A film Society with a difference
Cine Central, Calcutta came into existence at a time when there was great socio –economic-cultural upheaval throughout the world. Cinema was changing very fast. The creative filmmakers in various countries were experimenting and evolving a new language of cinema – transforming cinema from mere entertainment to the most powerful medium of our time. We felt the urge to showcase the best of world cinema to the eager people of this City and beyond. The first show of the society was held at Tiger Cinema on 31st October 1965 with the screening of “The Road to Life” and very soon our society became an established name in the Indian film cultural arena.
By breaking the stranglehold of “Hollywood Cinema”, the Film societies in general and Cine Central in particular ushered in a new era of Film Culture. The films, which cineaste had only read in Newspapers & Magazines, were now in front of them. The film lovers of the city at last got the opportunity to enjoy contemporary films of the Continent, Eastern Europe, and the Third World countries.
The society regularly organized country specific, theme specific & Director specific, Film sessions and Film festivals. We also have had the oppourtunity to present Retrospective of many young and veteran Film Directors, some of them were personally present at the show like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, (India), Lester James Peries (Sri Lanka), Jiri Menzil (Czech), Paul Cox (Australia), Sumitra Peries (Sri Lanka), Sandor Sara (Hungary), Humberto Solas (Cuba) Gur Bentwich &Zsuzsa Boszormenyi(Hungary) Amanda Fox(Australia),Mrs.&Mr Rock Demers(Canada), Jonathan Paz , M. Bregman, Doron Eran & Ms Idit Sechori(Israel). Juan Fischer (Columbia),Isamat Ergashev(Uzbekistan),MS Yakiki Takayama(Japan) Roland Plaus (Germany) Rafi Bukaee(Israel) Vinko Bresen(Croatia) Eddy Terstall (Netherlands) Adak Drabinski(Poland) Meted Pevec(Slovenia) Kathryn Millard(Australia)Francoise Rossier, Erich Schmid & Narian Spandouk(Switzerland) Mrs& Mr Glorgos Skouran(Greece) Tarique Masud ,Catherine Masud and Tauquir Ahmed(Bangladesh)
Cine central, Calcutta believes in using cinema for the social cause. Keeping this in view in the early eighties we organized three successive International Children’s Film Festival and Fair at Kolkata Maidan opposite to Birla Planetarium with generous support and co-operation from the State Govt., UNICEF and various corporate Houses. Since 2006 we have made the Children’s Film Festival an annual event. Now International Children’s Film Festival has become an important program of our activity. We have made a sincere effort to reach the under privileged children by arranging shows in city slums, suburbs and also in the Districts. For organising this festival we are getting support from UNICEF, STATE GOVERNMENT and various NGO's.
The landmark programme of Cine Central, Calcutta is the International Forum of New Cinema. It is very pleasant to recall here that Cine Central, Calcutta introduced the first-ever Independent International Film Festival in India in 1986 under the name and style “Calcutta International Film Festival”. It began as a small local film event and slowly blossomed into one of the major Film Festival of the country. It was known for its unique film selection and came to be known as Festival of Festival films. However, in 1998 this festival underwent a major structural change and was renamed as “International Forum of New Cinema” and continues to be held every year from November 11 to 18, under the broad framework of Kolkata Film Festival organized by the Govt. of West Bengal.
The International Forum of New Cinema is an independent programme where we mainly source our films from abroad. It’s heartening to note that various Festival Directorate and Film Producing countries are extending their helping hands. But lack of adequate financial support has compelled us to curtail the dimension of the festival and also restrict the invitation to foreign delegates for the festival. Despite many odds we are committed to make this annual festival a memorable event. We invite all young film directors through out the world to send their new and experimental films for screening in the INTERNATIONAL FORUM OF NEW CINEMA.
We have accomplished many goals, but our long cherished dream still remains unfulfilled. For about fifty years we are striving to have a small ART THEATRE where we can hold regular shows for our members, discerning public and Children. In the age of Multiplexes the role of Art Theatre has not diminished, rather the need has become all the more important. In this City there is not a single hall where regular screenings of children films are held. Our proposed Art Theatre can surely fulfill this vacuum and become a rallying point for a new vibrant Film Culture. We hope and believe that soon our desire to have our own Art Theatre will come true. We solicit your co-operation and valued assistance to fulfill our goals.