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National Awards encouraging, says Bengali film fraternity

IANS  |  Mumbai 

With five honours for two films at the 65th National Awards, the Bengali industry is celebrating the glory which amplifies its contribution to Filmmakers and actors say such achievements will encourage more talent to come up with subjects that matter and treatment that makes an impact, in the near future.

Atanu Ghosh's "Mayurakshi", a father-son story, won the Best Bengali film, while Kaushik Ganguly's "Nagarkirtan" was bestowed four honours, including Best for Riddhi Sen, Best Costume Designer, Best Make-Up and a Award.

Prosenjit Chatterjee, who starred in "Mayurakshi", says it's a "great moment".

"The fact is most of our regional films do not have a huge budget to promote and release the nationwide, like a Bollywood So the only strength we have is our strong content. This is where the content wins," Prosenjit, a celebrated talent of Bengali cinema, told IANS.

The achievement is encouraging for Bengali talent.

"Our achievement surely boosts the confidence for better work," said 19-year-old Riddhi, and added: "I think I am too young to become an inspiration for the future generation because I am one of them. I would rather work much harder to maintain my quality of work."

Prosenjit pointed at how Bengali filmmakers and actors have always contributed to very actively.

"Whether it is Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak to Goutam Ghose, Aparna Sen, Rituparno Ghosh and presently and Kaushik, we have a great presence in the world of cinema and storytelling. I think this year with five awards, we are celebrating the glory," he said.

Emphasising on the tradition of storytelling and iconic filmmakers, Riddhi said: "I think our presence in the industry, be it in Bengali or Hindi, has always been felt. If we look at the filmmakers who contributed to bringing a change in Indian cinema, we have a Bengali in every era.

"From the age of Bimal Roy, Hrishikesh Mukherjee to Pradeep Sarkar, Anurag Basu, Shoojit Sircar, Dibakar Banerjee... Many Bengali filmmakers are not only making their mark in regional cinema but also to the Indian films as a whole.

"Having said that, I think it is great to see how we as the Bengali industry have managed to make our mark at the National Awards this year."

Bengali Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, who forayed into Bollywood with the acclaimed "Pink", was a part of the 10-member jury of the 65th National Awards. The panel was led by filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, who minced no words in saying Bollywood can't compete with regional cinema in content.

Chowdhury told IANS: "This year, we had some beautiful pieces of cinema come from the various regions. When I look at the number of awards Bengali films won, as a Bengali, it made me happy. Both the films -- 'Mayurakshi' and 'Nagarkirtan' were well-deserving."

"Like the way good cinema, good music or achievement of our own people inspires us to excel and creates a good spirit to work harder, I believe that with the five awards at the 65th National Awards, our Bengali industry will only flourish in future."

Personally, he is happy about the overall quality of films emerging from unexpected quarters of the country.

"There are some regional industries like Tamil, Malayalam, and Marathi, from where every year many good films come as expected. But many films came from other regions and languages...

"Like a from Ladakh, a in Tulu language... Those are some of the positive developments we observed in regional cinema this year," he said, adding that the decision for the Best Feature Film, which went to Assamese drama "Village Rockstars", was tough.

This year, here was hardly any Bollywood presence except "Newton", which won Best Hindi and a Special Mention for Pankaj Tripathi, and a couple of more honours.

Asked why despite their huge budget, wide exposure and star value, Hindi films are lagging behind, Chowdhury said: "Look, National Awards is not a competition. We are celebrating the best coming from across the country. is a part of that journey.

"This year, more good films came from other regions that won awards. As a filmmaker, I do not want to deny the fact that how some of the filmmakers are attempting to make good films, working on good content in Hindi films. Maybe next year we will get to watch more Hindi films."

(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at arundhuti.b@ians.in)

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 11:10 IST
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