Interview: Film-Maker Sri Joydip talks about his films Bandemataram 2011, Beyond Harvard: The Mind of Nalanda

Click on PLAY to listen to Sri Joydip - WBRi On-Demand Audio Broadcast

[Joydeep Chakladar]

Germantown, Maryland, March 29, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Sri Joydip (Joydip Chakladar) is a film-maker from Calcutta, and talks to Arijit Chakraborty on WBRi in an informal and candid chat. Joydip has written and directed Bande Mataram 2010 (Bengali, 2010) that was screened at the 2010 Kolkata International Film Festival. He is currently working on two films - Bande Mataram 2011 and Beyond Harvard: The Mind of Nalanda - both expected to be complete and released later this year.

Bandemataram 2010 is a short film, with which Joydip tested the waters of making a full-length feature on iconic Bengali writer and poet Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and his song Bande Mataram which is at par in India with the nation's National Anthem (and was very close in the race to become the official Anthem of India), as well as one of the greatest Bengali literary works - Anandamath - which draws parallels between India as a mother and Hindu goddesses Jagadhatri, Kali and Durga in a broader context of the great Indian famine of 1770 and the Sannyasi Rebellion. With Bandemataram and Anandamath Bankim Chandra Chatterjee explores the nation as a maternal form - and celebrates the free Motherland in its literal and philosophical aspects. A recurrent chant of the heroic freedom fighters of India - often as they were laying down their lives for the motherland - is one of the themes of Joydip's film, in which, as you will hear Joydip say, he pursues his deepfelt need of expressing the emotions in a different way. Anandamath was banned by British invaders of India.

Bandemataram 2011 is going to expand on the themes which were touched upon by the 2010 short film, while exploring the immense depths of Anandamath the seminal novel. While talking about Anandamath and the film, Joydip's enthusiasm is infectious - you will listen to how Joydip explores philosophy, karmayoga, the Bhagavad Gita and Sanyas.

Bandemataram 2010 is a poetic film, while Bandemataram 2011 is also more abstract in nature which attempts to explore the concepts of the Sannyasi Rebellion, Bande Mataram the song, India as the mother and Ananda Math in modern social, political and economic fabric of the present day.

Joydip's other current project Beyond Harvard: The Mind of Nalanda explores what Joydip describes as "thought solutions" of contemporary global problems, like the financial crisis across the world, environmental challenges etc. Joydip says that perhaps today's top academic institutions like Harvard, while offering fantastic academic analyses and solutions to today's problems, are still a bit wanting in reaching intellectual heights achieved before in places like the University at Nalanda, and perhaps it is time to look back at previous academic institutions which over the millenia have successfully offered thoughts, analyses and solutions to equally big problems of the time. Nalanda was the world's premium institution of its time - and today it may be wise to imbibe the structure, depth, processes and intellect-simulating environment of Nalanda to bring about fresh insight into today's problems.

We hope to bring you more news of Sri Joydip aka Joydip Chakladar and his films as they progress.