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

Interview: PUJA PAL - The Young and Fast Rising Tollywood Bengali Movie Actress

[Tollywood Bengali Film Actress POOJA PAUL]Germantown, Maryland, Feb 5, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Pooja Pal is a very young and promising actress from Kolkata who has just started appearing in Bengali feature films. With support and inspiration from her mother, Puja is an accomplished dancer from a very young age, and it was her on-stage appearances as a danseuse that led to her being offered roles in Bengali movies. Arijit Chakraborty caught up with Pooja and in this informal chit-chat Pooja talks about her background and films and shares with us stories from behind the camera.

After quite a few successful appearances in ad films and modeling assignments, actress Pooja Paul debuted in the Tollywood Bangla movie industry with a "item number" (an entertaining song and dance sequence frequently used in Indian commercial cinema for interludes) in Gobindadeb Krishna Haldar's Tumi Kaar. Subsequently, her debut as a full-fledged actress was with her role of Goddess Mangalchandi (a form of Goddess Kali) in Gobindadeb Krishna Haldar's AMAR SATHI (2010) alongside Karan, Pamela, Sumanta Mukhopadhyay, Dipankar De, Dolon Ray, Chaitali Dutta Burman, Mita Chattopadhyay and others.

Her next film after Amar Sathi is Joddha directed by Khokhon Chakrabarty co-starring Abhishek Chatterjee, Soumitra Chatterjee, Rama Prasad Banik, Nimu Bhowmick, Mrinal Mukherjee and others. Joddha - also known as Abahelito Mukti Joddha - is a patriotic film, and it is quite possible it will be released around one of India's independence commemorative holidays in 2011.

Pooja Pal subsequently appears in Shibprosad Chakrabarty (Khokhon) directed Ajo Bhalobashi Tomake co-starring Raj, Pragya, Bibek, Anamika Saha, Mrinal Mukherjee, Subhasish Mukherjee, Kanchan Mullick and others and even features Raza Murad who will be seen in a Bengali film after a long time playing the part of Bhootnath. The film deals with modern youth and post-marital issues in the light of pre-marital affairs and more, and is shot in Bengal and Sikkim.

Listen to our exclusive audio interview broadcast of Tollywood Bengali Movie actress Puja Pal.

Actor-Director Parambrata Chattopadhyay Talks About JIYO KAKA (2011), ABI SENER AJOB DUNIYA and other Bengali Films (Interview)

Parambrata ChatterjeeGermantown, Maryland, Jan 7, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Parambrata Chattopadhyay is a young, enterprising and popular actor and director in the Bengali film and television industry. The actor experienced instant fame with his role as Feluda's lovable assistant Topshe on the big screen. Sandip Ray casted him as Topshe in his Feluda series movies Bombayier Bombete, Kailashe Kelenkari and Tintorettor Jishu (buy Feluda movie DVDs in USA). Parambrata has acted in notable Bengali movies such as The Bong Connection, Chalo Let’s Go, 033 and the unreleased Teen Yaari Kotha (Bengali DVD sale).

Not long ago, the actor was on a study leave. He was attending a course on Film and TV production at the premiere Bristol University. Parambrata has completed directing his first feature film, JIO KAKA expected to release in Kolkata on February 11, 2010. The actor and debutant director talks about his life, career and JIO KAKA in this heart-to-heart interview with Washington Bangla Radio correspondent Arijit Chakraborty that you can listen to exclusively on Washington Bangla Radio.

[Jiyo Kaka - Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Film Poster]

Interview: Kharaj Mukherjee Shares The Astonishing Story Of Making Of BYE BYE BANGKOK (Bengali, 2011)

[Kharaj Mukherjee]

Washington DC, Jan 19, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) We have had the pleasure of presenting Singer-Songwriter-Actor Kharaj Mukherjee previously (in this post) - and in this chit-chat with Arijit Chakraborty, Kharaj talks about Aniket Chattopadhyay's Bengali comedy film BYE BYE BANGKOK. Kharaj was in Bangkok last year to receive an award for his role in the film CHA-E-CHUTI (Buy Bengali Movie DVD in USA) - also directed by Aniket Chatterjee (interview). Initially during the award ceremony, he was wondering why he could not see others from the unit of Chaw-e-Chuti, but while accepting his award and giving his speech, he located Kaustuv Roy, the producer, sitting in the last row. Kaustuv Roy was also there to receive an award for Cho-E-Chuti for presenting the best experimental Bengali film of the year.

Right after receiving their awards, Kaustuv pulled  Kharaj out of the auditorium, got hold of Rudranil Ghosh (interview) and a few other friends, and started asking about their availability on dates that were barely a week away ! Not only that, he made a phone call to Aniket Chattopadhyay, telling Aniket-da to pretty much come up with a script for a film with Bangkok as the location in around ten days.

Thus begins the story of the making of Bye Bye Bangkok, told in the uniquely engaging way that only Kharaj can tell. Listen to Kharaj describe how the film proceeded beyond these initial few hours and get ready to believe that a feature film can indeed be made this way - a theme that is touched upon by all the cast and crew members of the film that we had the pleasure of speaking with as you have heard in the interviews posted on WBRi.

Kharaj also shares with us some behind-the-scenes stories from Bangkok - do not miss his tales of how he was surprised with a birthday party, and his experiences of shopping and getting his feet massaged in Bangkok. He also touches upon the amazing script-writing skills of Aniket-da and how he introduced a character to be played by Priya Karfa seamlessly into the story at the last moment.

Interview: Danseuse-Actress Locket Chatterjee talks about FIGHTER, Bye Bye Bangkok, Necklace, Street Light & her career in film

[img:Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie Actress LOCKET CHATTERJEE] Germantown, Maryland, Jan 10, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Like most people, actress Locket Chatterjee has very fond and nostalgic memories of her childhood and young-adulthood. She studied at Sarada Girls High School in Dakshineshwar and also took lessons in dancing from the very young age of two. An accomplished dancer, Locket performed for many years with the famous Mamata Shankar Dance Troupe. Circa 2000, an opportunity came her way of acting in a television serial, which marks the start of Locket's career as an actress. In the meanwhile, her love of dancing still burns strong, and after a few years where she had been too occupied with her acting career, she has now formed her own dance troupe which is now performing at various events and venues across the world. But, says Locket, she now sees herself as an actress first - and most of her time and efforts are spent in acting projects.

Interestingly, Locket had seriously considered a profession in medicine but somehow ended up being selected for an Engineering course in the ruthlessly competitive "Joint Entrance" examination of Bengal. She did not really want to pursue engineering, and opted for a course in Zoology while continuing to perform with Mamata Shankar's troupe when suddenly she was offered the role of a dancer in a telefilm. Locket took the offer up, still not with any intention of taking acting up as her profession - but after performing that role, she had no time to reconsider, as great offers of roles in some of the most promising Bengali films started to pour in.

Aniket Chattopadhyay's Bye Bye Bangkok is the third film produced by Kaustuv Roy that Locket is appearing in (after Lal Ronger Duniya and Cha-E-Chuti [Buy Bengali Movie DVD in USA]). Echoing the sense of a fun-filled film made with little planning and driven by spontaneity, Locket describes how she was suddenly requested to get on a plane to Bangkok and the way a fun-filled vacation overlapped with shooting for the film so much so that it is surprising a complete feature film did come out at the end !

Listen to Locket talking about her career in films, dance and academics on Washington Bangla Radio.

Interview: Actress Kanchana Moitra talks about Bye Bye Bangkok, Accident and her Tollywood Kolkata Bengali films

Actress Kanchana MoitraGermantown, Maryland, Jan 12, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Arijit Chakraborty caught up with actress Kanchana Moitra in Kolkata while she was actually going to work. Kanchana speaks with us after pulling into a gas station and you will hear the lovely sonic ambience of Kolkata city in the background while Arijit and Kanchana talk about Kanchana's background and career in film.

Kanchana started modeling when she was sixteen, appearing in the acclaimed SANANDA women's magazine edited by Aparna Sen, and subsequently in a host of fashion events and shows, walking down the ramps for some of the best designers in Indian fashion. Not complacent with her early success as a fashion model, Kanchana felt an urge to try different things - but acting was not initially in the list of things she wanted to try, not being sure of herself in front of a camera.

Eventually, she gave up modeling in the interest of concentrating on her college degree, after which Kanchana, encouraged by her friends and loved ones, took up the role of anchoring the popular television show Shrimati dealing with women's issues, and then a major role in the Bengali TV Mega Serial Poush Faguner Pala. She was selected for the serial Mallika on ETV Bangla as well - and in spite of less-than-encouraging remarks by director Goutam Sen (which only reinforced her determination to succeed as an actress), went on to bigger things as a heroine in the Tollywood Bengali film industry.

Listen to Kanchana Moitra in an informal and candid interview exclusively on Washington Bangla Radio.

Interview: রুদ্রনীল ঘোষ - Rudranil Ghosh - Award-winning Bengali Film Actor Talks About BYE BYE BANGKOK, NECKLACE and JIYO KAKA

Germantown, Maryland, Jan 11, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) In this informal chat with Arijit Chakraborty of WBRi, award-winning Bengali film actor Rudranil Ghosh makes the interesting observation that Bye Bye Bangkok (2011) currently holds the record for the Bangla film with the longest period of shooting in a foreign country (not counting Bangladesh). The cast of the film is pretty big, but consists of all close buddies of Rudranil.

Directed by Aniket Chattopadhyay (INTERVIEW), Bye Bye Bangkok happened pretty suddenly with no real pre-production or planning. Rudranil's character Sadhu Charan Das is the chaffeur of a reasonably well-off family in Kolkata. Sadhu secretly derives a lot of enjoyment from the usual quarrels between the husband and wife of the family he serves - and in addition, his Madam - the lady of the house who he mostly serves as a driver - is stunningly beautiful and Sadhu secretly feels romantically attracted towards her.

Interview: Swastika Mukherjee - "I am a Bhoot" | Swastika talks about Bye Bye Bangkok, Nandini, Bhooter Bhobishhot & her career

Tollywood Bengali Movie Actress SWASTIKA MUKHERJEEGermantown, Maryland, Jan 9, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Tollywood actress Swastika Mukhopadhyay is the quintessential Bengali girl. Her spectacular career in Bengali films is well deserved, and a result of the usual and only way to attain success - hard work and a passionate belief in one's own self.

Today, her illustrious father Santu Mukherjee must be very proud of her daughter. Being Santu Mukherjee's daughter must have had it's own curious implications, but it is entirely understandable when Swastika tells Arijit Chakraborty over this little chat how she was initially dissapointed when her father refused to give her the "little push" in the industry when Swastika was a rookie trying to make a career in films. Today, a confident, glowing and successful Swastika thanks her father to have forced her to make it on her own. While recording the audio interview, I was listening to Swastika describe this aspect of being Santu-da's daughter, and I could connect - being a father of a young daughter myself, as surely all our listeners who are dads will - and you will doubtelss feel the swell of pride as a Bengali of Santu-da and Swastika when you listen to Swastika.

Listen to the comprehensive, intimate and informal interview with Swastika Mukherjee on Washington Bangla Radio as she touches upon her career, background and upcoming films including Bye Bye Bangkok, Nandini and Bhooter Bhobisshot.

Interview: Aniket Chattopadhyay, director of BYE BYE BANGKOK (Bengali, 2011): A Tale Of Five Couples Beyond Honey and Moon

Aniket Chatterjee, Director, Tollywood movie BYE BYE BANGKOK (2011)Germantown, Maryland, Jan 7, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Aniket Chattopadhyay is a well-known journalist and news editor, an ardent political observer, commentator and a film-maker from Kolkata. We have had the pleasure of presenting a wide-ranging, intimate and comprehensive audio interview with Aniket Chattopadhyay previosuly (avaibale online here). As you know, Aniket's debut full-length feature film "Cha E Chuti" (review) released in late 2009 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 (interview) also won an award for the best comedy role for his performance in Cha-e-chuti in FAB Bangkok 2010. Cha-E-Chuti is one of the recent films that started a remarkable trend towards a resurgent Bengali film industry, marked by successful runs and box-office revenue over periods measured in multiple months.

Aniket's second feature-film Bye Bye Bangkok (Bengali, 2011) is opening in theaters in Kolkata on Jan 28, 2011. In these last few extremely busy days for Aniket, we appreciate the time he spared for us to talk to Arijit Chakraborty about his upcoming film, his aspirations and indications of what we might be looking at from him beyond Bye Bye Bangkok. We loved to hear the film-maker Aniket as well as the erudite political observer Aniket in this short time-span, and hope you will enjoy listening to him as much as we did while recording this piece. Aniket actually talks to us from Chennai where he is in the last stages of post-production, at a critical time just before wrapping up the final test print.