'No gap between Bengali cinema, Bollywood in content'

Kolkata, March 26: Dedicating his tiol Awards for the 2014 Bengali thriller “Chotushkone” to late filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh and the movie’s team, director Srijit Mukherji believes there is no divide between Bengali cinema and Bollywood when it comes to content. Mukherji bagged the coveted Best Director honour at the 62nd edition of the prestigious awards for “Chotushkone” (The Quadrangle), which according to the jury has made “brilliantly reflexive use of the cinematic idiom”. He also won the award for the Best Origil Screenplay for the film, which even received the Best Cinematography accolade for Sudeep Chatterjee.

“I don’t think there is any gap (between Bengali cinema and Bollywood). Good cinema is good cinema wherever it happens, be it ‘Haider’ or “Chotoder Chobi’ or ‘Chotushkone’. Content is the greatest leveller... I don’t really think there is a gap as such,” Mukherji told IANS in an interview here. The Kolkata-based filmmaker also stressed that in due course of time, Bengali cinema will also hog its share of the spotlight given its current performance on the tiol circuit.

“If you are talking about tiol recognition and limelight, given how Bengali cinema is faring on the tiol scene of late, that gap or discrepancy or discrimition will be bridged in course of time,” he said.

While Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Haider” took away a bouquet of five awards and “Queen” scored with the Best Hindi Film and Best Actress honours, Tamil and Bengali movies also got a plethora of honours. The Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a director went to Bengali film “Asha Jaoar Majhe”, helmed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, while Bengali film “Chotoder Chobi” was med as Best Film on Social Issues for its portrayal of margilised people. Actor Churni Ganguly won the Best Bengali film award for her directorial debut “Nirbashito”. The resurgence of Bengali cinema, feels Mukherji, is due to the diversity of subjects.

An economist and social scientist by qualification, Mukherji had no clue what a camera looked liked when he quit his plush job and “took the plunge” into showbiz five years ago. He is no alien to the perils of the film industry, including censorship issues that he had to tackle for the 2012 “Hemlock Society” which deals with physician-assisted suicide. “I have faced it (censorship troubles). It is a serious issue. I think sensible people should look into the issue. The important thing is Censor Board of Film Certification is a misnomer. I think we should remain true to its me of certifying films instead of censoring films. “We should certify who should watch it and who shouldn’t instead of telling what to watch and what not,” asserted Mukherji, whose next film “Nirbaak” starring Sushmita Sen is ready for release in May. He is currently working on “Rajkahini”. (IANS)

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