Kolkata’s very own international film festival, since inception, has remained synonymous with Government sponsored cultural hub, called Nandan. However, 2011 saw an exception, and this state government aided film centre lost its place to Netaji Indoor Stadium as the venue for inauguration.
Much to the delight of cine lovers in Bengal, finally in 1995 Kolkata got its own way to celebrate and witness the work from legendary movie Mughals from all corners of the globe. Kolkata International Film Festival was the official recognition of this movie fest, the second oldest in Indian film genre, organized by Bengal Film Centre, a statutory body of Government of West Bengal. This status was justified, especially after considering Bengal’s huge contribution made to Indian and global cinema, and the ruling party of West Bengal at that time chose Nandan as the best option to host this gala event. From that time, it remained the nerve centre of Kolkata Film Festival, and within two years, it earned the prestigious recognition from International Federation of Film Producer’s Association, the global controller of all such international film events conducted by its member countries.
Nandan witnessed the participation of 140 directors from 60 odd countries, and a whopping 180 films in the last year’s film festival edition. After being inaugurated by late Satyajit Ray in 1985, this center for films and other cultural practices has kept enjoying the monopoly status as the most preferred venue for any international or similar category events. After the political power changeover in 2011, Nandan was replaced by Netaji Indoor Stadium as the new venue for inauguration of this festival.
Often the administrative officials of Nandan were accused of super censorship regarding screening the films during the festival, an allegation made by the movie directors whose movies were banned from showing at this auditorium (One day from a hangman’s life by Josey Joseph, Harbert by Suman Mukherjee to name a few). During 2007 film festival, Nandan saw the protest march led by the cultural personalities to raise voice against the mass killing in Nandigram. At that time, Nadnan made into the international headlines, but not for any film issues.