The 25th edition of Kolkata International Film Festival is taking place from 8th to 15th November 2019 at Netaji Indoor Stadium. The festival was inaugurated by Shah Rukh Khan on Friday, in the presence of Chief Minister West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and film stars such as Andie MacDowell and Rakhi Gulzar. Shah Rukh Khan, in his opening speech, thanked the organisers for giving him the opportunity to sit next to Andie MacDowell, saying he had loved her since he was 26 years old.
The superstar also thanked Mamata Banerjee for the film festival and highlighted how Kolkata and Bengal have always had ‘such wonderful stories’ to tell through its films and literature. The 54-year-old actor, who owns franchise cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders, revealed he was introduced to the city by Sourav Ganguly. Towards the end of his speech, when SRK was talking about celebrating diversity in India, the audience started cheering loudly. He responded to their cheers by saying how ‘nobody takes serious speeches of movie stars seriously’ and added jokingly, “At the end of all, I am just a good looking face. Ya, that's it."
He further said his presence would be useless if he did not deliver any dialogues, as per audience expectations. He then went on to improvise and utter one of his popular dialogues from his film Raees. He said, “Ammijan kehti thi, ki koi film festival chota ya bada nehi hota. Lekin KIFF se sundar koi bhi dusra festival nahin hota." (My mother used to say, no film festival is small or big. But no other festival can be more beautiful than KIFF). The festival opened with Satyajit Ray’s children’s classic Goopy Gayen Bagha Bayen, which is celebrating its 50th year. The eight-day festival is showcasing 214 feature films and 152 shorts and documentaries from 76 countries.