Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Bengal's current Covid situation forces organisers to postpone 27th Kolkata International Film Festival

The 27th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival, which was slated for January 7-14, has been postponed. The next date of the festival will be shared soon said the KIFF organising team. However, it was only yesterday, the organizing committee had announced that the 27th edition of the KIFF will go on albeit with a 50% capacity in cinema halls and a virtual inauguration ceremony. However, due to the current surge in Covid-19 cases across Bengal, especially in Kolkata, the festival has been postponed temporarily. 

The decision was announced by the West Bengal government through a statement. A number of Tollywood personalities attached to the organizing committee have tested positive over the past few days and the Covid-19 situation in Bengal is in quite an alarming state right now. While filmmaker Raj Chakraborty, the chairperson of 27th KIFF, had tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time, Actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay, chairperson of KIFF's short and documentary section has also tested positive as he revealed on social media. 

However, it was only on Tuesday, West Bengal Minister of State for Culture Indranil Sen had told the media that 10 venues across the city will host this year's film festival with a 50% occupancy. But now, after assessing the current situation the state government and the KIFF organizing committee have decided to cancel it for the time being. The ten venues which were supposed to screen the films were Nandan's three halls, Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, Nazrul Tirtha, Rabindra Okakura Bhavan, Chalachitra Satabarsha Bhavan, and the Kolkata Information Centre Conference Hall. A total of 161 films, including 46 Indian and 41 foreign films, were supposed to be screened during the 8-day film festival. 

When contacted KIFF officials said, “After assessing the present Covid situation of the State and taking into consideration the possibility of further contamination of Covid among the cine lovers and citizens and also owing to the fact that a number of cine personalities attached to film festival committee and many others have been affected by Covid, State Government, upon careful consideration to the safety of the citizens have decided to temporarily postpone the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival scheduled to be held between 7-14 January, 2022. Next date of the Festival will be communicated in due course.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was supposed to inaugurate the film festival virtually from the Nabanna auditorium. Satyajit Ray's Aranyer Din Ratri was scheduled to be the opening film this year. 

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