Kolkata: Legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece ‘Aranyer Din Ratri’ will be the inaugural movie of the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), to be held here from April 25 to May 1.

A bouquet of 163 movies from 40 countries, including 104 feature films, will be screened across 10 venues of the festival, which was originally slated for November 2021 but was deferred due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, KIFF director Raj Chakraborty said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would be inaugurating the mega event. Over 1 lakh people are expected to attend the seven-day gala, he said.

As a mark of tribute to Ray on his birth centenary year, ‘Pather Panchali’, ‘Nayak’, ‘Hirak Rajar Deshe’, ‘Inner Eye’ and ‘Bala’ would also be screened.

A special section has been arranged in memory of filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta, legendary actor Dilip Kumar, Bengali actress actor Swatilekha Sengupta and European directors Jean Paul Belmondo, Jean Claude Carriere, and Je Luc Godard, Chakraborty said.

Finland, being the focus country of 27th KIFF, at least six films from the country will be screened.

The Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture, this year, will be delivered by ‘Piku’ director Shoojit Sircar on the second day, while exhibitions would be organised to honour late singers Lata Mangeskar, Sandhya Mukhopadhay and Bappi Lahiri.

Goutam Ghosh, renowned filmmaker and senior KIFF committee member, said competitions will be held in three categories — innovation in moving images, Indian language films and short films.

“Many independent movies are being made all over the country and the world. This festival wants to acknowledge some of the best works,” Ghosh said.

Minister of State for Forest Birbaha Hansda, who was also present at the press meet, said eight films made in indigenous languages such as Santhali, Rajbanshi and Bodo will be shown at the festival.

Chakraborty requested people to wear masks and follow COVID-19 guidelines when they attend the festival.

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