Interview: Anasuya Samanta on Bengali Film ALO CHAYA (2011), BLOOD (2008) Transcending Commercial & Art-House to Good Cinema

By Supratim Sanyal
Interview host: Esha Basu Roy, Jacksonville, Florida

Click Play to listen to Anusua Samanta on Alo Chaya & Bengali films
WBRi On-Demand Audio Broadcast

Kolkata Bengali Movie Director Anasua SamantaWashington DC, Aug 9, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) When Anasuya Samanta was a little four-year old girl, she spontaneously broke into a little poem of her own that her mother wrote down because Anasuya had not learned to write yet.

Other than an inherent talent for poetry and writing, Anasuya also started playing roles on stage in drama productions from when she was just a kid. She had initially expected to make a career in acting and direction, but as she pursued academics, she also developed a liking for science, botany in particular.

Therefore, later on, Anasuya found herself studying both Botanical science and the art of film making at the same time! In a way, the two apparently disconnected fields come together in her mind - as she puts it, she has spent much blissful time reading poems to plants and listening to their poetry in turn.

AALO CHAYA (2011) BENGALI MOVIE POSTERAs a film-maker, Anasuya's debut feature film "Blood" (2008) - Bengali title জোর - takes on a rather unusual subject of high-society lonely women looking to buy physical pleasure getting murdered by a serial killer on a mission of cleansing the society. The murderer ultimately explains his reasons towards the end of the film - you will have to watch the film to learn why. Blood stars Debesh Raychowdhury, Anasuya Samanta, Manojit, Sutanuka, Mita Chatterjee, Sameer Mukherjee, Manjula Polle and Bhaswar Chatterjee. Order Blood (2008) - an Eskay Movies release Bengali film on DVD in USA and world-wide - click here >

Anasuya's second movie "Alo Chaya" (preview: trailer, poster, cast, crew & synopsis are posted here) has a world-wide release date of September 16, 2011 marking the birth anniversary Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (Sep 15) whose story has been adapted for the film.

Sarat Chandra is one of Anasuya's favorite writers and this story particularly moved her. In spite of being a short story, Anasuya had been planning on making feature film around it from the time she was making a tele-film. Anasuya describes how she studied the story and carefully planned the depiction of the period the story is set in - a difficult task since she had to travel to rural locations and reproduce everything from a different age, including speech and mannerisms.

Of particular interest in the film is the way Anasuya brings together two towering creative geniuses - Rabindranath Tagore and Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. Anasuya points out that the two of them had great bonhomie - both declared the other as his favorite writer. She specially mentions the song "Tumi Rabe Nirobe" performed for her film by singer Srabani Sen.

The star cast of Alo Chaya consists of Soumitro Chatterjee as Jogyo Datta’s spirit, Ramaprasad Banik as Jogyo Datta’s uncle, Sumonto Mukherjee as Aranyo’s father, Bibhu Bhattacharyya as Nayeb of the Zamindari, Manojit as Jogyo Datta, Riwk as Suresh, Anasuya as Surama, Riya as Protul, Anamika Saha as Jogyo Datta’s aunt, Sanghamitra Banerjee as Jogyo Datta’s aunt, Chhobi Talukdar as Suresh’s aunt, Jaysree as Jogyo Datta’s aunt, Mou as a friend of Surama, Indrani as Arko’s mother and more. The music of Aalo Chaya features Rabindrasangeet and original Bengali film songs penned by Manojit Goswami. The music director is Kalyan Sen Barat who makes a cameo appearance as a Baul in the film. The songs have been performed by playback singers Srikanta Acharya, Sraboni Sen, Monomoy Bhattacharyya, Shubhankar Bhaskar, Shubhomita, Emon, Rai and others.

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