KOLKATA (C.M. Paul) — The third edition of the Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTIFF) 2010 was inaugurated at NANDAN ONE, the West Bengal state government’s cine complex, 26 August 2010. It will last four days and will run in all four halls of the cine centre. The festival opened with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by Cardinal Thelesphore Toppo of Ranchi, Archbishop Lucas Sircar of Kolkata, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity Sr Prema, CEO of Nandan Mr. Nilanjan Chatterjee, Signis India president Fr Vincent Chinnadurai, UNESCO India country representative Mr. Shankar Chowdhuri, Catholic Relief Services Regional representative Ms. Rama Hansraj and MTIFF director Mr Sunil Lucas. Sr Prema declared the festival open.
In his introductory words Mr. Lucas said that MTIFF2010 was very special, as it was the first time that “the festival is travelling to some 100 cities across India” till 31 December 2010. It will also be travelling to some 15 countries including Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Nepal and Italy.
MTIFF also goes for the first time on rail, as Bengal’s own Central Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee flagged off MOTHER EXPRESS from Sealdah Station in the presence of the Missionaries of Charity Sisters Prema and Nirmala, Archbishop Lucas Sircar of Kolkata and several Members of Parliament from Bengal.(Shri Dinesh Trivedi, Shri Mukhul Roy, Members of Parliament Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Somendranath Mitra, Shri Sovan Chatterjee, Shikha Mitra.)
The train is expected to stop at 80 destinations across the country carrying several coaches of exhibition related to Mother Teresa’s life and work as well as a coach dedicated to screening Mother Teresa films.
MTIFF 2010 went on city Metro Rail on the occasion of the re-naming of Park Street metro station to Mother Teresa station (26 August) and Mother Teresa films are being shown on the entire metro network of 23 stations.
Another specialty of MTIFF2010 is the daily Open Forum at Nandan 3 (4 to 5.30 pm) for interaction with Fr Brian MC (Postulator General of Mother Teresa’s cause for sainthood from Rome) and the directors of films and the public moderated by Kolkata Jesuit provincial Fr George Pattery.
MTIFF2010 went ecological with e-ticketing where on 200 sheets of paper 7000 tickets were booked.
MTIFF has a dedicated hall to the especially abled where wheel chair bound persons could view the films. This is a first ever feature in an international film festival.
Among the film directors present on the opening day were Fr Pierre Belanger SJ (The Making of a Saint -Canada), Jeanette Petrie (Mother Teresa – USA), Sunil Jindal (The Living Legend).
The Calcutta Tramways Company had a surprise for the Missionaries of Charity when a decorated Tram drew up at the Mother House with band party welcoming it and former Superior General flagging it off. It had a Mother Teresa photo Exhibition to mark her 100 birth day.