Interviews, Features, Events, Bengali & Indian Performing Arts & Artist Reviews

Interview | Bengali Film Maker ATANU GHOSH (Takhan Teish, Angshumaner Chobi) | WBRi Exclusive Audio

Atanu Ghosh - Tokhon Teyish Bengali MovieAtanu Ghosh is an acclaimed award-winning film maker from Kolkata. His film AAR EK BAMPI has received a National Award for Best Children's Telefilm. Another film of Atanu - MEGH BRISHTI ROD - received the Best Screenplay award from the Radio and Television Advertising Practitioners' Association of India. Many other awards have been given for other films by Atanu. He has also contributed towards writing and editing of many other films, and has made over 30 documentary and corporate fims. Atanu Ghosh's first full-length Bengali feature film ANGSHUMANER CHOBI released in 2009 and has received critical acclaim and is very successful. His 2nd Bangla feature film is titled TOKHON TEYISH and is to be released soon.

Arijit Chakrborty of WBRi Washington Bangla Radio speaks with Atanu Ghosh in an informal and intimate audio interview. Listen to the full interview audio online by pressing the play button in the player below.

Interview - SUBHRAJIT MITRA - Director of Bengali movies AGUNPAKHI (The Phoenix), Mon Amour: Shesher Kobita Revisited, Wangala

Kolkata Tollywood Bengali Film-Maker SUBHRAJIT MITRAThe director of upcoming Bengali movie AAGUNPAKHI - The Phoenix (2010), Subhrajit Mitra is a well known young film-maker from Kolkata. He has previously made excellent documentaries, like WANGALA which is a film on Garo tribes in the North-eastern Himalayan foothills that was shown in many international film festivals. Subhrajit has been commissioned for six documentaries so far by Doordarshan, and has made a full 52 episodes of a television series in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization.

Subhrajit Mitra's first Bengali feature film Mon Amour: Shesher Kobita Revisited was released in 2008 and is considered a significant intellectual achievement in Bengali cinema. The title of the film is also perhaps the only one in the world that has words from three languages.

Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio talks to Subhrajit Mitra in an informal and intimate interview. Subhrajit describes his early love for films, and in spite of being professionally qualified software engineer from Jadavpur University (the alma-mater of the founder of Washington Bangla Radio), films are his first love. He actually went and watched Jurassic Park the day before a very important competitive examination in his career!

Subhrajit tells us an interesting tale on how at the age of 18 he was given Indian Rupees 18,000 and asked to make a documentary on environmental issues / greenhouse effect. Subhrajit describes how the boat he rented almost capsized in the middle of an extremely dirty drain into the river Ganges. You have to listen to Subhrajit tell the story.

A hot scene from Bengali movie Mon AmourSubhrajit talks about Mon Amour in depth, discussing neo-realism and this film and how he wants the film to be approached by the audience.

Subhrajit Mitra also talks about his forthcoming movie AGUNPAKHI - THE PHOENIX in depth in this interview. On the outset, he wants to make clear that despite the media reports about Maoist terrorists as the backdrop of this film, the film really should be disassociated from any single activist group - it should be approached as a film about the downtrodden and neglected segments of society, and is really a humanist film.

AGUNPAKHI has just received Censor Board clearance with a rating of A (Adult - India's version of R - Restricted). Subhrajit indicates the film will be released in late June or early July, 2010. Interestingly, Agunpakhi will also be released in Russian theaters.

Subhrajit Mitra's future projects include a film adaptation of Santu-Kakababu pair of characters by Sunil Ganguly.

Washington Bangla Radio wishes Subhrajit Mitra all the very best with AAGUNPAKHI - The Phoenix (Bengali, 2010).

Listen to the full audio interview online by pressing the play button in the player at the top.

Interview | Film-maker MALOY SARKAR - Blackmail upcoming Bengali Film from director of ALIEN HAND

Maloy Sarkar is a medical doctor and a well known film-maker from Kolkata with significant contribution to Telefilms for over 15 years. Dr Sarkar has previously made great documentaries, including the 2-part crime-related program Mrityudando, the full 52-episode television serial "Dweep" and others. His short film "ALIEN HAND" broadcast in the TV series "Rahasshya Golpo" on ETV Bangla perhaps still stands unbeaten in terms of viewership of any single Bengali TV program.

Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio spoke with Dr Malay Sarkar in Ahmedabad, India about his upcoming Bengali movie BLACKMAIL (2010). In this casual and informal conversation, Dr Maloy Sarkar talks about his early films as well as his later films. He describes how his background in medicine helps him in making crime-related thrillers. Dr Sarkar shares his view of why ALIEN HAND clicked with the audience.

About his upcoming Bangla film BLACKMAIL, Dr Sarkar says it is about a high profile movie director's life being swept away from under his feet being blackmailed for an accident committed after a drunken brawl. But the blackmailer himself feels caught in his own web and wants to flee. In this war of wits, finally the unexpected happens.

Listen to the full audio interview online.

Interview | Actor CHANDAN ROY SANYAL - Mahanagar@Kolkata, Kaminey, Rang De Basanti

Subhomoy Mukherjee, Washington Bangla Radio Kolkata Correspondent, talks to actor Chandan Roy Sanyal, in this exclusive, informal and intimate interview video.

Middle class Indians often dare to think beyond a prototype career. All the science students always think about being a IITian. If they don’t crack IIT entrance, they opt for some other career to get security in life. But they never think of a career like acting as a substitute to IIT.

Exception proves the rule. We are talking about Chandan Roy Sanyal, the new Hero in the Indian Film Industry – especially Hindi movie (Bollywood) as well as Kolkata Bengali Movie (Tollywood) arenas, as a very brilliant student who has always dreamt about being a IITian. When he could not crack IIT entrance, he opted for pursuing his career as a mathematician. But he did not get interest in general studies. So he left studies and joined a Workshop conducted my legend of Indian Theatre, Habib Tanveer and got the desired interest in acting.

Habib Tanvir changed his life totally. Chandan has decided to pursue his career as an actor against the dream of his family and started acting in regular productions of Habib Tanvir’s group.

When he was regular there, he got the opportunity to join a British Theatre Group working on Shakespeare and he started his new journey with A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Touring all over the World with that group has given him adequate knowledge about contemporary acting as well as professionalism and the power to experiment successfully with acting.

All this experience has given him the brevity to pursue career in film and suddenly he has got the opportunity to work with Aamir Khan in super-hit film “Rang De Basanti” (DVD sale) with Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, R. Siddharth, Soha Ali Khan, Alice Patten, Waheeda Rehman, Om Puri, Kiron Kher, Anupam Kher, Atul Kulkarni, Aamir Khan and more.

His small but significance presence there has been appreciated and from there he bagged the dream role of Michael in Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Kaminey” (DVD Deal) co-starring Shahid Kapur, Priyanka Chopra, Amol Gupte and more – a film of substance.

After seeing his performance in Kaminey, eminent Bengali director Suman Mukhopadhyay (click here for the exclusive WBRi interview) approached him with a leading role in his Bengali movie MAHANAGAR@KOLKATA and he has worked very well in his debut Bengali venture.

Right now Chandan, as a popular actor, is working in several Bollywood projects and we wish him all the success in future.

INTERVIEW | Bengali Movie MAHANAGAR@KOLKATA (2010) - Director Suman Mukhopadhyay on actor Chandan Roy Sanyal

Bengali Movie Director SUMAN MUKHERJEE (Suman Mukhopadhyay)Kolkata, India, June 15, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Acclaimed film-maker Suman Mukhopadhyay talks about the Bengali film Mahanagar@Kolkata and actor Chandan Roy Sanyal in this exclusive interview hosted by Washington Bangla Radio's Kolkata correspondent Subhomoy Mukherjee.

Suman Mukhopadhyay's debut feature film “Herbert” (2005) [Buy Bengali Movie Herbert DVD Online] starring Subhashis Mukherjee, Sabyasachi Chakravarthy, Lily Chakravarty, Bratya Basu, Joyraj Bhattacharya, Chandan Sen, Kanchan Mullick and Suchitra Mitra,  is a milestone in Bengali Film Industry in subject, acting and technical aspects. Not only that, this serious film got acclamation both from audience and critics. Herbert was awarded with prestigious Indian National Award as well as awards from different parts of the World. Later, Chaturanga, based on a challenging novel of same name by Rabindranath Tagore established him as one of the most sensational directors of India. Chaturanga, very popular among audience and critics, screened at 55 major film festivals of the World  and got multiple awards from every corner of the World.

Indian actor Chandan Roy Sanyal appeared in the Aamir Khan in super-hit film “Rang De Basanti” (DVD sale) with Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, R. Siddharth, Soha Ali Khan, Alice Patten, Waheeda Rehman, Om Puri, Kiron Kher, Anupam Kher, Atul Kulkarni, Aamir Khan and more.

Chandan's small but significance presence in Rang De Basanti has been appreciated and from there he bagged the dream role of Michael in Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Kaminey” (DVD Deal) co-starring Shahid Kapur, Priyanka Chopra, Amol Gupte and more – a film of substance.

Mahanagar@Kolkata stars Anjan Dutt, Rituparna Sengupta, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Sreelekha Mitra, Arun Mukhopadhyay, Biplab Chatterjee, Kabir Suman and others. Screenplay and direction are by Suman Mukhopadhyay. The film is produced by Pawan Kanodia and was selected at the Munich International Film Festival (Germany premiere) in 2010.

Official synopsis: It could be Buenos Aires, it could be Berlin, it could be Beijing, and it could be Kolkata where stories and histories, myths and classes clash. Megacity Kolkata hides many worlds inside it. This film explores several facets of life in the city, through three intertwining stories, documenting the loves, fears, joys, sorrows, insecurities, and confidences of people who, despite vast differences, seem to merge in one great long flow of humanity.

Watch the video interview online.

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Interview | Kharaj Mukherjee - Bengali Movie Actor (Le Chakka, Cha E Chuti, Patalghar), Singer, Songwriter, Music Composer

June 17, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) As you know, Kharaj Mukhopadhyay is an acclaimed actor whose roles in films like Patalghar (PATALGHAR DVD Release in USA/Canada ») and Cha E Chuti have been appreciated by Bengali movie lovers. He plays a lead role in the film LE CHAKA which is in theaters at this time. A couple of weeks after this audio interview was recorded, Kharaj Mukherjee was bestowed an award for the best comedy role in Cha E Chuti (2010, Bengali) at the Film Awards Bengali (FAB) 2010 in Bangkok, Thailand. Aniket Chattopadhyay's Cha E Chuti itself won an award for the Best Experimental Bengali Film at FAB 2010.

Starting with Hulusthul (1980), some other films that Kharaj Mukherjee appeared in are Bhalobashar Choan (2000) [Buy Bengali movie DVD online] with Prasenjit Chatterjee, Mouli Ganguly; Prem (2007) [DVD] with Rajatava Dutta, Shreya Pandey, Debasree Dey; Rabi Kinnagi's Bhalobasha Bhalobasha (2008) [DVD] with Hiran Chatterjee, Srabanti Malakar; Raj Mukherjee's Love Story (2008) [DVD] with Anshuman, Varsha; and Arjun Chakraborty's Tollylights (2008) [DVD] with Sreelekha Mitra, Abhishek Chatterjee, Samaresh Chakraborty, Komolika Banerjee, Haradan Bose, Gita Dey, Arjun Chakraborty and others.

Kharaj is also a popular singer and music director. He composed and directed an excellent Bengali Drama album featuring Pratik Chowdhury, Rupankar, Subhamita, Kharaj, Jojo, Haimanti Shukla and Srikanto Acharya titled Bhushundir Maathe which is available for MP3 download HERE.

Subhomoy Mukherjee, WBRi Kolkata Correspondent, talks to Kharaj Mukherjee in an audio interview that you can listen to by pressing the Play button in the player above. Don't miss the little snippets of Kharaj's singing in the interview !

Subhomoy Mukherjee reports from Kolkata.

Interview | Sounak Mukhopadhyay - Film Maker, Photographer, Creative Writer from Kolkata (writer-director of Premm Et Al)

Film Maker Sounak MukherjeeArijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio talks to SOUNAK MUKHOPADHYAY (শৌনক মুখোপাধ্যায়) - a young and popular film-maker from Kolkata.Sounak has a remarkably diverse set of interests (film-making is just one of them) - he is a creative writer and poet from very early on, an avid photogrpaher, artist, and has professional experience as a teacher of the English language in India and foreign countries.

Sounak's short film THE MOVE (2008) [WBRi coverage]  was screened at the Kolkata International Film Festival, and deals with how the previous generation of idealist politics has been replaced by contemporary selfish politics, with results that are obvious across the world.

Other short films so far by Sounak include “Hero” in Dhivehi (the national language of the Republic of Maldives) with a Maldivian cast and crew, a one minute film called TOMORROW made for an online film festival and “100” (ONE ZERO ZERO) - a short film on rural development, funded by the Government of West Bengal currently in post-production.

Sounak is about to commence work on his first full-length feature "PREMM ET AL" (প্রেম et al) - a smart intelligent film for the cosmopolitan urban young educated Bengalis in India and abroad, who are its target-audience. The film deals with a subject that they easily identify with. At the same time, this film will hugely satisfy their urge for an audio-visual experience that is smart, sleek and modern in its language, vision and treatment. More details about this promising film can be found at the official web-site.

Sounak drops some hints about his new script which he is writing with only Tollywood hero Prosenjit in mind. Also do not miss his definition of Micro-budget films, where he says if you are film-maker in Kolkata and you want to shoot a scene where someone jumps from the top of the Eiffel Tower, it's not going to be a micro-budget film. Just kidding, of course.

Interview | Aniket Chattopadhyay - Journalist, News Editor, Film Maker - Director of CHA E CHUTI Bengali Movie

Aniket ChatterjeeANIKET CHATTOPADHAYA talks to WBRi's Arijit Chakraborty in a wide-ranging, informal and intimate audio interview with Washington Bangla Radio.

Aniket is a well-known journalist and news editor, an ardent political observer and commentator and a film-maker from Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Aniket's debut full-length feature film "Chha E Chhuti" recently released to great success and went on to win the Best Experimental Film award in Film Awards Bangla (FAB) in Bangkok, Thailand, 2010. Actor Kharaj Mukherjee also won an award for the best comedy role for his performance in CHA E CHUTI in FAB Bangkok 2010.

Aniket is also the news editor for the Television channel KOLKATA TV (facebook page) broadcasting, of course, from Calcutta. Among many other important positions, Aniket is an officer of the wildly popular Facebook Cinemania group.

Given the eclectic background of Aniket as a journalist, political observer, film-maker, news-editor and a sensitive commentator, the audio interview is broad-ranging in scope and subject matter. Aniket talks about the unfortunate death of actor Kunal Mitra during the making of Cha E Chuti and how the crew struggled to use previously discarded footage with shots of Kunal and use innovative visual effects and techniques to take the film to completion after the sad incident. Aniket is not very sure why and how films are nominated and awarded in festivals like the FAB, but says he happily responds with thanks to congratulatory messages, regardless !

Looking at events unfolding in Bengal and India with the eyes of a journalist and political observer, Aniket talks poignantly about the long-lasting ramifications of the infamous Nandigram incidents, the implications of which were underestimated by many. In 2007 the West Bengal government decided to allow an industrial organization (Salim Group) to set up a chemical hub at Nandigram under the Special Economic Zone policy under the laws of India. This led to resistance by the villagers resulting in clashes with the police that left 14 villagers dead, and accusations of police brutality.

Aniket speaks about the the danger of a military and law-enforcement oriented approach to the problem of Maoist terrorism and guerilla warfare initiated by a section of the Indian population who are perhaps one of the poorest people in the world today. He says there needs to be a proper understanding and dialog with these usually peace-loving and non-confrontational people about how it is that they have nothing to lose any more (a square meal a day is a luxury) and have taken up arms in the absence of any real hope.

Of course, Aniket talks at length about his film Cha E Chuti - how he was, pretty much out of the blue, given some money and asked to make a film, and how he soon realized film-making is no easy matter. Cha E Chuti is based on Aniket's own observations as a journalist of an incident in the Calcutta film industry (often referred to as TOLLYWOOD inspired by Hollywood, CA). As a reporter, Aniket had the chance of arriving at the scene of an accidental death of a cameraman, and when work on the particular film was held up for a few days, the cast and crew apparently went on a vacation trip - not the nicest of ways to respect the person who gave his life to save the camera. Thus, Cha E Chuti is a peep into the real world of cinema in Kolkata. The film portrays conventional, and otherwise, relationships between the vacationing cast, and Aniket briefly talks about (of course, without giving away too much) how a murder makes the already interesting relationships undergo rapid transformations.

Listen to the interview audio online on WBRi Washington Bangla Radio and enjoy the conversation.