People - Interview

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.

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 ( 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 - Kaushik Ganguly - Acclaimed Bengali Film-Maker Rang Milanti, Arekti Premer Golpo, Jackpot, Shunno E Buke, Brake Fail

By Subhomoy Mukherjee
WBRi Kolkata Special Correspondent

CALCUTTA, Nov 4, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) As all Bengali film-lovers are aware of, acclaimed film-maker Kaushik Ganguly is making the film RANG MILANTI which is currently on the floors. Washington Bangla Radio has already published exclusive interviews with the beautiful actress Elena Kasnatscheewa (listen here) and young actor Tanaji Dasgupta (listen online here) with more interviews of the cast coming up. Another eagerly anticipated film of Kaushik, Arekti Premer Golpo (movie info) is set to be released in December 2010 - a film about two gay film-makers which features acclaimed director Rituparno Ghosh appearing as an actor for one of the lead roles (the other played by Indranil Sengupta).

Kaushik Ganguly's earlier movies include Jackpot (DVD) starring Hiran Chatterjee, Koel Mullick, Rahul and Sohini Pal; Just Another Love Story and Shunyo E Bukey (DVD) starring Rupa Ganguly, Churni Ganguly, Koushik Sen, Tota Roy Chowdhury and Dipankar Dey. You can watch the full Bangla comedy movie Jackpot online here.

Listen to an exclusive interview of Kaushik Ganguly hosted by Subhomoy Mukherjee of WBRi in Kolkata available online by pressing the play button on the audio player via Washington Bangla Radio.

Interview - Tapasi Roy Chowdhury - Renowned Bengali Actress, Singer, Director and Producer

CALCUTTA, Nov 4, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Tapasi Roy Chowdhury was born and brought up in the environment of theatre and singing. She has started to act and to take training in singing from her child hood. She was continuing both her educational and acting career ( in theatre ) simultaneously till her marriage.

Actress Paoli Dam releases album Palte Gelo Din Sheddho Bhaate Kerosene by Tapasi Roy Chowdhury

After marriage, she had shifted her base abroad. At the time of living in different countries of the World, she was feeling her thirst towards acting in theatre again.

When she was living with her sons and husband at Thailand, she decided to come Kolkata to act at least in one theatre for one day.

In 1990s she has come Kolkata temporarily to act in Bijon theatre. But that acting has changed the direction of her life entirely.

Read all about Tapasi Roy Choudhury and watch the complete video interview online at Washington Bangla Radio.

Interview - TANAJI DASGUPTA - Actor in Bengali movie RANG MILANTI, MADLY BENGALI & co-founder of TIN CAN theater group

Germantown, Maryland, October 24, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Writer, director, actor Tanaji Dasgupta is appearing in a Bengali film RANG MILANTI directed by Kaushik Ganguly. Tanaji's debut feature film as an actor was Anjan Dutta's 2009 film MADLY BANGALI (DVD release). In this exclusive, comprehensive and informal audio interview, Arijit Chakrabarty of Washington Bangla Radio caught up with Tanaji soon after he returned from a very busy shooting stint in Bangladesh.

Film-maker Kaushik Ganguly was actually Tanaji's Bengali language teacher for a year when Tanaji was in 9th grade at middle school !

Bengali film-maker Kaushik Ganguly's earlier movies include Jackpot (DVD) starring Hiran Chatterjee, Koel Mullick, Rahul and Sohini Pal; Just Another Love Story and Shunyo E Bukey (DVD) starring Rupa Ganguly, Churni Ganguly, Koushik Sen, Tota Roy Chowdhury and Dipankar Dey.

Interview - Panchi Jalonvi, Lyricist, Bollywood Indian Hindi film songs

Calcutta, Oct 20, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio / PRLog) "Since the time I started listening and learning music, GULZAR SAHAB is the person I admire the most this his richness in writing and the zeal for the work which has preserved him so fresh and real , seriously Gulzar sahib ki Jai ho" says acclaimed Hindi audio film song lyricist Panchi Jalonvi.

Read the excliusive interview at Washington Bangla Radio.

Interview: KAYA Kolkata Bangla Band talk to Tapan Bera, President of Sanskriti of Washington DC, USA

Germantown, Maryland, October 19, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Kolkata Bangla Band KAYA known for their pioneering Bengali folk-fusion songs delivered a spectacular concert at the Sanskriti Durga Puja on Oct 16, 2010 in Washington DC, USA.

RajuSubir (right) and Arindam (left)ArchanBubai

KAYA explain in this interview hosted by Tapan Bera, President, Sanskriti Bengali Association of Washington DC Metro area, how the experience of their 2nd USA tour is different from the first one, in terms of fantastic audience response and ambience. They convey their appreciation of the audience participation and the unique experience of having the audience singing along with them - aspects of their shows that are rare.

Watch the full interview video with KAYA band of Kolkata exclusively from Washington Bangla Radio.

Interview: Egaro The Eleven (2011) Bengali Film Music Directors Mayukh-Mainak & Lyricist Sumanta Choudhury

EGARO The Immortal Eleven Tollywood Calcutta Bengali Movie PosterCalcutta, India, October 10, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Mayukh and Mainak are music directors and Sumanta Choudhury is the lyricist of the Bengali film EGARO - THE IMMORTAL XI  that celebrated the best of Indian soccer (football) and the July 29, 1911 historic victory of the Calcutta-based Indian team of Mohun Bagan against the British East Yorkshire Regiment, thus winning Mohun Bagan the IFA Shield for the first time ever for an Indian team. Egaro is directed by Arun Roy and produced by Anilava Chatterjee.

In this audio interview presented by WBRi on-demand radio service, Mayukh, Mainak and Sumanta talk to Subhomoy Mukherjee, reporter in Kolkata for Washington Bangla Radio. We have previously presented a video interview of Anilabha Chatterji which you can watch online here.

Interview | Shuman Chattopadhyay - CEO, Cozmik Harmony, Kolkata and the latest MP3 Download audio songs album releases

Germantown, Maryland, USA, Oct 9, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Shuman Chattopadhyay is the CEO of the top Kolkata Bengali music producer, publisher and record company COZMIK HARMONY.

Shuman Chattopadhyay of Cozmik HarmonyShuman Chattopadhyay talks to Tanima Singha informally in this audio interview on Washington Bangla Radio.

Cozmik Harmony audio songs albums can be downloaded from Washington Bangla Radio online MP3 Download store.

Shuman says there is no dearth of fresh talent in India and particularly Bengal, and draws our attention to the fact that contestants from Bengal are always present in any national-level talent hunt in India (Indian TV channels air a lot of talent-hunt shows that are immensely popular among the audience). Shuman also mentions the sweetness and melody inherent in the Bengali language, perhaps resulting in a majority of the greatest composers, singers and artists in the music industry continuing to have roots in Bengal and Bengali - Kishore Kumar, Pancham-da, Sachin Dev Burman, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar and so on from the nostalgic period to today's Shreysa Ghoshal, Shaan, Kumar Sanu etc.

Listen to the audio interview online.

Interview | Film-Maker Sekhar Das - "acting was an accident" | NECKLACE, Krantikal, Kaler Rakhal, Mahulbanir Sereng

Sekhar Das is a well known film director now but there is a long path of preparation for making of this director of substance. In this audio interview. Subhomoy Mukherjee of WBRi talks to Sekhar Das about his career in acting, film-making and upcoming Bengali movie NECKLACE.

Though he has started his career in the insurance field with a higher rank, he was a addict of movie and theatre and he has felt very free with his friends like Actor Anjan Dutta, Director Rabi Ojha, etc. that time.

Even Mrinal Sen has chosen him to act with Anjan Dutta in Dutta’s debut film Chalchitro (1981) but his physical condition has not allowed her to act in film that time. Also nnown as The Kaleidoscope, the Anjan Dutt, Gita Sen, Utpal Dutt, Nilotpal Dey, Arun Mukherjee starrer CHALACHITRA is available worldwide on online DVD release here.

His passion for creative world and his creative sense have led him to be in theatre as an actor – director.

He has become very successful with his theatres that time.

But he is a man who does not like to stick to a particular medium for long time. He feels very tired as a monotonous one.

Then he started acting in television. In the mean time he left his job also. At that time he was very popular as script writer for television daily soaps also. He started writing script with second part of 1st Bengali daily soap “Janani”. But he became famous as script writer with “Mohini”. He could earn a lot as script writer but he felt very bored and started other creative works and started the plan to direct films.

CALCUTTA BENGALI MOVIE MAHULBONER SERENG DVD RELEASETowards the beginning of this decade, Sekhar Das surprised the Bengali film audience with Mahulbaneer Sereng (2004) which is the debut film for actress Chandreyi Ghosh (Sabyasachi Chakrabarty and Rupa Ganguly are also in the star cast) and the film has won many awards at different film festivals of the World. Click here to order Mahulbanir Sereng: Songs of Mahulbani on DVD release online.

Mahulbani depicted the root cause of tribal problems very vividly.

KRANTIKAAL Calcutta Tollywood Bengali Movie DVDWith the success of Mahulbani, he has tried with an entire new topic; terrorism in North Bengal at “Krantikaal” starring Shilajit Majumdar, Rupa Ganguly, Soumitra Chatterjee, Haradhan Bannerjee, Arjun Chakraborty, Ashok Mukherjee, Alaknanda Roya and others. Buy KRANTIKAL (2005) Bengali movie DVD here.

After Krantikaal, he has made ‘Kaler Rakhal” (2009) which portrays the problems of village based actors, village politics of Bengal as well as dilemma of Village life in Bengal, starring Parambrata Chatterjee, Nandana Sen, Rudranil Ghosh, Rupa Ganguly, Soumitra Chatterjee, Chandrayee Ghosh, Kunal Mitra, Usashi Chakraborty, Santilal Mukherjee, Debesh Roy Chowdhury and more. Order Calcutta Bengali movie KALER RAKHAL on DVD Worldwide online here.

As he has made all the above mentioned films on village life as a trilogy, this time he has decided to make a film on City life and the result is “Necklace” which will release at theatres by end of November, 2010.

We are eagerly waiting for the release of this movie and expecting another sensational  and successful creation by Sekhar Das.

Listen to the exclusive audio interview of director Sekhar Das on Washington Bangla Radio audio-on-demand free service.

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