Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, accompanied by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, lit the ceremonial lamp at the opening ceremony of the 18th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) here Saturday.
Amitabh Bachchan was the first to light the lamp, followed by Shah Rukh and Banerjee. Veterans from Bengali cinema also followed suit.
Bollywood biggies Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, Mithun Chakrabarty and their counterparts from the Bengali film industry, delegates from across the country and abroad, as also the creme de la creme of the culture-loving city were at the Netaji Indoor Stadium to attend the opening of KIFF -- the second oldest international film festival of India.
The glitzy opening ceremony dawned with a vibrant orchestra by Debajyoti Mishra, whose troupe presented a melodious medley of evergreen Hindi and Bengali songs punctuated with some unforgettable Rabindra Sangeet.
As the band sung the ever-inspiring "Ekla chalo re", both Amitabh and Anushka were seen moving their lips in harmony. Amitabh had sung the song in Bollywood film "Kahaani".
Banerjee herself felicitated the guests of honour including Amitabh and Shah Rukh by draping them with an uttariya (scarf).
Around 189 movies, a heady mix of socio-communicational themes and popular entertainment from 60 countries, is slated to be screened at the festival spread across 11 venues and having a budget of Rs.3 crore.
The opening movie of the fest was Iranian director Asghar Farhidi's "A Separation".
The fest will end Nov 17.