Chief minister Mamata Banerjee urged the Kolkata International Film Festival organisers to hold next year’s inaugural event at Salt Lake stadium so that about one lakh people can watch the inaugural film.
“We are the only film festival where about 20,000 people watch a film at the same time at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. You cannot find another example in the world where such a large number of audience watch a film from a particular place. Let us start the plan for next year. Let us turn this festival into a grand one, like Cannes Film Festival. We have Salt Lake stadium which can accommodate one lakh people. If weather permits and technical aspects are taken care of, we can hold the inaugural ceremony of the festival there,” Mamata said.
“Earlier the inaugural function was held at Nandan (movie hall) where 250 to 300 people could attend. Later we shifted the ceremony to Netaji Indoor Stadium which accommodates 20,000 people. If we can do this, then let us attempt the next big thing,” she added. She also said that her government has restored the “status” of KIFF after coming to power.
“Many people question the number of festivals celebrated here. I want to ask them why should not be any festivals here? Will the people only cry and not smile and have fun? A festival is for all. This festival had lost its status under the erstwhile government. We have restored its status after coming to power (in 2011),” the chief minister added.