Unlike last year, this year I feel more connected to the 12th Kolkata Film Festival which was inaugurated yesterday, because of my increasing fondness for good cinema.
Like in the past this year too this Rs 1-crore fest is being organised by the strapped-on-cash state govt. at the behest of the spirited, culture-loving CM who will carry on with his job of organising this prestige city event even after the central govt showed reluctance to any financial assistance despite repeated formal requests. Hats off, Buddhababu !!
The fare is exciting this year, unlike past years as most of the foreign films (Except retro cinema) are new, released in 2005 or this year. But I was disappointed to see only three new Bengali films- Swapner Din and Kaalpurush by Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Teen Yari Katha by Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha and co-produced by Ideas of Prosenjit. Nobody seems to know if the first two will ever get released, as they are known to be stuck in commercial release for want of distributors to pick them up. As reported by the media, the distributors' reluctance to arthouse cinema was not the reason here, though. It was, strangely, the terms (Read 'price') set by the Mumbai-based producer Jhammu Sugand. We the lovers of good Bengali cinema are frustrated at this turn of events, especially because Kaalpurush is Rahul Bose's first Bengali film.
Was keen to watch Teen Yaari Katha, but alas, it is being screened in Nandan and hence is meant for delegates and guests only. Am eagerly awaiting its release since it looks promising, with a cast of Parambrata, Rudraneel and Neel (All well-known faces on Bengali TV, Param also known for his select good work on the big screen too.) and an urban story of the life of three friends and their aspirations and dreams. I applaud Prosenjit to back this film. It shows his desire to give something back to the Bengali cinema audience who has given him so much.