Kolkata, Nov 11 ():The 19th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) was inaugurated by Indian cinema’s famous faces Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Mithun Chakraborty and Kamal Haasan on Sunday, November 10 along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
While Amitabh, his wife Jaya, SRK, Kamal and Mithun lighted the ceremonial lamp, veteran artists from Bengali cinema, including actor and guest of honour Prosenjit Chatterjee, followed suit at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
Other celebrities who attended the event were actors Konkona Sen Sharma, singer Usha Uthup, actor-filmmaker Aparna Sen and former Indian football captain P.K. Banerjee.
Commenting on the association between literature and cinema, Bachchan said the “inspiration to most works of cinema has, to me, been the contribution made by the written word.” He said young film makers all over the country may like to characteristically look upon those who make films based on stories from literature. Amitabh Bachchan also mesmerised the audience by speaking few lines in Bengali.
Overwhelmed for being invited to inaugurate the film festival, megastar Shah Rukh Khan said he would learn Bengali from actress-politician Jaya Bachchan to be a “true Bengali”.
Shah Rukh Khan further added that film festivals were the most basic human expressions of collected happiness over the life he had ever thought. He hoped creative interactions of such scale helped to offer a boost to Indian films and also helped the Indian cinema to reach greater heights.
Kamal Haasan described himself as an “extramural student of cinema,” and said that film festivals were “temples of learning” where he went to learn. He further added it was not the first time he got support from Kolkata. Earlier, he said it had happened when certain people opposed the screening of his film, Hey Ram.
Jaya Bachchan addressed her husband Amitabh, SRK, and Kamal Haasan as “non-real Bengalis.”