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

Interview: RAJA SEN - Director of LABORATORY (2010) Bengali Movie talks to MARIAN CHATTERJEE in CLEVELAND, OH, USA

Germantown, Maryland, November 7, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Rabindranath Tagore wrote his famous short story Laboratory very late in his life. Laboratory is one of the three stories by Tagore which are entiely different in character and tehnique from his earlier short stories many of which are well-known in English translation, the other two being Sunday and Last Word. These three stories - "Sunday", "Last Word" and "Laboratory" - have been newly translated and published together in a single volume in English for the first time. (Buy Tagore's Three Companions Online).

Bengali Movie Laboratory (2010) - Raja Sen - USA Premiere
Raja Sen At The Showing of LABORATORY (Bengali, 2010) To An American Audience in Cleveland, OH

Acclaimed Kolkata, India based film-maker Raja Sen (www.rajasensfilms.com) has directed the new Bengali film adaptation of LABORATORY starring Arpita Pal Chatterjee, Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Ranjit Mallick and others. This is the Bengali cinema debut of Raveena Tandon.

Raja Sen was in the USA recently on the occassion of the North American premiere of Laboratory (Bengali, 2010). Laboratory was actually screened in USA at San Francisco, Houston, Washington DC and Cleveland Ohio even before it was released in India. Raja Sen talked to Marian Chatterjee in Cleveland, Ohio in this exclusive and informal interview while staying with his relatives Nitish and Chandana Sarkar in Cleveland.

Bengali Film Laboratory (2010) - Raja Sen - USA PremiereBengali Film Laboratory (2010) - Raja Sen - USA Premiere
Raja Sen with Bengali-Americans at North American Premiere of Bengali Film Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio

Raja-da talks about his career in film-making, his prior visits to the USA and given the remarkable cultural consciousness, education and taste of Bengalis in USA, how he realized releasing Laboratory in USA first on the 150th anniversary of Tagore's birthday is highly appropriate. Raja-da also talks about Bollywood and Bengali films, serious and popular.

Marian Chatterjee and Raja Sen - Bengali Film Laboratory (2010) - USA Premiere
Marian Chatterjee, Raja Sen at Premiere of Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio

Marian Chatterjee, the presenter of this unique interview, is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and has been studying Rabindrasangeet for 11 years primarily under Mrs. Rama Banerjee of Pittsburgh and also under Sri Rano Guhathakurta of Kolkata. She learned Bengali at the University of Washington, Seattle, under the late Dr. Carol Salomon, renowned translator of Lalon Giti.  A clinical and forensic psychologist by profession, Marian has participated in numerous cultural programs with the Bengali Cultural Society of Cleveland and has also served on the board. Other passions include translation of Rabindrasangeet.

Raja Sen - Jayanta Mukherjee at Laboratory US Premiere
  Raja Sen, Jayanta Mukherjee at Premiere of Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio 

Raja Sen, winner of three national awards in India, has previously directed Krishnakanter Will (2007) [BUY DVD] adapted from the Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay classic, starring Jeet, Soumitra Chatterjee, Swastika Mukherjee, Monali Thakur, Dulal Lahiri, Papiya Sen and others. Raja Sen's other memorable films include Atmiyo Sajan (1998) [DVD] starring Soumitra Chatterjee, Supriya Choudhury, Rituparna Sengupta, Tapas Pal, Sabyasachi Chakravarthy, June Malia, Dipankar Dey, Shakuntala Barua and more.

Raja-da's previous films include:

  • A Documentary on Suchitra Mitra (National Award winner - best documentary)
  • Damu (1997) - Cast: Raghuvir Jadav, Satya Banerjee, Monoj Mitra, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Rimi Sen (Child Artist) (National Award winner - best feature film)
  • Atmiyo Swajan (1999) - Cast: Shakuntala Barua, Alok Mukherjee, Ashok Mitra, Asit Mukherjee, Chaitali Ghoshal, June Malia, Papiya Sen, Piyush Ganguly, Pradip Chakraborty, Rimi Sen (Child Artist), Tridib Ghosh (National Award winner - best feature film)
  • Chakrabyuhya (2000)
  • Desh (2002) - Cast: Jaya Bhaduri, Abhishek Bachchan, Sabyasachi Chakravarthy, Subhendu Chatterjee, Gyanesh Mukherjee, Nayana Das, Monu Mukherjee, Koushik Sen, Rajesh Sharma, Dulal Lahiri.
  • Debipaksha (2004) - Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Rituparna Sengupta, Satabdi Roy, Koel Mallick.
  • Krishnakanter Will (2007) - Cast: Jeet, Soumitra Chatterjee, Swastika Mukherjee.
  • Tinmurti (2009) - Cast: Ranjit Mallick, Dipankar Dey, Manoj Mitra, Paoli Dam.

Interview - Riingo Banerjee রিঙ্গো ব্যানার্জী - Kolkata Bengali Film-Maker | RINGO BANERJEE is director of JODI EKDIN

Kolkata Bengali Movie writer-director Riingo Banerjee with 
wife ShinyMar 20, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) An exclusive and intimate interview with Riingo Banerjee. Popular Bengali movie writer-director Riingo Banerjee has delivered successful Tollywood Bangla films like Kranti (2002) [Buy DVD Online] starring Jeet, Swastika Mukherjee, Rishi Kaushik, Rajesh Sharma, Ashish Vidyarthi; LOVE (2008) [DVD] starring Jishu Sengupta, Koel Mullick, George Baker, Chaitali Dasgupta and music by Jeet Ganguly; the Bengali children's movie Neel Rajar Deshe (2008) [DVD] starring Indrani Haldar, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajesh Sharma with music by Bikram Ghosh; and Risk (2009). His latest film Jodi Ekdin (2010) has a release date of April 16, 2010.

WBRi Washington Bangla Radio Correspondent Subhomoy Mukherjee spent a wonderful relaxed time with Riingo and his wife Shiny. In the following video, watch an informal Riingo talk about his career, his foray into films, his thoughts about the movies he has made so far, and his vision about the future. Riingo also discusses his new film Jodi Ekdin starring Indraneil Sengupta and Priyanka Sarkar in lead roles with music by Joy Sarkar and lyrics by Anindya Chatterjee and Chandril of Bengali band "Chandrabindoo". Jodi Ekdin is produced by Orion Entertainment, a partner of WBRi Washington Bangla Radio, and will be released in the USA by Databazaar Media Ventures on Netflix, Amazon.com, Best Buy and so on.

Interview: Tollywood Hero ABHIRAJ - Bangla Movie Jiyo Kaka, Ei Prithibi Tomar Amar, Ei To Jibon

Aviraj - Abhiraj - Kolkata Bengali Movie HeroGermantown, MD, Nov 14, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) AVIRAJ (Jayajyoti Dasgupa) is a talented and upcoming Tollywood Bengali movie hero. Arijit Chakraborty of WBRi talks to Aviraj in this comprehensive but informal and intimate audio interview.

Jayajyoti (the name AVIRAJ came later on with the launch of his career in films) studied at the famous Rahara Ramkrishna Mission school and then studied Chemistry, graduating with Honors from Gurudas College in Calcutta. Jayajyoti grew up in an environment of arts and theater in his family and has been involved with theater groups from a young age.

Jayajyoti had the opportunity of working with the iconic drama troupe Nandikar around the same time he started pursuing undergratuate studies. Jayajyoti worked and studied acting as an apprentice at Nandikar for around four years, subsequently being absorbed as a full-fledged member, performing in Nandikar productions at home and abroad. He attributes his learning of the art of acting to his years in Nandikar.

After around six years with Nandikar, Jayajyoti auditioned for and made into the final top five candidates for a Hindi reality show on the popular Indian ZEE TV channel. Though ZEE TV recognized his performance as the best among the candidates, his somewhat lack of proficiency in the Hindi language caused ZEE to reluctantly let him go.

However, during this time, he caught the eye of some top Bengali television directors and producers, particularly T.Sarkar Productions, and was offered lead roles in popular Bangla TV shows.

Jayajyoti was offered the lead role in ZEE Bangla TV show "Ei Ghar Ei Songshar". There were many characters in the TV serial, and when Jayajyoti read the profile of the antagonist of the show, he found the role fascinating and requested he be given the negative role rather than the lead protagonist. He also proposed some special ways he wanted that character to be portrayed as.

Jayajyoti Dasgupta's request for playing the negative role in ZEE TV Bangla channel's Bengali Mega-serial EI GHAR EI SHONGSHAR was subsequently granted happily by the production team. The name of this character was AVIRAJ SINGH - and the name stuck!

The character ABHIRAJ was wildly popular across entire Bengal and very soon Jayajyoti took on the name of the character he played.

Subsequently, heavyweight Bengali commercial cinema director Swapan Saha called Abhiraj into his office one day and told Aviraj that he was ready for debuting as the hero in mainstream Bengali commercial feature films and need not do small-screen roles in TV Serials any more. That too, Swapan Saha told him Aviraj would act opposite Tollywood actress Priyanka Sarkar, whose previous film (Priyanka's debut) "Chirodini Tumi Je Amar" [buy DVD online] co-starring Rahul, Tamal Ray Chowdhury, Gita Dey, Rudranil Ghosh and directed by Raj Chakraborty with music by Jeet Ganguly was a box-office superhit. The name of the film that Swapan Saha had in mind for Aviraj and Priyanka (Priyanka's 2nd movie and cinema debut of Abhiraj) was "Ei Prithibi Tomar Amar".

Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie Ei Prithibi Tomar Amar Poster"Ei Prithibi Tomar Amar" (Buy Bengali Movie DVD) was shot during January to March of 2009 and released in June 2009. The film was a hit and Aviraj started to be well-known now as a Tollywood movie hero. Rudranil Ghosh also starred in Ei Prithibi Tomar Amar along with Abhiraj-Priyanka and Ashok Bhadra composed and directed the music of the movie.

The next film JIYO KAKA starring Abhiraj, Rahul, Saswata Chattopadhyay, Kaushik Ganguly, Rituparna Sengupta, Rudranil Ghosh and others is directed by acclaimed actor turned film-maker Parambrata Chattopadhyay and is awaiting release at the time of writing.

In the meanwhile, Abhiraj is shooting for the lead role in upcoming Bengali new film Ei To Jiban with Paoli Dam, newcomer Komal Gautam, Chinmoy Roy and others. Ei To Jiban is directed by Swapan Panja.


Anilabha Chatterjee - EGARO The Immortal XI (2010) Bengali Movie Producer (Interview)

EGARO - The Immortal XI  (2010) Kolkata Bengali New Movie Poster

Magic Hour Entertainment's  Egaro - The Immortal XI is an upcoming Bangla movie celebrating the best of Indian soccer (football) and the July 29, 1911 historic victory of the Indian team of Mohun Bagan against the British East Yorkshire Regiment, thus Mohun Bagan lifting the IFA Shield for the first time ever. The film is directed by Arun Roy and produced by Anilava Chatterjee.

EGARO features music by the folk band MOKAM (Mayukh - Mainak) known for their unique and innovative sound rooted in folk and tribal music of Bengal.

Watch a video of and listen to producer Anilabha Chatterjee talking to Subhomoy Mukherjee, WBRi correspondent, in an informal and intimate interview online.

Subhomoy writes:

Anilabho Chatterjee started his career as a journalist. Then he liked to cover the sports, eventually he felt in love with sports and till date, even as a producer of popular television events, he likes to do programs on sports, even the programs with celebrity sports persons.


Interview - Babul Bose - Acclaimed Bengali and Hindi Film Music Director

Calcutta, Nov 19, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) On behalf of Washington Bangla Radio, Soumitra Talukdar and Mou Sanyal talk to Babul Bose, the famous Music Director of Mumbai & Kolkata in a comprehensive, intimate and exclusive interview.

In his childhood , there was not particularly an atmosphere of music in his family .But he felt an enormous interest in music .When asked how Babul Bose started his career as a guitarist ; he said that there lies a fun story behind .In their joint family of , his cousin had a Spanish guitar and had been learning guitar in a music school in Kolkata. His brother was very possessive about his guitar and no one was allowed to touch it.Babul Bose took opportunity of his elder brother’s absence when the latter would go out and started secretly practicing on his brother’s guitar , taking help of his cousin’s notation paper. He would return the guitar in the place where it was exactly kept before his brother returned home and nobody found out that he was stealthily playing his brother’s guitar. Suddenly an opportunity came .His brother was asked to play the guitar in a Band by an uncle as the guitarist of the band was absent on that day. But his brother was just a beginner and did not have the confidence to play guitar in such a big function .Babul Bose approached the uncle confidently and all the musicians and family members were astonished to watch him playing guitar like a professional guitarist.

Watch the complete interview video online exclusively via Washington Bangla Radio.


Indian Vedic Astrology Predictions Of Sachin Tendulkar's Cricket World Cup 2011 performance

Sachin Tendulkar at Adelaide Oval

Image via Wikipedia

Mumbai, Feb 04, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PRLog) The cricket world cup 2011 is going to start from 19th February 2011; and every Indian is eyeing on the performance of Indian Cricket Team. Sachin Tendulkar, the Cricket God, might be playing his last world cup – and most of cricket fans are expecting to nurture their eyes by witnessing the magic of Sachin Tendulkar on the Cricket ground.

Karan V Grover lucky to portray two different characters in one show

Mumbai, Feb 04, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PRLog) Karan V Grover is one lucky man as he gets to portray two different characters in one show. The difference is evident. Karan Prasad was a loveable, caring and a positive character, where as Siddharth who actually is Ranchod Tiwari, is rustic, sports a stubble and over grown hair and has a particular accent.

After 6 years and 1,400 episodes Rajshri Productions' Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki ends on a positive note

Mumbai, Feb 04, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PRLog) “Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki,” maiden show of Rajshri Productions has completed a successful run of 6 years and 1400 episodes. It was the longest running show in the current competitive television scenario. The whole team of  “Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki” has many memorable moments associated with the show in this brilliant journey. Rajshri Productions’ personal belief of family bonding has been instilled beautifully not only in the serial but also in the team.  Everyone who has been a part of the show is raving about Rajshri’s positive vibes and atmosphere.


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