Exclusive WBRi Bangla Radio Interviews, Reviews, Features, Songs, Videos, Biographies of Bangla Artists, Bands and Albums

Director Anup Das on LIFE EXPRESS (2010) Audio Interview & Press Meet exclusive | Rituparna Sengupta, Divya Dutta

Anup Das is the director of the Indian film LIFE EXPRESS (2010) that deals with the interesting subject of surrogate motherhood and contemporary urban Indian lifestyle that sometimes tends to leave little time for a career-oriented woman to have children.

The film which will release on 17th Sept, had it’s press meet in Kolkata at Plush, The Astor in the presence of the director Anup Das, Rituparna and Yashpal Sharma. The film has been produced by Sky Motion Pictures who are producing a film for the first time.

Anup Das's previous short film RIKSHAWALLA has been critically acclaimed and screened in Film festivals in Germany and Calcutta. The film is about how a city that claims to be fast modernizing with Subways and contemporary forms of transportation still relies on human-pulled rickshaws to a large extent.

LIFE EXPRESS Hindi Bollywood Movie Poster

Interview - Sudeshna Roy | Kolkata Bengali Movie Director - Prem By Chance, Cross Conncetion, Sudhu Tumi

Sudeshna Roy is one half of the popular duo of film makers along with Abhijit Guha. The duo is famous for directing a myriad of quality TV serials, telefilms, and full-length Kolkata Bengali feature films including Prosenjit-starrer Sudhu Tumi (BUY DVD), Cross Connection (BUY DVD) and the eagerly anticipated Prem By Chance (2010) starring Abir Chatterjee and Koel Mullick and featuring music by Rupankar Bagchi.

Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio talks to Sudeshna Roy in this exclusive and intimate audio interview.

Sudeshna Roy was born and grew up in Calcutta. She started off her career as a journalist, and was associated with acclaimed journals like Aajkal, Telegraph, and with Sananda women's magazine from the very inception of Sananda. Circa 1994, when Satellite TV finally reached India, Sudeshna started a women's magazine program on ZEE TV channel, where she met Abhijit Guha and they started working together. Today, Sudeshna and Abhijit have delivered over 3000 hours of television programming. Additionally, they have directed numerous Telefilms.

In 2004, the duo directed their first Bengali feature film Sudhu Tumi (BUY DVD) based on a romantic family comedy-drama story by Sudeshna. Sudhu Tumi scored a number of firsts in Bengali cinema industry - it launched popular television actress Gargi Roychowdhury into feature films and featured film-song playback singer Shreya Ghoshal singing Rabindra Sangeet. Most remarkably, Sudhu Tumi saw the debut of Ranjit Mullick's daughter Koel Mullick in Bengali cinema - who is now one of the top Tollywood actresses of the younger generation. Koel appeared against the venerable Bumbada - Prosenjit Chattopadhyay - in Sudhu Tumi.

Interview | Bappaditya Bandopadhyay - Film Maker (Sampradan, Shilpantar, Devki, Kantataar, Housefull, Kagojer Bou)

Acclaimed Bengali and Bollywood film-maker Bappaditya Bandopadhyay talks to Subhomoy Mukherjee in this extensive, informal and intimate interview on Washington Bangla Radio.

We always expect something different to watch , something different to think whenever we go for a movie by Bappadityo Bandopadhyay.

Bappadityo started his career with Television, specially telefilms, and as assistant director for movies.

That time he came in touch with Film Director cum Musician Gautam Chattopadhyay ( of Mahiner Ghodaguli ) whom he knew from his childhood.

Working with Gautam changed the focus and vision of Bappadityo and he felt the urge within himself to make feature films of his own.

In 1998 he made his first feature, Sampradan. As he was not aware about economics and distribution part of filmdom that time, he could not reach to all with Sampradan rather he could not popularize Sampradan.

After Sampradan, he made critically acclaimed film Shilpantar based on a short story by famous author, Shirshendu Mukherjee.

After Shilpantar he was in Bollywood for years and that time he debuted there with award winning “Devki”

After Devki he returned in Tollywood and made “Kantatar” which made Bappdityo a Bengali household name as director.

After Kantatar, he made Kaal on flesh trade racket and Housefull as his autobiographical.

In the meantime he started his career as a producer with the film Hello Kolkata made by his friend Manoj.

Right now he is very busy with last minute works of his present directional, Kagojer Bou, based on another Shirshendu novel and starting of his next feature.

Kagojer Bou casts Paoli, Rahul, Priyanka, Bratyo, Nandini, Joy among others and Gaurav aka Gabu from Laxmichada starts his career as film music director with this film. Bappadityo made this film very contemporary with a story of merely 40 years ago.

He not only experiments with subjects but also with new actors as well as versatility of established and popular actors by utilizing them in completely new kind of characters to them.

He truly maintains and follows the Tollywood gharana started by trio Satyajit-Ritwik-Mrinal, who incidentally his favourite directors too among others, and we hope to see more and more qualitative works from this creative genius.

We also wish all the success for Kagojer Bou as well as all future Bappadityo ventures.

Interview: Debojyoti Mishra - Composer and Acclaimed Tollywood Bengali Film Music Director

Debojyoti Mishra talks to Subhomoy Mukherjee in this exclusive, comprehensive and intimate audio interview on Washington Bangla Radio.

How to describe Debojyoti Mishra who is an musical institution by himself!! We can only consider him as a gifted prodigy of Bengali Music. He is one amongst the best music directors of Tollywood. At the same time he is showing his talent for Ad films, soaps and movies from other countries and of other languages too.

Interview | Gaurab Chatterjee (Gabu) - Lakkhichara drummer, music director of Bengali Movies Kagojer Bou (2010), Necklace (2010)

Gaurav Chatterjee - (C) Washington Bangla Radio Though he is famous as Gabu, his nick name, the full name of this famous drummer from the reputed Kolkata Bengali Band LAKKHICHARA is Gaurab Chatterjee. Gabu is also a background score composer and music director of Kolkata Tollywood Bengali movies including KAGOJER BOU and NECKLACE (2010). Subhomoy Mukherjee of Washington Bangla Radio talks to Gaurav in this informal and intimate interview. Somnath Dasgupta (complete WBRi Feature) of Ami Budhin Bolchi fame also appears in this interview.

Kolkata Bangla Rock Band Lakkhichara

Toronto Tabla Ensemble - Acclaimed Independent Band Exploring World Music with Rhythms rooted in India

Washington Bangla Radio is pleased to present a selection of the beautiful and unique compositions of Toronto Tabla Ensemble (www.tablaensemble.com)  for your listening pleasure. These audio tracks are presented courtesy of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble and their Artistic Director, Ritesh Das (e-mail: riteshdas [at] tablaensemble [dot] com). Click on the play button above to listen to the songs on WBRi On-Demand Radio.

The songs are:

  • Indo Africa -Toronto Tabla Ensemble. Composer Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri
  • Weight - Toronto Tabla Ensemble. Composer Ritesh Das
  • Tap Root -Toronto Tabla Ensemble and Donald Quan. Composer Ritesh Das & Donald Quan
  • Waterfall - Toronto Tabla Ensemble. Composer Ritesh Das
  • Joyfully Seven- Toronto Tabla Ensemble
  • Weaving - Toronto Tabla Ensemble. Composer Ritesh Das
  • Bable - Ritesh Das and Hari Krishnan. Composers Ritesh Das and Hari Krishnan.

About Toronto Tabla Ensemble

This critically acclaimed independent band from Toronto, Canada, is a total music experience. The TTE has developed its own powerful style using rhythms from India, while exploring contemporary musical landscapes with artists from other cultures.

Playing to sold out audiences since 1991, this influential voice in Canadian music, brings together the North Indian percussive tradition of Tabla, with some of Canada's best music and dance groups.

Staying true to form, content and feeling, the TTE moves what is traditionally a solo instrument to an unparalleled level of ensemble work.

The intricate rhythms and abundant tonal variations possible on the tabla combine to make it one of the most expressive of all percussion instruments. Add to this the versatility of mallets, percussion, voice, violin, bass and dance, and you have what the Ensemble is all about.

The Ensemble has performed at all of Canada's best folk, jazz and art festivals, has appeared nationally and internationally on Bravo!, CBC News World and Much Music, and in 2003 was commissioned to create the current theme music for the CBC RADIO 1's daily morning show Metro Morning.

MP3 Download

Toronto Tabla Ensemble albums are available in MP3 Audio download format online. Click on the album names below to listen to free samples and download Mp3 Audio tracks.

Band Members

Ritesh DasRitesh Das

Ritesh Das, composer and musician, has studied tabla with gurus Pandit Shankar Ghosh, Ustad Zakir Hussain and most extensively with Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. He has toured throughout the US, Canada and India, and performed with many of India's great music and dance innovators. Since moving to Canada, he has established himself as an extraordinary teacher of tabla and founded the Toronto Tabla Ensemble in 1991.

Joanna De SouzaJoanna De Souza

Joanna de Souza is perhaps the only Canadian born artist to achieve a Master's Degree in Indian Classical Kathak dance through Prayag Sangit Samiti, Allahabad, India. Her study of Kathak, which began in 1978, continues under Pandit Chitresh Das. Since her return to Toronto, she has gained reputation as an excellent Kathak dancer, teacher and choreographer. Her traditional and collaborative works have earned her a variety of nominations and awards. She is Artistic Director of M-DO and has been a member of the TTE since 1993.

Neel PunnaNeel Punna

Neel, a native East Coaster, began studying with Ritesh Das upon his move to Toronto in 1993. As an integral member of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, he regularly accompanies kathak dance classes and is on the teaching staff of the M-DO and Toronto Tabla Ensemble Centre for World Music and Dance. Neel has traveled with the Ensemble on many tours and has attended all professional development workshops with Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri.

Jonathan GoochJonathan Gooch

Jono Gooch completed Grade 10 piano in 1996, under Clayton Scott at the Royal Conservatory of Music. A keen interest in rhythm lead him to the drums & he has been playing the kit drum since 1992 & has studied tabla with Ritesh since 1999. He has toured nationally with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble & plays locally with the Three Bears, Shiver Mc Timbers, Clocknuts and You Left Saving The Planet.

Heather ThorkelsonHeather Thorkelson

A passion for tabla lead Heather to begin studying tabla with Ritesh Das upon her return from abroad. She has toured internationally with the Ensemble and participates in all professional development workshops, including those with Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. She is a member of the Ensemble's Board of Directors and plays a vital production and promotional role in all concerts and fund-raising events.

Bindu SadasivanBindhu Sadasivan

Bindhu made her debut with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble in 2007. She participates in all performances, classes and workshops and is studying the art of kathak dance accompaniment. Outside of the Ensemble, she works as a full-time occupational therapist.

Robin KalninRobin Kalnin

Robin had his first exposure to the Indian classical performing arts while completing a degree in music at the University of British Columbia. A saxophone player by training, he has composed music and played in a variety of jazz, classical and contemporary settings. Upon moving to Toronto, an interest in Indian percussion lead to studies in tabla. Robin performs with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble and accompanies kathak dance classes and performances.

Vitra GosineVitra Gosine

Vitra has been studying tabla for the last several years and made her debut with the Ensemble in 2007. She participates in all classes and workshops and is studying kathak dance accompaniment. Outside of the Ensemble, Vitra is an Investment Finance Analyst.

Interview - Sudip Mukherjee - Actor in Bengali film and TV - Musalmanir Golpo, Premrog, Kantatar, Greftar

Well-known Bengali film and television actor Sudip Mukherjee talks to Arijit Chakraborty, Washington Bangla Radio, in an informal, comprehensive and intimate interview.

Sudip Mukherjee is a sportsman-turned actor, with successful sportsmanship in cricket and rowing before he switched tracks to enter professional acting. Sudip has acted in acclaimed roles in Bengali stage theater, including for theater groups like Calcutta Performers lead by Kamal Roychoudhuri. He is also well-knows for his performances in major television serials, including Draupadi, Ingit, Neel Shimana, Janmabhoomi, Sheola, Ei To Jibon etc, and the currently airing Erao Shotru and Kurukhetra for which he has received the best actor award for multiple consecutive years.

Sudip has played significant roles in films like Gautam Ghosh's 13 years of vrindaban studio, Subrata's Ek je ache kanya, Tapan Sinha's Dheu and so on. He is also very well remembered for his depiction of Byomkesh Bakshi in Swapan Ghosal's adaptation. Other notable performances of Sudip Mukherjee include his roles in Jara brishtite bhijechilo, Premrog, Kantataar, Greftar and the recently released MUSALMANIR GOLPO.

Interview | SRIJIT MUKHERJEE - Director, Kolkata Bengali Movie AUTOGRAPH (2010) starring Prosenjit - Nandana Sen

Kolkata Tollywood Bengali Movie AutographDo not miss Srijit Mukherjee's great story of his cast and crew singing songs when shooting of Bengali movie Autograph was once delayed due to unavoidable reasons, including his senior collaborators, in this extensive and in-depth audio interview of playwright-director-actor Srijit Mukherjee by Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio.

Srijit Mukherjee has an extensive background in professional English and Bengali stage theater, and his full-length Bengali feature film AUTOGRAPH (2010) is expected to release on October 14 2010.

Autograph, a Bengali film, is produced by Shrikant Mohta and Mahendra Soni of Shree Venkatesh Films, the makers of Chokher Bali, Raincoat and Iti Mrinalini, in collaboration with Madhu Mantena, the producer of Ghajini and Rann. It marks the debut of Srijit Mukherji as a writer/director and stars the reigning matinee idol of the Bengali Film Industry, Prosenjit Chatterjee, the internationally acclaimed actress Nandana Sen and the emerging new face of Bengali parallel cinema, Indraneil Sengupta. The plot revolves around three lives - a superstar, a young director and a theater actress - and how their coming together during the process of making a film, changes them forever. The film is also a humble tribute to Satyajit Ray's Nayak and is expected to release on October 14, 2010.

BOMKESH BAKSHI Interview | Abir Chatterjee - Bengali Movie Actor - Prem By Chance, Cross Connection, Robibar Bikelbela

Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie Hero Abir Chatterjee

Tollywood Kolkata Bengali movie and Television actor Abir Chattopadhyay talks to Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio in this comprehensive and intimate interview.

Abir Chattopadhyay is a contemporary young smart and intelligent actor who has already made a place for himself in the Bengali Movie and Television worlds in Kolkata. Abir played the critically acclaimed role of Vicky in CROSS CONNECTION (2009)  (Buy DVD Online) directed by the popular duo Abhijit Guha and Sudeshna Roy co-starring Ritwick Chakraborty, Payal Sarkar, Rimjhim Mitra, Biswajit Chakraborty and Sasawata Chatterjee. Abir  is also the lead actor in Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha film PREM BY CHANCE where Abir's co-star is Ranjit Mullick's daughter KOEL MULLICK. In a welcome development, Abir is also going to play the role of Satyanweshi Byomkesh Bakshi in a trilogy directed by ANJAN DUTTA starting off with ADIM RIPU followed by Chitrachor.

In the world of Bengali TV Shows, Abir plays a lead role in the Bengali popular tele-serial SOMOY on Rupashi Bangla Kolkata TV Channel. In SHOMOY, Abir's co-stars are Indrani Haldar, Parno Mitra and Dhritiman Chatterjee. SOMOY is a modern take of the Indian mythological classic The Mahabharata. You can watch live Indian Hindi and Kolkata Bengali TV Shows online via Washington Bangla Radio's Affiliate Service - click here for more information.

Interview | MUMTAZ SORCAR - Bengali Movie Actress (Bhuter Bhabishyat,Musalmanir Galpo, 033)

Mumtaz Sorcar (Wikipedia)Bengali movie actress Mumtaz Sorcar, the beautiful daughter of renowned magician P C Sorcar Jr - talks to glamorous singer - songwriter - composer and popular Radio show hostess Sushmita Bhattachrya (WBRi feature) on Washington Bangla Radio.

Interview - Natobor Not Out (Bengali, 2010) Movie Hero Mostafa Prokash

Bengali Film NATOBAR NOT OUT Hero Mostafa ProkashMostafa Prokash is the famous NATOBAR in the Bengali movie NATOBAR NOT OUT directed by Amit Sen (WBRi interview) and co-starring Raima Sen, Ananya Dutta (WBRi interview) and others.

Mostafa grew up in a deep rural village in Bangladesh, and spent at least 14 years of his life there. He learnt many very valuable things from that episode of his life - about nature and people and living off the land. He arrived at the Bangladeshi capital city of Dhaka for higher studies, and is currently studying Drama and Dramatics at Jahangirnagar University, graduating in 2011.

Interview | ANANYA DUTTA - Actress, Model, Danseuse - Tollywood Kolkata Bengali Movie NATOBAR NOT OUT

Bengali Actress ANANYA DUTTAAnanya Dutta is a well-known model and actress living in Mumbai. In her debut in Tollywood, her first Kolkata Bengali feature film NATOBAR NOT OUT (2010) is releasing first week of August 2010, where she appears in a lead role with Mustafa Prokash, Raima Sen, Ramaprasad Banik and others. The film is directed by Amit Sen (WBRi exclusive interview audio) and produced by Bunch of Buddies lead by Manu Malhotra (WBRi feature).

Interview | Avik Mukhopadhyay - Ekti Tarar Khonje (Beyond the stars) Bengali Movie - director

Bengali Movie Director AVIK MUKHOPADHYAYAvik Mukhopadhyay is the director of the 2010 Bengali feature film EKTI TARAR KHOJE. Avik talks to Subhomoy Mukherjee of Washington Bangla Radio in this exclusive audio interview that you can listen to online by pressing the play buttons above. Avik talks about his early days with Black Magic, and ad films - then Bengali feature films with Rituparno Ghosh (and Mrinal Sen and Aparna Sen). He says he has always had some concepts in his head and wondered if he could express his concepts in his own way if he took up direction of a feature film, and that chain of thought and inspiration from his buddies led to ETK.

NATOBAR NOT OUT (2010) Bengali Film Director Amit Sen Interview

Natobar Not Out Bengali Movie Poster

In this informal and intimate iterview, film-maker Amit Sen talks about his background and of course Bengali movie NATOBAR NOT OUT. Amit shares his views about contemporary Bengali cinema, contrasting with the "golden era" of Bengali film and dwells on how Bengali films have changed according to times. A director's take of the movie industry is always fascinating to hear, and Amit Sen's words are no exception.

Click on the Play button at the top of this post to listen to Amit Sen as he speaks with Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio.

Interview | Angana Basu - Actress, Danseuse, Elocutionist | SHUKNA LANKA (2010) Bengali Movie

Angana Basu is a lead actress of Gaurav Pandey's great Bengali movie Shukno Lanka (2010) where she plays the pivotal role of Chinu Nandi's wife. Chinu Nandi is played in Sukno Lanka by our favorite Mithunda - Mithun Chakraborty.

Chakraborty - Angana Basu in SUKNO LANKA
Angana Bose and Mithun Chakraborty in Sukno Lanka (Bengali, 2010)

Angana Basu - Manab Premik Nimai

Angana Basu talks to Arijit Chakraborty of Washington Bangla Radio in this informal and intimate interview. Click on the Play button in the full post to listen to Angana Basu online.