The entire state was on a red alert due to cyclone Bulbul. And the area around the Nandan premises was a sorry picture of collapsed hoardings and kiosks. But even the incessant rain and howling wind couldn’t dampen the spirit of the city’s film enthusiasts. Since morning, filmmakers, including Volker Schlondorff and Vaclav Marhoul, gathered at the venue to introduce their films. And the long queues of enthusiasts did not disappoint them either.Outside, the Bulbul-related weather was making life difficult. Till 8.30 pm on Saturday, the city had already witnessed around 86 mm of rainfall since the earlier evening. Streets were almost empty and high winds were howling all around. And the cyclone hadn’t even made landfall till then. Around noon, the Nandan area was teeming with hundreds of umbrellas. “This is the true spirit of Kolkata,” said an on-duty government official who did not want to be named. “We initially thought it would be a difficult day. But it was really satisfying to see so many people queuing up to celebrate cinema,” the official added.
“It took me a while to get a pass this year. For today, I borrowed my friend’s pass to the screening of Vaclav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird. It is impossible to miss the film festival. I knew it would rain, but all my friends are here, so I couldn’t resist,” said Satyaki Banik, a college student and film enthusiast. Since morning, uncertainty was looming over the media corner. ‘Will Rakhee come to inaugurate the exhibition at Gaganendra Pradarshanshala?’ was the question that was doing the rounds. Finally, she came and graced the event. Her comeback film, Nirban, was screened at Nandan I in the Competition on Indian Language’s Films section.
Source: Times of India