Under the shadow of fresh violence in Nandigram, the 13th Kolkata Film Festival that will showcase 247 films from 56 countries kickstarted on Saturday.
The eight-day festival was inaugurated by West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi who said black and white films leave a greater impact on the mind, because they can create "a large family of grey shades".
A film market and separate exhibitions on three eminent filmmakers will be held as part of the state-sponsored festival. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said special emphasis have been given on films from Latin American countries. "As far as possible, we have tried to include films made during 2006-07."
Bhattacharjee said besides the state government's cultural complex Nandan, screenings would be held at eight other theatres in and around the city. Besides, small festivals were also being organised at Siliguri, Burdwan and Barasat.
Eminent filmmakers Mrinal Sen and Shyam Benegal, besides actor Soumitra Chatterjee were also present on the occasion.
Earlier in the day, filmmaker and actress Aparna Sen called on the people of West Bengal to fight for the cause of Nandigram just as they did for Rizwanur Rahman.
Sen, boycotting the film festival, was joined by filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, writer Mahasweta Devi and activist Medha Patkar in her cause.