The Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), scheduled to be held in November, has been deferred to January next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday.
Initially the 26th edition of the KIFF, with limited number of visitors, was scheduled to be held from November 5 to 12. It will now be organised from January 8 to 15, 2021.
Banerjee posted on her twitter handle, “After receiving global film fraternity’s consent, I hereby inform all stakeholders of Kolkata International Film Festival & cinelovers that our festival has been rescheduled, given the current circumstances. “It will now be held from Jan 8-15, 2021. Let the preparations begin!”
Ace film director Goutam Ghosh, who is a key member of the organising committee, told PTI, “it is a wise decision. As we want to screen films in theatres for the people of the state who love to watch cinema, we cannot keep them out of the event.”
Asked if the festival will be held in physical format or digital ones, Ghosh said, “let me tell you, the selection of all films in different sections has already been completed. So there would not have been any problem in digital screening even during November.
“But the chief minister and everyone involved in this festival, including me, want public participation in this annual carnival of world and regional movies. This had been the main objective of KIFF all these years. We don’t want to change that inclusiveness.”
Physical screenings in a restrained manner were organised in the Shanghai International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival in July and September respectively, but at that time the pandemic was abating in those two places.