Kolkata: 8-year-old Kashmiri actor Talha Arshad Reshi inaugurates International Children's Film Fest
Talha Arshad Reshi, the 8-year-old child artiste of National award-winning Urdu film 'Hamid', inaugurated the 9th Kolkata International Children's Film Festival here on Sunday.
In his speech, the boy from Jammu and Kashmir said, "It is an honour for me to be here and get the opportunity (to inaugurate the festival)."
A total of 255 films from 35 countries will be screened during the eight days of the festival.
Reshi, who got the 'Best Child Actor' award at the 66th National Film Awards, said, "Hamid is the story of an 8- year-old child who loses his father in a conflict zone. I will request you to watch the film. You will love it."
Hamid's director Aijaz Khan, who was also present, said he was overwhelmed by the audience response in Kolkata, a city which loves good cinema.
Hungarian filmmaker Leila Jordi, who was also present as a special guest along with Khan, said she was amazed to see how big is the main venue of the festival, 'Nandan'.
"There are so many children present. It is fascinating. I am happy to learn that over 250 films from all over the world will be screened here. I hope you will also watch my film," Jordi said.
The Shishu Kishore Akademi is organizing the festival.
Akademi Chairperson Arpita Ghosh said there will be a special retrospective section in the film festival for three filmmakers popular among Indian children - Steven Spielberg, Nagesh Kukunoor and Tapan Sinha.
Filmmaker Sandip Ray, having made popular children's films on fictional sleuth Feluda and scientist-adventurer Professor Shonku, said the Halloween-themed decoration at the venue, complete with an image of the 'King of Ghosts' in Satyajit Ray's famous 'Goopey Gyne Bagha Byne', will attract children to the venue.
Information and Cultural Affairs department Secretary Piyali Sengupta said 255 films from 35 countries, covering all genres, will be screened during the festival in 10 venues in the city.
German film, "Alfons Jitterbit- Countdown to Chaos", by Mark Schlichter will have its Asian premiere at the festival.