Kolkata, Nov 3 (PTI) The 24th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) beginning November 10 will showcase 171 feature films and 150 shorts and docus from 70 countries, organisers said Saturday. Also Read - Islamophobia: Bengali School in Indore Forces Muslim Students to Write Class 12 Board Exam Outside Hall Due to COVID-19 Scare

‘Antony Firingee’, the 1967 Bengali classic, will be the inaugural movie of the eight-day extravaganza that has Australia as the ‘focus country’. Also Read - Speaking in Fluent Bengali, Shashi Tharoor Requests Migrant Workers to Remain In Kerala | Watch

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan will inaugurate the festival and celebrated Iranian director Majid Majidi and Australian film makers Philip Noyce, Jill Bilcock and Simon Baker will be the guests of honour. Also Read - Bengali Actor Subhadra Mukherjee Quits BJP, Says 'Can't Continue In a Party Which Has Anurag Thakur & Kapil Mishra'

Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Jaya Bachchan, Wahida Rehman, Nandita Das and others would form the Bollywood star brigade at the inaugural programme at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, state minister and KIFF Chief Advisor Arup Biswas told a press meet here.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would preside over the programme.

Giving special accent on the 100 years of Bengali cinema in this edition of the KIFF, Sunil Banerjee directed ‘Antony Firingee’, starring Uttam Kumar and Tanuja, will be the inaugural film.

The films of the festival would be screened in 16 theatres across the city and Howrah, Information and Cultural Affairs department Principal Secretary Vivek Kumar said.

He said the best film will get Rs 51 lakh and the best director Rs 21 lakh, both will be receiving a golden ‘Royal Bengal Tiger’ trophy. The cash rewards are one of the highest in the world, Kumar said.

In the Competition Category, there will be sections such as International Competition, Innovation in Moving Images, Competition on Indian Language’s Films, Asian Select (NETPAC Award), Competition on Indian Documentary Films, and Competition on Indian Short Films.

Cinema International, Children’s Screening, Bengali Premiere, Documentary Films and Short Films and the like would form the Non-Competition Category.

The 321 feature, short and documentary films were selected 1500 entries from all over the world, the highest among all the 23 previous editions of the KIFF, Kumar said.

He said 26 films from Australia, the focus country, would be screened and there will be a retrospective section of 68-year-old director Philip Noyce.

Four acclaimed works of Iranian film maker Majidi will also be on the platter.

In the Cinema International 38 films from 32 countries will be screened.

As part of the tribute to 100 years of Bengali cinema, the Hiralal Sen Memorial Award will be conferred on the best film in the ‘Competition on Indian Language’s Films’ (Rs 7 lakh) and the best director (Rs 5 lakh), Minister of State for Information and Cultural Affairs Indranil Sen said.

On the 100 years of Bengali cinema, 14 timeless Bengali classics will be screened. Besides, there would be a special tribute section to veteran Bengali actor Supriya Devi where the Ritwik Ghatak directed ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ will be screened, the minister said.

A Bengali film directory chronicling the major films made during the period of 1917-2017 will be published during the festival and an exhibition on the 100th year of Bengali cinema to be organised, Sen said.

Eight films from Tunisia, the Special Focus country, will be screened in the festival.

This year the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture will be given by actor-director Nandita Das.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.