News - Bengali Tollywood

Interview | Actress RUPSHA MUKHERJEE - Heroine of Bengali Movie NAYIKA, KOKHONO BIDAY BOLO NA

ROOPSHA MUKHERJEE Tollywood Bengali Heroine - Lead Actress of NAYIKA Do not miss Rupsha's storys of pranks played by Jisshu Sengupta while shooting for Kokhono Bidaye Bolo Na - Rupsha very sweetly describes how Jisshu would go around creating some supernatural events just to scare her.

Interview | AARAV - A new Kolkata Tollywood Bengali Movie Hero (NAYIKA, 2010)

New Tollywood Hero AARAVAarav was born and grew up in a small town - Bankura in West Bengal, India. He completed his graduation from the University of Calcutta and started his career as a model in the year 2004 in Delhi. He studied modeling and acting in Elite modeling institute in Delhi. Then he came to Kolkata and started working as a model in 2005 with spectacular success. Aarav has done lots of renowned Fashion Shows with big choreographers and big fashion designers while continuing some work in theater and drama. He has done a bunch of music video albums. All this before debuting as a new Tollywood Bengali cinema hero with NAAYIKA.

Interview | Sukanta Roy - Director of Nayika, Painter Rabindranath, Chelebela | Bengali Movies

In this informal, comprehensive and intimate interview, film-maker Sukanto Roy talks to Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio about his fascination for films from early days, his previous films, his wonderful and internationally acclaimed docu-feature Painter Rabindranath, his portrayal of Rabindranather chelebela in CHELEBELA and his forthcoming film NAYIKA.

Interview | Film-maker Q aka Qaushiq Mukherjee (Bengali Movies GANDU, BISHH, LOVE IN INDIA)

Love In 
India DVD CoverQ is a alternative film-maker from Kolkata who is known across the world for his genre-defying movies that tend to conflict with established ideas and norms and rattle the senses making the viewer think about all that is "conventional". Q's films cannot be compartmentalized - they are experimental, underground and counter-culture, but at the same time entertaining and not devoid of humor.

Interview | Actor SAYAN MUNSHI (EKTI TARAR KHONJE, Bong Connection, Jhankar Beats, My Brother Nikhil) talks to WBRi

EKTI TARAR KHONJE Bengali Film PosterActor Sayan Munshi talks to Subhomay Mukherjee of Washington Bangla Radio in this wide-ranging intimate interview about his experience, career and films Jhankar Beats, My Brother Nikhil, Bong Connection and of course Ekti Tarar Khonje.

NAYIKA (2010) Bengali Movie *Exclusive* First Look at Still Pictures

June 26, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) NAYIKA is a forthcoming Kolkata Bengali movie directed by Sukanta Roy and produced by Manajit Das and Rajesh Mukherjee under the banner of D R Entertainments. The audio soundtrack is released by Washington Bangla Radio's partner Purple Music whose albums are available for download from WBRi Music store.

The star cast of NAAYIKA (2010) features Roopsha (Heroine) and Aarav (Hero) with Tapas Paul, Indrani Halder, Dilip Roy, Kalyani Mandal, Sudip Mukherjee, Subhomoy Chatterjee, Bhola Tamang,  Ishita and others.

The Bengali audio film songs of NAYIKA have been performed by Kumar Sanu, Jojo, Aneshwa, Anik Dhar and Ananya under music direction of Arup-Pranay. The songs have been written by Rabindranath Tagore, Debangshu and Tushu Chanda.

The script is written by Rajesh Mukherjee and Debabarta Roy based on a story by Tushu Chanda, the story has been re-oriented by  who has also written the script.

The film is about the dreams of a small-town girl to become a cinema star so that she can support her mother and her affair with a rich guy, along with a parallel romance between a friend and a frustrated film-maker.

Here are some stills from the Bengali film NAYIKA.

Interview | Director GAURAV PANDEY - Shukno Lanka (2010) Bengali movie | Audio

Gaurav Pandey - SUKNO LONKAMithun Chakraborty

Director Gaurav Pandey talks to Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio about his career and his film Shukno Lonka - the challenges of shooting particularly in Kolkata, the wonderful time he had making the movie and of course about Mithunda, his Chinu Nandy - the Shukno Lanka in his film. Do not miss Gaurav's stories about how Kunal Mitra refused to shoot a scene involving Mithun Chakraborty messaging his feet, and how Gaurav felt when the police escorted the 6'2" tall Mithun-da arrived to work in the film and Gaurav wondered this is the superstar who would play the role of a Rs.250 per day Junior artist! Another incident Gaurav describes is the difficulties of making Emma sneeze after Mithunda gives her some snuff - it turned out Australian actress Emma's Austrian grandfather used to give snuff to Emma and she is used to it!

Besides Berlin, Shukno Lanka was completely shot on location in Calcutta, late in the nights in December of 2009, in the bitter cold. The climax with Mithun-da is actually shot in Esplanade.

Gaurav Pandey grew up in North Calcutta - playing pada cricket in the narrow lanes, going to school at Calcutta Boys in Entally (near Sealdah), subequently graduating from Scottish Church College, Calcutta and then persuing graduate degress at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, followed by travel to Paris and returning to Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay).

Gaurav worked as a reporter in many countries across the globe for 12 years. He is not particularly a cinema buff, and his career in film-making is more of a fortuitous, even accidental, event, transpired by his introduction in Paris to the famous film-maker Basu Bhattacharya (Teesri Kasam, Sparsh). Basu Bhattacharya invited the very young Gaurav over to Bombay to work as the writer for Aastha: In the Prison of Spring (1997) starring Rekha.

Gaurav subsequently founded a studio named Continuity Films and made countless advertisements and hour-long films for Television channels including Star Plus, Zee Tv and others.

Gaurav Pandey's first full-length Hindi film Stumped was released in 2003 featuring Raveena Tandon, Aly Khan and Salman Khan in lead roles. Subsequently he worked as the writer of Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's Anuranan (Bengali, 2006).

Debasree Roy & SabyasachiAnd then, Shukno Lanka (Bengali, 2010).

The title Sukno Lanka comes from the ubiquitous spice in Bengali cuisine, indispensible but not really acknowledged because it provides identity to the final dish. This concept carries over into the film world, which would not function without junior artists.

Kunal Mitra 
and Angana BoseThe film is about - in Gaurav's words, "boro boro tarokader suparishe benche thaka, onyanyo bhumikar talikar sobcheye seshe jar naam" - the actor whose name appears at the bottom of the list of supporting cast credits.

Emma BrownThe role of this sukno lonka - the junior artist - is played by three-time National Award winning acting power-house Mithun Chakraborty. Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Debasree Roy are in the film, with Australian actress Emma Garnett Brown. There is a real Sukno Lanka - Angana Bose - who never did a major role before this film, but has impressed everyone in the cast and crew by her acting skills in a lead role in the film. Actor Kunal Mitra, who unfortunately passed away few weeks after the film was completed, plays a very important role in Shukno Lanka.

Gaurav's other current project is the Hindi film Spagetti 24x7 starring Mithun Chakraborty as a security guard. The film also stars Mithunda's son Mimoh and actress Padmini Kolhapure. Spagetti 24x7 is expected to release in October of 2010.

Bengali, 2010

Cast: Mithun Chakraborty as Chinu Nandy, Sabyasachi Chakraborty as Joy Sundar Sen, Debashree Roy as Jhilik, Emma Garnett Brown as Isabella, Angana Bose as Bela
Screenplay By: Gaurav Pandey (Writer)
Directed By: Gaurav Pandey
Produced By: Mumbai Mantra Media Limited
Plot Outline:

Shukno Lanka is a journey about forgotten dreams. It is a story of fears, reconciliation and finally of living the magic called life. Joy Sundar Sen is a popular award-winning film director. He meets Isabella a young European actress in Berlin. Cutting across divides of age and culture, Isabella and Sen Share a bond of respect and understanding. At a book-store in Berlin, Sen and Isabella chance upon an anthology of short stories by the Indian film maker Ritwik Ghatak. As he browses through the book, one of the stories - Paraspathar (The Philosopher’s Stone) begins to resonate in his mind. It is a story of a man who seems to have hit upon a magic formula to bring people to life back from death. Faced with his own morality, brought more sharply into relief by the effervescent youth of Isabella, Sen decides that Paraspathar is going to be his next film.

Chinu Nandy is a junior artiste who has survived in an unforgiving industry. Middle aged, Nandy has been playing bit parts in movies for several decades. Over the course of time, Nandy has learned to accept his fate, hoping that one day he could add as much flavour to movies as dry red chillies would to a curry. So when Sen, back from his grand international success decides to cast Nandy to play the lead role in Paraspathar, he is shocked and frightened to realize a strange unimagined path that destiny seems to open for him. But the path is not an unmitigated clear way to a dream.

Chinu’s humble stance on life slowly begins to rub off on those around him with surprising results. At the last minute the producer of Paraspathar decides to pull the disappearing act. What happens next is what Shukno Lanka is all about.

Co- Producer: Moxie Media Pvt. Ltd.
Art Director: Indranil Ghosh.
Sound Design: Dipankar Chaki & Anirban Sengupta.
Editor: Mahadeb Shi.
Cinematographer: Mahesh Aney.

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.

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 | 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.

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