Click Play to listen onlie to Aniket Chattopadhyay audio interview online
ANIKET 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" [WBRi Review] 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 [WBRi interview] 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.
Click on the Play button at the top of this post to listen to the interview audio online on WBRi Washington Bangla Radio and enjoy the conversation.
Chaw E Chuti (Bengali, 2010)
Director: Aniket Chattopadhyay
Cast: Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Kunal Mitra, Kharaj Mukherjee, Rudranil Ghosh, Shilajit, Rajesh Sharma, Locket Chatterjee, Sonali Choudhury, Debshankar Halder, Anjana Basu, Milan Roy Choudhury, Kunal Padhi, Dona Das