Kolkata: The Abhijan lead pair of Soumitra Chatterjee and Waheeda Rahman, are likely to attend the opening ceremony of the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), which will be held from 10 to 17 November. Abhijan, the 1962 film directed by Satyajit Ray, had Soumitra and Waheeda in the lead and was a major hit in the auteur’s career as a filmmaker.
Festival sources informed that Soumitra has accepted the West Bengal government’s invitation to be present on the dais at the inauguration of the festival to be held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. The actor acknowledged to the media that he has received the invitation.
The organisers have also reportedly convinced Waheeda to be present on the dais along with other dignitaries.
Soumitra, once a regular at the KIFF, last attended the event several years back.
Adapted from a novel by Tarashakar Bandopadhyay, Abhijan has been an influential film for several leading international filmmakers. Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese personally credited Ray and Abhijan as the influence behind his 1976 film Taxi Driver. The lead role in Scorsese’s film, Travis Bickle, was played by Robert De Niro. Taxi Driver has since been universally accepted as one of the greatest films of all times.
Soumitra, in Abhijan, played the role of a private car driver while Waheeda was cast as a widow trafficked by a local smuggler.