News - Bengali Tollywood

Music Launch of "Jani Dekha Hobe" Bengali Movie on 8th Birthday of INOX

By Aditya Chakraborty

Jaani Dekha Hobe (2011) Bengali Movie Music Launch: Kaushiki Desikan, Srijato, Indradeep Dasgupta, Parambrata and Neel Dutt
  Kaushiki Desikan, Srijato, Indradeep Dasgupta, Payel, Parambrata and Neel Dutt

Jaani Dekha Hobe (2011) Bengali Movie Music Launch: Payel Sarkar and Parambrata with winners of motorcycle
Payel Sarkar and Parambrata with winners of the motorcycle

Jaani Dekha Hobe (2011) Bengali Movie Audio Songs Live by Neel Dutta
Neel Dutta performing live on the occassion

Calcutta, Oct 30, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Two mega events took place one after another on Saturday at Inox Forum. Firstly the 8th anniversary bash of Inox. The celebrations which had started from the 1st Oct to the 22nd with a host of events, activities and contests ended with the prize winners of two contests being announced where the lucky winners won a mobile phone and a HERO motorcycle. A cake was also cut to celebrate the occasion.

Interview: Director Sourav Mukherjee on Bengali Movies ZAMEEN (2011) & ANURADHA EKA

Sourav MukherjeeWashington DC, Oct 30, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Sourav Mukhopadhyay is a great theater enthusiast and has made numerous films for TV channels from the mid 1990s. Zameen (Bengali, 2011) is his first full-length feature film. Before commencing on making films, Sourav and his theater group have presented many nationally and internationally acclaimed theater productions, and has performed on stage across the world. Sourav chats with Arijit Chakraborty in this audio interview about his career in film-making and the film Zameen in a greater context of how land-owners are affected in the recent construction boom of highrise apartment buildings in and around Kolkata.

Sourav draws a very interesting parallel to the difference between news-papers and books while describing the challenges in making a full-length feature and a tee-film.

Zameen, or Jamin or Jomin, is a Bengali word that refers to land-owners. The word was in mainstream use till just before the rule of Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah. (1729 - 1757). Sourav describes how he strives to use celluloid as a means of expressing his emotions and rebellion against prevalent social trends, which often results in films that are of a different kind with a strong message.

The real-estate development boom in all rapidly growing Indian cities, including Kolkata, are resulting in a congestion of multi-storied buildings in previously natural serene areas. Lakes, open fields and playgrounds are disappearing rapidly - kids are being forced to play on the rooftops of buildings.

Zameen focuses on the impact on the owners of the land that thee buildings are being constructed. The land is given away by the owners sometimes under pressure or duress, at other times by sweet-sounding deals. Such deals may take the form of dedicating a part of the building to the land-owner's name, or such perks - but the fact remains that the land was given by the owner under pressure in the first place, often times for a much lower price than the real value unless the land-owner had the proper contacts in the political system.

The events in Zameen are centered around a septuagenarian woman, owner of a big chunk of land in a small town not far from the city. She stands up against huge pressure put on by the political-criminal nexus, and her strong opposition results in her murder with her body found at the railway tracks. Her son and daughter-in-law are then put through tremendous pressure to sell the property.

Zameen stars veteran actress Supriya Devi who portrays the septuagenarian mother,  Dulal Lahiri as the real-estate promoter, Sunil Mukherjee as a senior resident of the town, Dolon Roy has portrayed three phases of a woman's life - wife, mother and senior member of the family, Oindrila Chakraborty as the daughter-in-law, Sambhu Chakraborty as a businessman of different shades with a business in Burrabazar, and others.

The film has eight songs - one popular prabhati sangeet and seven Rabindrasangeet songs all performed true to Tagore's compositions. Singers include Tarun Sarkar, Moitreyiee, Subhashish Das Sharma, Shiuli Pal and Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta.

Sourav's next film is titled ANURADHA EKA. It is a story of a woman who is most valued for her monetary status and her ability to support the financial needs of everyone around her - her family, friends and society. Spectacularly successful as an internationally acclaimed danseuse, she however is a very lonely woman, since the moment her relationships transcend her financial status, she finds herself alone. 

Here are some production stills from Zameen (Bengali, 2011):

Bengali Actress DOLON ROY and Supriya Devi
Bengali Actress DOLON ROY and Supriya Devi
Bengali Actress DOLON ROY and Supriya Devi
Bengali Actress DOLON ROY and Supriya Devi
Bengali Actress DOLON ROY and Supriya Devi
Bengali Actress DOLON ROY and Supriya Devi
Bengali Actress DOLON ROY and Supriya Devi

The following is quoted from the official synopsis of Sourav's upcoming full-length debut Bengali feature film Zameen ...

Interview: NEEL B MITRA on Bengali Movies NANDINI (2011) and ABOSHESHE (2012)

[Neel B Mitra]Washington, DC, Oct 29, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Neel B Mitra is a Jadavpur University alumnus, and gave up a very successful career in marketing in Mumbai and returned to Kolkata to puruse an inner calling of writing. Neel started writing while in Mumbai, Abasheshe being of the first three stories. Although offers of writing for films in Mumbai itself had started to come in, Neel wanted to write in Bengali - another reason for returning to Kolkata.

Back in Kolkata, Neel started off as an assistant director for a number of films and documentaries that were critically acclaimed by audiences and across film festivals. Around this time, Sekhar Das - the noted film-maker and director of BFJA Award-winning "Mahulbanir Sereng" and National Award Winning Bengali film "Krantikaal" (2005) - proposed that the impressive communication skills of Neel be deployed for media relations and publicity, and Krantikaal was Neel's first venture as a media coordinator. Today Neel has worked as a media coordinator for over 150 films and is considered one of the top media coordinators in Tollywood.

Neel met Aditi Roy in 1995 when Aditi was studying film-making at Jadavpur University, and wrote scripts for a few short films by Aditi. They decided to make a feature film together, and Neel had Abasheshe waiting for such an opportunity for years. Neel has always been more interested in the challenge of being an original screen-play writer, and did not really want to get into direction - a role which Aditi comfortably filled in.

Neel is a believer in strong pre-production, having made a number of "Making of" films including the one for The Japanese Wife where Neel was also the DOP. Neel told the producers Deb's Entertainment House headed by Anil B Dev that the film would be directed by Aditi and would take three months for wrapping up pre-production. The producer was looking to make a small-budget film with a quick turnaround - and Neel then proposed noted director Subrata Sen make the film "Nandini". Nandini (2011) will open in theaters on November 18, 2011. Neel is the executive producer of Nandini.

Swastika Mukherjee & Dibyendu Mukherjee in a still from Kolkata Bengali Movie NANDINI
A still from Nandini feat. Dibyendu & Swastika

Nandini, like all Subrata Sen films so far, is an urban film with a city-centric story. A relationship-oriented film, Nandini is the story of a happily married but lonely woman whose husband is mostly travelling, and how she gets into a relationship with a fashion photographer. She spends a few exhilerating days with the fashion photographer, but the story is also about her realization that she really loves her husband and there are aspects of marriage that go beyond just love into realms of trust, respect and members of the family.

Listen to Neel chat with Arijit Chakraborty about Nandini and Abasheshe on WBRi on-demand audio broadcast service.

Film Review: "The Barter" (2011) - A Short by Ranadeep Sarker

The Barter (2011) Film Poster

Kolkata, India, 27 October, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio/Sparks Call tech): “The Barter” is the latest short film directed by Ranadeep Sarker (interview) that was released on 21st October, 2011. Running for a quick 3 min-52 sec without any dialogue, this film is a silent retelling of the much-used concept of social imbalance where the rich exploit the poor.

The film begins with a woman begging in tatters in front of a roadside stall. She is dismissively ignored by the first customer at the stall, a young guy who buys himself a packet of chips. Next a man comes to buy cigarettes and gets similarly pestered by the constant nags of the begging woman. However, after a lascivious scan for a few seconds, he sends out a subtle hint for the woman asking her to sleep with him in return of money. To this, she silently follows him, a sign that she has agreed to the proposal. Thereafter, the frame shifts to a room where the man is seen gratifying his sexual desires to the fullest. The woman, at last, is seen buying food from the same roadside stall. The last shot covers a panoramic view of the city with its multistory buildings and a modern urban skyline.

Read the complete review and watch the full movie online on WBRi.

Interview: Actress Sohini Sengupta on her role of Mamata in Bengali Movie Icche (2011) and more

The following is a sponsored article from Databazaar Media Ventures.

By Shoma A. Chatterji

Actress Sohini Sengupta

Calcutta, Oct 27, 2011 (Databazaar Media Ventures) Sohini Sengupta, the fat, not particularly attractive daughter of theatre personalities Rudraprasad and Swatilekha Sengupta, who is herself a theatre person in her own right, has radically transformed the definition of the heroine in Bengali cinema. The reference is to her portrayal of Mamata, the obsessive mother in Shiboprasad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy’s box office hit Icchhe. Interestingly, Icchhe had become very popular among the NRI audiences in North America and Canada that had the opportunity of watching the film in distant lands thanks to the good offices and enterprise of Daatbazaar Media Ventures that has acquired the film for distribution, screening, streaming and telecasting for them.

Were there any problems before casting you as the mother in Icche?

When Shibu and Nandita-di discussed having chosen me with other people in the industry, some of them quite noted filmmakers said – why not a more glamorous actress to portray the mother? An actress I would not like to name came forward to produce the film if she could do the role I did. But my directors were decided that the mother had to have a typical look and had to be able to live the character. It was not only my physical appearance that clinched the deal. The directors’ were right because glamour would have defeated the very purpose of the film and its message.

Icche came after a ten-year long gap since you won the National Award for Best Supporting Actress for Paromitaar Ek Din. Why?

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