- 34ºc, Sunny
- Tuesday, 18th June, 2019
Cine Central, Calcutta, the largest film society in India, came into existence at a time when there was great socio-economic-cultural upheaval throughout the world. Creative film-makers in various countries were experimenting and evolving new language of cinema—transforming cinema from mere entertainment to the most powerful medium of our time. There was very little scope to view those great films. A band of young film-enthusiasts decided to form a society to present the best of world cinema to the film-lovers of this city. The first show of the society was held at Tiger cinema on Sunday, 31st October, 1965 with the screening of Russian film ‘The Road to Life’. The first committee was headed by veteran film director Madhu Bose and legendary film director Satyajit Ray as Vice- Presidents. Our society was fortunate to have B. N. Sircar, founder of New Theater Studio, and Nitin Bose, the famous film director, as Presidents. Cine Central, Calcutta is a reputed non-government organization, devoted to the cause of film culture. It is registered under The West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961, and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976. Our society believes in using cinema for social cause and developmental works. Our activities now go beyond this city—at remote district levels—collaborating with other social organizations. This society regularly organizes film sessions and film festivals with emphasis on a particular country or director or any specific theme. We also presented retrospectives of many young as well as veteran film directors of both India and abroad, some of whom were physically present in the programmes. We did focus in films from many countries which were never screened in this city before. Cine Central, Calcutta, paid equal attention to Indian Cinema also. In 1966, we organized the first-ever festival of Indian cinema, where regional films were shown. Our society regularly screens award-winning and important regional films.
Chitrabikshan—a monthly film journal and number of booklets on various aspects of cinema published by our society have always been appreciated by film-scholars and enthusiasts. Another important part of our activities is holding seminars and symposia on different aspects of cinema.
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 was known for its unique film selection and became popular as festival of festival films. However, in 1998, this festival was restructured and renamed as ‘International Forum of New Cinema’.
‘International Forum of New Cinema’ is the landmark programme of our society. It's heartening to note that various diplomatic Mission, film-makers and film-producing countries are extending their helping hands. Every year in the month of February-March ‘International Forum of New Cinema’ is held with great success.
We believe cinema can be a powerful tool for education to broaden the knowledge of children. Keeping this in view, every year we organised ‘International Children's Film Festival in 1971.Now every year our Society hold International Children's Film Festival with the support of UNICEF–West Bengal office, to take the festival films to under-privileged children and rural areas across the state.
We have accomplished many goals, but a long-cherished dream still remains unfulfilled. We are striving to have an ‘Art Theatre’ where we can hold regular shows for our members, discerning public and children. Our proposed ‘Art Theatre’ can surely fulfill this vacuum and become a rallying point for a new vibrant film culture.
Over fifty five years our society has taken a leading role to spread film culture among the masses. We solicit your active support to continue our work for promotion of universal film culture.