Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan will inaugurate the upcoming 21st edition of Kolkata Film Festival, which will screen 149 films from 61 countries.

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan

The opening ceremony of the eight-day festival (November 14-21) at the Netaji Indoor Stadium will also be attended by Jaya Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, Moushumi Chatterjee and Vidya Balan, information and cultural secretary of the West Bengal government Atri Bhattacharya said today.

West Bengal brand ambassador superstar Shah Rukh Khan will not be present at the festival "because he will be busy with his shooting commitments of Dilwale", Bhattacharya added.

There is speculation that Pakistani film Manto will be screen at the inaugural ceremony on November 14.

The film fest has been categorised into 15 sections with "India Unheard" as the new one.

With a budget of Rs eight crore, Bhattacharya said, the best film will be awarded with the Royal Bengal Trophy, bagging the cash of Rs 51 lakh while the best director will be rewarded with Rs 21 lakh.

The Best short film and the documentary will be awarded Rs one lakh each, he added.

Veteran actor Sharmila is the chairperson of the Jury consisting of famed film personalities including ¿ Sri Lankan actress Swarna Mallawarachchi, Polish director Filip Macczewrk and Israeli filmmaker Samuel Muoz.

Percussionist Ratul Shankar has composed the theme music for the festival. He has used instruments like electric sitar, flute and different kinds of percussions for the minute-long theme song in Bengali and English versions.