Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday deferred the 26th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) to January 8-15 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The marquee event celebrating actors and movies was earlier scheduled to be held between November 5-12.
“After receiving global film fraternity’s consent, I hereby inform all stakeholders of the Kolkata International Film Festival & cine lovers that our festival has been rescheduled, given the current circumstances. It will now be held from Jan 8-15, 2021. Let the preparations begin!” Banerjee tweeted.
After the announcement, KIFF said that the festival was likely to held online this year. “In view of Covid-19 pandemic, the 26th edition of Kolkata International Film Festival has been designed in a smarter frame giving due importance to social distancing. This edition is proposed primarily in online mode for the cine lovers, critics, actors and others so that they continue to feel the pulse of the gala international film festival in the cultural capital of India,” said KIFF on its website.
Physical screenings in a restrained manner were organised in the Shanghai International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival in July and September respectively, but at that time the pandemic was abating in those two places.
Film director Goutam Ghosh, who is a key member of the organising committee, told the PTI news agency, “It is a wise decision. As we want to screen films in theatres for the people of the state who love to watch cinema, we cannot keep them out of the event.”
Asked if the festival would be held in physical format or digital ones, Ghosh said, “Let me tell you, the selection of all films in different sections has already been completed. So there would not have been any problem in digital screening even during November. But the chief minister and everyone involved in this festival, including me, want public participation…”
Started in 1995, KIFF is one of the oldest film festivals in India, and over the years has become a star-studded annual event. It is organised by the state Information and Cultural Affairs department.
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