Posted June 03, 2013 under Feature Stories By Tathagata Ghosh

Location needed? Kolkata is the answer

Location needed? Kolkata is the answer
Location needed? Kolkata is the answer

ilm making is not easy! Neither is selecting a suitable location for your story! You always desire for a perfect location with all the nitty gritties that you have put in while writing the screenplay. But a sneak peak in the recent past has revealed the fact that most of the film makers working in Mumbai have opted for Bengal, more precisely Kolkata, as their locations for their films. In the last year Sujoy Ghosh’s “Kahani” released; a film entirely set in Kolkata, with the big city even acting as an important character in the film.

The thrills and frills of the city was a pivotal aspect not only for the script, but also in the revealation of the psychological details of the characters involved. The film was a big box office success and marked the city as a cinematic favourite amongst all directors and producers! From then, Kolkata had welcomed a lot of film makers in the recce stage of pre-production!

A city with varieties, Kolkata seemed to offer much under one single roof! If the North Kolkata stands with its glory of the rich traditional past of the city with all the humongous and old buildings, South Kolkata is a clear winner when it comes to unfolding the modern outlooks of the urban life! The streets and ambience of the first Indian capital has in store much more than what the artificial studio floors can provide.

Even before “Kahani”, though not widespread, Kolkata and its people have seen the footfall of many film makers. Prominently, we can cite the example of “Do Bigha Zameen”, a Bimal Roy classic which was shot mostly in Kolkata. Many other films followed like “Howrah Bridge” to the recent “Love Ajkal” by Imtiaz Ali!

What is more significant and striking is that, not only Bengali film makers working in Mumbai, but also a lot of Non-Bengali directors are creeping in to the city to film their dreams. If one thinks of making a period piece, one can easily choose North Kolkata, much of which have not changed over the years. This helps the director in comfortably shooting without having much to worry about recreating the period. Recently, Kolkata saw the camping of the unit of “Gunday”.

A film by Ali Abbas Zafar, starring the likes of Arjun Kapoor and Ranvir Singh; the first leg of the shooting has been successfully completed in Kolkata. In fact India’s last year official entry to the Oscars, “Barfi” had a bulk of its part being shot in the city beside the Ganges by its director Anurag Basu! What is more notable is that, this whole process not only complements the tourism industry of Kolkata, but also catapults the local film industry on a national level.

Exchange of ideas and technologies has grown as a result as many are taking a note of the progress of the so-called “Tollywood” industry! Widespread of the rich Bengali culture and literature have gained immense momentum over the years! Bengali cinema had benefitted as its marketing reach and popularity has increased. No wonder, Kolkata has in store for it many more untold “Kahanis” and calls with her ever stretching arms to more and more film makers to come and unfold their stories in this poignant city.


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