year is no different. Go to the festival while it's still underway.