The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bangla Telefilm Club kickstarts

Bangla Telefilm Club kickstarted on Sunday, May 13 with the inaugural show of Sharatey Aaj, a telefilm by Parambrata Chattopadhyay. It was followed by Orkut Kolkata Club Meet VI. The venue for the show was the living room of Arjun's apartment. Arjun, like the last two Orkut Kolkata Club meets, played the perfect host to Bangla Telefilm Club too.

The modest living room was bursting at seams with so many enthusiastic young folks trickling in. At a point of time some of us had to stand up to accommodate more. Arin and Arjun managed it with great spirit. Arin being the founder of Bangla Telefilm Club (BTC), must be the happiest person on earth having such an overwhelming response to the inaugural show.

As assured by Arin to have with us some cast and crew members for a post-show interactive session, two actors came in during the show- Rohit, the child artiste playing Abbas (Came with his parents) and Barun Chakrabarty playing CM's sectretary.

The interactive session (Picture above. Pardon the quality please, it was shot on a member's mobile in dark.) at the rooftop was terrific. It started soon after Parambrata turned up, apologized for the delay and said he'd wished to be present earlier and watch the end with us. As I broke the ice on cue from Arin, with a compliment on the telefilm and specially its dialogues, Parambrata opened up and we the enthusiastic members had a ball with a discussion enveloping a wide rage- queries on form and content of Sharatey Aaj to contemporary Bengali cinema and what's behind its ailing state. It was great to have with us someone like Param who is very clued in to world cinema. He shared with us an insider's view of Bengali cinema and film industry and thus came out his frustrations about the way the industry is operating and the lack of opportunities for the aspiring filmmakers like him. He passionately nurtures the dream of big screen debut as a director. When that happens we will have some good cinema to look forward to from this six telefilms-old director. One of the things we discussed at length with an eager participation from him was use of multiple story tracks in today's films like Salaam-e-Ishq and Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. I found him to be a very, very humble person too (Considering he is a very popular actor on television) as he did the one-hour plus interaction without complaint at late afternoon barring any arrangements. It was one pure Bengali adda in nature, which doesn't call for 'arrangements'. During the discussion he expressed his wish to see BTC making a bigger platform bringing together cast & crew of telefilms and audience. As I found in my last interaction with him too, at Tara's telefilm festival (Re: Earlier post
Telefilm festival), he sincerely seeks audience feedback in order to better himself as a filmmaker. As the session came to an end he made it a point to let know it was his pleasure to have such an experience. We look forward to see more of him and his work at BTC and on television.

I also made a point to talk about Rohit who was overlooked. I found him to be a talented actor with great potential. He is a shy, smiling lad, very unlike his intense and sensitive self in this telefilm and in Parambrata's Nemesis, the one he made after Sharatey Aaj, aired few weeks back on Zee Bangla.

About Sharatey Aaj (Aired on Tara Muzik before Puja 2006):
This nice romantic comedy is set in the pre-Puja milieu of Kolkata. The protaginists are the chief minister of the state (Depicted here in a light-hearted manner in a much younger avatar with a few traits of the real CM), who is a bachelor minus romance in life, his stenographer who fills the void in his life and Abbas, a schoolkid in the steno's locality. It's about how the CM falls in love with his steno and Abbas with his mate in rehearsals for a cultural programme being organised for Puja. The tele sensibly touches upon the Hindu-Muslim issues relevant to this occasion (For some time Abbas felt alienated with Puja as he realised his neighbours don't take part in Eid the way he and his father do in Puja.).

Dialogue by Aditi Majumdar who has done the script has helped bring out Parambrata's brand of comedy (Situational comedy in nature). Kaushik Sen has done whatever justice could there be to the CM's role. The sensitiveness of the relationship of Abbas and his single father has been brought out skillfully and is one of the highpoints.

Those interested to join BTC check out its
Orkut community.