It is no hidden secret that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan loves Kolkata and the people of the city. Interestingly, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has also been reciprocating the feelings in kind. Shah Rukh has confessed that Banerjee sends him a rakhi every year. Most recently, at the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival, the duo had shared the same kind of warmth and the Bollywood superstar did not fail to share the moment with his fans on social media. Shah Rukh took to Twitter and shared a picture of himself and Mamata hugging each other. He captioned the picture as,”Too much fun and love at KIFF 2017. Love my Kolkata & as always the warmth of @MamataOfficial…U r the sweetest.” Curtains were raised at the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival with the screening of Iranian film ‘Yellow’. Altogether 143 films from India and abroad will be screened in the eight-day festival which was inaugurated at the packed Netaji Indoor Stadium. Megastars Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Kamal Haasan, besides British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, were present at the inaugural function.
“The KIFF has become the landmark for showcasing best cinema across the world and he is happy to be back in a city which always holds special memories,” Bachchan said. Bachchan, who delivered the main address on the inauguration, said the Rajesh Roshan composed ‘Chukar mere man ko’ song which was shot in the same Netaji Indoor Stadium, the festival inauguration venue, for the film Yaarana. Bengalis love music, from Tagore songs to Baul songs, he said and described how Bengali culture had influenced the music in Hindi film industry for ages. Acting legend Kamal Haasan said his heart swelled with pride to be considered family by the people of Kolkata.
“Here film festival is not just a ritual, but it is a celebration, of what we love as part of our lives. We belong to an august crowd like you that celebrates cinema every year in this way,” he said. Shah Rukh Khan said,”It is a wonderful feeling to come back to Kolkata and be with all of you and a big round of applause for you all for making this successful.” In her concluding speech, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the KIFF is number one in the country on a number of counts. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, actor Kajol, singer Kumar Sanu were also present on the stage along with a galaxy of Bengali film personalities including 23rd KIFF chairperson and veteran actor Sabitri Chatterjee.