Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan, who was here for the opening of the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival, acknowledged the efforts of the technicians working 'behind the scenes' and said that till date very few acknowledge the contributions imparted by them.
"As we celebrate a 100 years of Bengali cinema, there is a need to talk about those who have worked behind the scenes of the celebrated film productions, accomplished technicians and creative minds that are never truly given their due," the 'Sholay' star said.
He said that despite all the hard work and toil, it is the director, actors, and the music directors are those who are lauded for their efforts into making a film.
"However, very few movie enthusiasts are aware that several famous directors began their careers under humble circumstances, working behind the scenes, almost unknown and unrecognised," he said.
An emotional Bachchan said that such is the ignorance that people watching a movie in a cinema hall tend to walk away as soon as the credits start rolling.
Saying that the technicians are the ones who turn the director's dreams into reality, Bachchan asked, "Why doesn't anyone want their autograph? Do you ever watch the credits at the end of a movie and wonder why so many people are involved? Very few remain seated until the credits are over."
Taking the audience on a historical journey, he said that one of the famous directors of Indian cinema, Bimal Roy began his career as a camera assistant for Bengali filmmaker PC Barua.
"Renowned for his social films that reflected changing middle-class attitudes, he began working initially as a cameraman and then as a film editor in BM Sarkar's new theatre in Kolkata in the late 1940s," he said.
Lauding the famous Bengali director Satyajit Ray for his iconic films, he mentioned that no one remembers his cinematographer Subrata Mitra. Mitra the pioneer of the bounce lighting technique worked with Ray in 'Panther Panchali'.
Fast forwarding into the present he said even Rajkumar Hirani of 'Munnabhai MBBS' fame toiled for several years as a film editor, so did Sanjay Leela Bhansali of 'Bajirao Mastaani' who started off by assisting Vidhu Vinod Chopra.
Bachchan even pointed out that not many technicians are given their due recognition when it comes to awards.
"VK Murthy, cinematographer to Guru Dutt was recently given the Dada Saheb Phalke award. Bhanu Athaiya was a costume designer for Richard Attenborough's Gandhi, for which she received an Oscar. Not enough credit is given to such achievements," he pointed out.
Keeping up the emotional quotient in his speech he mentioned every one especially in the world of cinema has to work their way up, so do the stars kids.
"In the world of cinema, much like in any other form of work, people have to work their way up before they taste success, particularly in Hindi cinema. Star kids more often than not start out by assisting filmmakers. There they are introduced to the craft of filmmaking even their ultimate goal is acting," he asserted.
More than 70 countries will be participating and over 170 films will be screened in the eight-day long film 24th Kolkata International Film Festival.
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