Australia will be the focus country of the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival, set to be inaugurated by Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan in the presence of superstars of Indian cinema, including Shah Rukh Khan, in Kolkata on November 10, the organisers announced on Saturday.
A carousal of 171 feature films, 150 shorts and documentaries from 70 countries will be on show at the festival, with the 1967 Bengali classic Antony Firingee being the inaugural movie of the eight-day festival.
Besides Bachchan, vIranian director Majid Majidi, and Australian directors Simon Baker, Jill Bilcock and Philip Noyce will grace the opening ceremony, to be presided over by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
Sanjay Dutt, Jaya Bachchan, Wahida Rehman, Nandita Das will also be present at the opening ceremony, said state youth and sports minister and KIFF chief adviser Aroop Biswas.
The best film will be given an award of Rs5.1 million (Dh257,411), and the best director Rs2.1 million, with both receiving a golden trophy christened “Royal Bengal Tiger”.
He said Antony Firingee, with Uttam Kumar and Tanuja in the lead, was chosen as the inaugural film to mark the 100 years of Bengali cinema.
Twenty six films from Australia will be on show, with Philip Noyce being honoured with a retrospective.