The educated urban Bengali's losing interest in Bengali mainstream cinema and gradually turning back to it is not new. And some years back they found a much better substitute in Bengali telefilms, pioneered and popularised by ETV Bangla in its Sunday 9.30 pm slot. Fellow channels followed suit. Among them Tara Muzik set its own quality standard in making low-budget but high-quality telefilms. Telefilms are not much shorter than Bengali feature films if songs are set apart. They exposed the Bengali cinema lover to fresh storylines, experimental treatment and new talents in acting and direction. Bengali televiewers felt blessed. Telefilms soon became so popular that Tara TV started organising its telefilm festival which got a thumbs up from audience. Telefilms are now available in VCDs/DVDs and discerning viewers in India and abroad actively look for them.
Lets look at the take of some industry insiders for a complete and well-rounded view on the subject (Courtesy: Bangla Telefilms community on Orkut)
“People were not getting anything from Bengali feature films when telefilm offered them meaningful cinema.” - Director Kaushik Ganguly.
"We believe telefilms are definitely viable revenue models".- Kaushik Duttasharma, Associate Chief Producer, ETV Network.
"Since so many films are being made and appreciated in the video format the world over,we should wake up to the possibilities. On my recent visit to the US,I realised that television has created a tremendous interest among the people there.It's so nice to see Bengali NRIs recognise television actors so well. By talking to them,I realised that they are interested in good quality films but not the average Tollywood fare," - Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Actor/Director.
And now Arin Paul, a friend who lives, breathes and sleeps cinema, and an assistant director in telefilms by profession has conceived a Bangla Telefilm Club. He has floated the idea on Orkut. Here's what Arin promises:
We'll be organising 2 shows every month (2nd Sundays) where in we will be showing Bangla Telefilms from May onwards. I do not promise but I shall try to bring the director and a few artists of the concerned telefilm.
For joining this community, you have to be a member of Bangla Telefilms community (In Orkut).
Also required is to register your mobile numbers at 98360-66315.
So if you are hooked to telefilms and have your own list of favourite productions, actors and directors, you know what to do now.
Kolkata Curry wishes Arin all the best and a grand success of Bangla Telefilm Club.