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By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: The 5th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival kicked off on December 22 at Nandan in the presence of Finance Minister Amit Mitra, Minister of housing, youth affairs, transport and sport Aroop Biswas, and Minister of women and child development and social welfare Shashi Panja.

‘An anthology on the life and works of Laurel and Hardy’ was launched at the festival to commemorate the 125th birth centenary of renowned comic actors Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton.

The first day of the festival saw the screening of two films– ‘Killa’ directed by Avinash Arun, and ‘The Last Day of Summer Vacation’ directed by Shri Debesh Chattopadhyay.

“Due to the effect of globalization, we are gradually losing our childhood,” said Amit Mitra.

He further congratulated Arpita Ghosh and the entire team of Shishu Kishore Academy for organising this film festival and for giving children the opportunity to show their creativity.

“Some children at this tender age has glorified India’s image in front of the entire world. I congratulate the entire team of ‘Killa’ and especially the director Avinash Arun for achieving the most prestigious Crystal Bear Award in the Berlin International Film Festival”, added Mitra.

“Today the parents want their children to be Lata Mangeskar if they learn music, Sourav Ganguly in cricket, Baichun Bhutia in football. The pressure created is pathetic! If everyone has to be the ‘best’, the word would lose its very meaning,” said Aroop Biswas

“However, I commend the efforts of the members of Shishu Kishore Academy, and our chief miniter Mamata Banerjee for organising a film festival based on children,” he added.

“I don’t understand how children come in conflict with the law. How do we become so complex when growing up towards adulthood?” said Shashi Panja.

The week-long festival which ends on December 29 will screen 160 films from 20 countries at different venues such as Nandan-I, Nandan-II, Nandan-III, Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, Star Theatre, Rabindra Tirtha and Ahindra Mancha.

The festival will drop its curtain with the film ‘Pappu ki Pugdandi’ directed by Seema Desai.



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