The 24th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) kicked off on November 10, and it was attended by Bollywood superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Waheeda Rehman and Jaya Bachchan. Some of the stars have been making an appearance at the festival regularly, and one of them was Amitabh, who brought up the same topic when it was time for him to give a speech.

Amitabh was greeted with peals of laughter when he earnestly pleaded in Bengali with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to excuse him from the next edition of the KIFF. The actor said he has become too frequent an invitee to the event that he does not have anything new to speak on.

“I am here again. Had pleaded repeatedly with CM Mamata Banerjee to please stop inviting me again, but she never listens. So I am here,” Amitabh said with a mischievous smile.

Amitabh added that since Mamata Banerjee had earlier not heeded his pleas, he will now try to convince her in Bengali.

“Mamataji antoto ebar sunun. Aar parbo na ma. Rakkha korun (Mamataji please listen to me now. Please madam spare me from now on),” he said prompting another bout of laughter.

Mamata, who was sitting on the podium among other dignitaries, shook her head in rejection of the plea. She later addressed both Amitabh and Shah Rukh in her speech and them they would have to attend next year also as it will be 25th year of the festival.

“Let me say Bachchanji you have to come next year again as it will be the 25th year of KIFF. Shah Rukh will also have to come. He is my brother. It is a connect between brother and sister. We will seek guidance from both Amitji and SRK about how to conduct the next edition of KIFF, which is the 25th, in a grand way. We should start preparation from now,” she added.

Shah Rukh had also spoken at the inauguration of the festival, mentioning the fact that he is sad he has never got a national film award.