Bollywood Superstar Amitabh Bachchan on Saturday inaugurated the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) and paid tribute to technicians and all those who work behind the scenes to make films successful. The actor also called for restoration and preservation of old films for future generations.
“Today there is a need to talk about those who worked behind the scenes of celebrated film productions, accomplished technicians and the creative minds that are never given their due. It is more often than not it is the director, hero or heroine who are remembered by the people for the success or failure of a particular film. But unfortunately not enough credit is given to the achievements of whose who work behind the scenes,” Bachchan said in his address.
The Bollywood superstar said that the technicians in film industry remain “anonymous”.
“Do you ever watch the credits at the end of a film and wonder why so many people are involved? Film-making is a team effort and every member, big or small, has a key role to play. Some, a very few, though, remain seated till credits end…,” he said.
Bachchan also cited various examples of technicians who are never truly given their due.
“Does anyone remember R D Mathur, the cinematographer of the spectacular Mughal-e-Azam, or Dwaraka Divecha, who filmed Sholay, one of Hindi cinema’s biggest blockbusters…?” said the veteran actor.
The 24th edition of KIFF Saturday witnessed a star-studded inauguration at Netaji Indoor Stadium. The festival will continue till November 17.
As many as 171 films and 150 short and documentary films from 70 countries will be screened at the 24th KIFF across 16 venues. The 24th edition of the festival will commemorate the 100 years of Bengali Cinema. Australia has been selected as the ‘focus country’ for the festival, while Tunisia has been selected as ‘special focus country’.
A delegation of Australian film-makers comprising Simon Baker, Philip Noyce and others attended the inaugural ceremony along with Iranian film-maker Majid Majidi, actors Jaya Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, film-maker Mahesh Bhatt and a host of Bengali film stars, including veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee.
Shah Rukh Khan has regretted that he is yet to receive a national film awards while none of his movies have ever made it to events such as the Kolkata International Film Festival. Using this opportunity, Khan screened the trailer of his upcoming film “Zero” at the inaugural ceremony after taking permission from Mamata.
“…maybe, in the next 10 years, there will come a time, when one of my films will get selected at an international festival of this standard. It’s really unfortunate and sad, I have never got a national award…,” he said.