Kolkata, for the first time, is to host a Greek Film Festival that will screen selected cinema from Greek maestros at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI).
The initiative is a collaborative effort by the Embassy of Greece in India, SRFTI, IndoHellenic Friendship League and the Forum for Film Studies and Allied Arts (FFSAA).
Cinephiles in the city who are just getting over the hangover of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) and even begun missing it, can now brace up for the city’s first-of-its-kind Greek film festival.
The event, named “1st Kolkata Greek Film Festival”, which is a collaborative initiative, hopes to bring to the Kolkatans a specially curated list of Greek cinema.
The films will be screened at the SRFTI main auditorium from 25 to 29 November. Speaking about the initiative and importance of Greek cinema, Ashoke Viswanathan, the eminent director and Dean at SRFTI, told The Statesman: “Greek cinema is important in the context of world cinema. To name one maestro, Theodoros Angelopoulos has fascinated the world with his films such as Eternity and a Day, The Beekeeperand several others. His films have also been screened earlier at the Kolkata film festival. One must note that Greek cinema isn’t just cinema but a reflection of the Greek society that is a melange of post modern generation on one hand, and on the other, it has its reservoir of traditional architecture, literature, philosophy, poetry, music, cinema and art. The country has a rich cultural history along with its own sets of turmoil, both economical and political.”
The national award winning director pointed out that Greek cinema shares a long history with the Kolkata film festival.
Mr Viswanathan, recalling an anecdote, said: “During one of the Kolkata film festivals, the Greek film director Kostas Aristopoulos had come down to the city. The director confessed that his English is poor, to which the then Nandan head, Mr Prabod Maitra, smiled and replied, that at least it won’t be Greek to us.”
Speaking on the similarity of Indian and Greek cinema, he pointed out: “Greece in certain terms is very similar to India, especially West Bengal, which has multitudes of parties, protests, theatres etc. Rome is also similar to Greece in the ancient unfolding of culture.”
The list of films that are to be screened at SRFTI, include: Wild Duckby Yannis Sakaridis on 25 November at 6 p.m; The Last Homecoming by Korinna Avraamidou on 26 November at 6 p.m; Pandoraby Yiorgos Stamboulopoulos on 27 November at 6 p.m; World’s Apartby Chritoforos Papakaliatis on 28 November at 6 pm.
On the last day, the Earth &Waterby Panos Karkanevatos at 4 pm and Alpsby Yorgos Lanthimos at 6 p.m.
Mr Vishwanathan will be present as the chief guest while film director and president FFSAA, Goutam Ghose, will be present as a guest of honour among other eminent personalities.