The 15th Kolkata International Film Festival ran from 11-17th November and it was a privilege to be able to attend some of the screenings.
The festival is non-competitive and aims to bring the best in global cinema to the cultural capital of India. The event is funded by the Government of West Bengal and as a consequence its main function is to bring a range of films to cinephiles in Kolkata. It takes place mainly on the site of various auditoria built by the government for the cultural benefit of the city and the delegates are mostly students, filmmakers and actors from West Bengal. Invited guests tend to be international filmmakers flown in to discuss their films.
This year the festival had its budget cut by 30% and also faced serious security issues after an increase in activity by Maoists in North East India. I did wonder if it was all going to happen at all, especially when the festival’s website seemed to be out of action. But at the last moment, the festival sprang into life. I’ll report on some of what happened over the next few days.