Calcutta set for carnival
THE 5TH Calcutta Film Festival, scheduled to be staged in the city between November 10 and 17, is moving on track. Close to 150 movies, selected from around 250 full-length features and shorts, are set to hit the screens in mid-November.
The festival directorate is also trying to get the distributor and producer buyers and sellers bazaar going. Despite attempts last year, the film market somehow did not get off the ground in the intended way. “This time round, distributors from Ecuador are set to arrive. Pakistan was also supposed to come....but a few problems have cropped now. Anyway, this is the first time that overseas distributors will be present with an eye to striking trade deals,” a senior directorate official said.
Among delegates and celebrities likely to grace the event, is one of the father figures of Italian cinema, Gillo Pontecorvo. “I had conveyed an invitation to Mr Pontecorvo and he is almost sure to come. He assured me of his Calcutta visit when I met him at the Satyajit Ray retro in Vienna recently,” film maker Gautam Ghosh, who is also chairman of the Calcutta Film Festival Committee, told The Economic Times. Festival directorate officials were flummoxed at reports about films getting stuck at customs. “No one has contacted us for a clarification on this score. This problem had cropped up earlier because of a new clearance rule, which funnily clubbed films temporarily brought for festival screening with other imports.
Festival officials said anywhere between 40-50 sponsors, from the public and private sector, had come forward to back the festival. “But, none had made any commitment on the sponsorship amount nor were we using pressure for such an assurance. Of the festival budget of Rs 1.5 crore, 50 per cent would be met by the state, with the rest being shared by public and private corporates. Thus, we wouldn’t like to single out any particular sponsor for special mention. Each is helping in varying degrees,” they said.