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[PHOTOS] Kolkata International Film Festival focuses on Hollywood classics

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By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: Kolkata International Film Festival’s (KIFF) 21st edition, which began on November 14 and is slated to continue till November 21, focuses on Hollywood classics, while bringing into limelight films in little-known Indian dialects.

Films from 61 countries will feature in the week-long West Bengal government organized event across 12 venues in the city. As many as 149 films by 137 directors will be screened at India’s second oldest film festival.

Famed Bollywood star Amitabh Bachhan inaugurated the event. Also attending, were his wife Jaya Bachhan, and actresses Sharmila Tagore, Vidya Balan, and Moushumi Chatterjee

‘Maestros of Bengal’, an original musical performance headlined the event, which was presided over by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

NewsGram asked Tollywood actress Koneenica Banerjee on her opinion regarding the change in Bengali film quality in recent times.

“Every film holds a certain relevance, and the likability depends on the audience. It is true that the films now have deteriorated from the quality-films of the past. The main reason behind it is the commercialisation of films,” said Banerjee.

However, every trend comes to a point of change. “With the amazing work contributed by late Rituparno Ghosh, and directors like Srijit Mukherjee, we can hope the Bengali film industry will soon regain its former glory,” she added.

On being asked who she thought was the best director, the actress said, “This kind of comparison is really unjustified… Each and every director makes films according to his own view. They each have their own style. I think a film cannot immediately get a classic status. But after a hundred years, it may become much more prestigious.”

“The Bengali film industry cannot produce good films due to the pressure created by different advertising agencies and in the rush to compete with Bollywood and the film industry of the South,” said famed Bengali actor, Chiranjeet Chakraborty.

“However new directors like Srijit and Bappadityo are doing a wonderful job. Times are changing… But the brilliant work that Bengal produced before cannot be compared to those now. The old is gold,” he added.

“Manik da (Satyajit Ray), Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, all worked in different genres and it’s really harsh to compare their work,” Chakraborty said on being asked whose work he liked the best.

Chakraborty stated that no art could be created without relevance, and believes that the Bengali film industry is doing much better at present, than the low-grade films it was producing during the 90’s.

“Tollywood produced a number of very low quality films during the 80s and 90s. I think it was because of the competitive market,” said Chakraborty. “But Rituparno da‘s Unishe April, which was released in 1994, was a ground-breaking piece of work. At present, Tollywood is making films of a much better quality.”

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CM of West Bengal at Kolkata International Film Festival
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Konennica Banerjee at Kolkata International Film Festival
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Bangladeshi director Munsun Ali addressing a press cconference regarding his film ’71 er Shongram’ at Kolkata International Film Festival.
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Tollywood actor Chiranjit Chakraborty and actress Shatabdi Roy at an event in Kolkata International Film Festival.
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Actor Chinmoy Roy and actress Shatabdi Roy at an event in Kolkata International Film Festival.
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Bikram Ghosh attending a quiz competition at Kolkata International Film Festival

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(Edited by Roshni Chakrabarty)

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Oscar Nominees Furious Over Exclusion From Telecast

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild's industry siblings

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Hollywood filmmakers like Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro and leading craftspeople have condemned a decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to hand out four awards during commercial breaks in the hope of trimming the shows (Oscars) run time.

Nominees and their colleagues from the commercial-banished categories of cinematography, make-up and hairstyling, film editing, and live action shorts slammed the decision in interviews and via heated posts on social media, reports variety.com.

“I find it depressing that they are doing this. Hopefully it won’t be like the part of the show where they play clips from the Sci-Tech awards dinner. That always feels a bit sad, like they didn’t get invited to the real party,” said cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, a nominee this year for “Never Look Away”.

Deschanel is referencing the Academy’s annual Scientific and Technical Awards, held two weeks before the Oscars and typically hosted by a celebrity, which honours technical achievement in film.

Deschanel has been nominated six times stretching back to 1983’s “The Right Stuff”, but has yet to win.

Filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, a multiple-nominee for producing, directing, writing and cinematography for “Roma”, criticised the Academy’s decision.

“In the history of cinema, masterpieces have existed without sound, without colour, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without cinematography and without editing,” wrote Cuaron.

Three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki called it “an unfortunate decision”.

Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro said he “would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but cinematography and editing are at the very heart of our craft”.

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An Oscar Award.

“They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition. They are cinema itself,” del Toro said.

Drake Doremus, indie director behind the late Anton Yelchin’s “Like Crazy”, even called for a “boycott”.

In a memo outlining the changes, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey said representatives from categories that were shunted off to the commercial breaks volunteered to have their award presented off-camera.

However, the board members who represent those crafts don’t speak for the unions or guild membership.

The show’s director, Glenn Weiss, will determine what emotionally resonant moments from the four speeches make it to air later in the broadcast, according to an individual close to the production.

Also Read- Sri Lanka May Soon Introduce a GPS Tracking System to Foil Human, Drug Smuggling Via Sea

The show will cut any comment from presenters, as well as any recitation of the nominees, said the insider. While Bailey said the speeches will air in their entirety, that may not be the case on the big night as broadcasters reserve the right to cut them, the source said.

“This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimising our fundamental creative contributions,” said Kees van Oostrum, President of American Society of Cinematographers, in a statement on Tuesday.

“To find out so close to the actual awards that you’ll be in the commercial break, it’s disappointing,” Lee Smith, last year’s film editing winner for “Dunkirk”, said.

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild’s industry siblings. (IANS)