Soumitra Chatterjee frowns at KIFF inauguration venue

Kolkata, Nov 11: Iconic Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee Sunday said the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) was “losing its character and seriousness” following the shift of the inauguration ceremony from the traditional state-run Nandan Auditorium.

“Have you ever heard any film festival being inaugurated at a stadium? The film festival is losing its character and seriousness. It is a film festival and not a circus,” said the Dadasahab Phalke Award recipient.

“The festival like before should be inaugurated at the Nandan (auditorium). Let’s not belittle it by moving away from tradition,” added Chatterjee.

After coming to power in 2011, the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government took the hitherto “elitist” KIFF closer to masses by shifting the venue of inaugural ceremony to the Netaji Indoor Stadium from the Nandan.

A brain child of former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the KIFF used to be a somber affair with a low key inauguration mostly participated by national and international critically acclaimed filmmakers.

But Banerjee has added glamour to the festival, inviting Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Sharmila Tagore to throw open the event.

Known for his pro-Left leanings, Chatterjee, otherwise a regular to the KIFF has been skipping the event since the last edition.

IANS