National Award-winning Bengali director Kaushik Ganguly says many Bollywood producers have approached him for collaborations and he is looking at venturing into Hindi films in the next two years.
Ganguly is one of the finest filmmakers of contemporary Bengali cinema thanks to his films like “Shabdo”, “Arekti Premer Golpo”, “Chotoder Chobi”, “Laptop” and “Apur Panchali”, all dealing with unusual subjects and themes.
It is natural that big Bollywood producers would want to invest in his works, and the director-writer says he is equally eager to bring stories to the Hindi film viewers.
“There are producers who are connecting with me and asking for two-three stories. They will be given because we have a solid bank of story ideas. We have fantastic Bengali films and they need to go national. People are in touch with me and they are very sincere.
“I am eager to come to Hindi film audience and connect to them. There are lovely subjects waiting for them and it will be done within two years,” Ganguly told PTI on the sidelines of BRICS film festival here.
Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have been churning out quality films in the recent past, so much so, that Hindi filmmakers have come forward to either back, adapt or promote these movies.
Ganguly is hopeful about this trend and feels with time, Indian cinema will become more inclusive. “It (inclusiveness) has already started. We have a large heritage of Bengali stories which were taken by Hindi filmmakers in the past. Like the works of Bimal Roy, Hrishikesh
Mukherjee and Shakti Samanta… Today, Mahesh Bhatt is backing a film of Srijit Mukherji.”
The director says besides great stories, the fact that shooting in Kolkata is quite cheap also attracts filmmakers to make movies there. “Shooting a film in Kolkata is much cheaper. Films like ‘Piku’ and ‘Kahaani’ have been shot there. It cuts down on the budget to a large extent and we have new ideas.” Ganguly, however, believes the subjects and their treatment that suit the sensibility of Bengali audience might not resonate with other viewers.
Citing the example of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan’s “Taare Zameen Par”, the director says had it been made in Bengal it would have been far more serious. “We have to keep one thing in mind that subjects suitable for Bengal may not be suitable for Indian audience. Their
approach towards serious issues is different.
“If you give the subject of ‘Taare Zameen Par’ to a Bengali filmmaker he/she would make a different film. There is a critical demarcation here. We would make a very deep and serious film on that issue, while the Hindi version was emotional and entertaining. Same goes for ‘3 Idiots’ or ‘Vicky Donor. Their approach is very national.”
Ganguly is all for inclusiveness and hence he objects to the term ‘regional’ for non-Hindi films. The filmmaker says every film made in the country is an Indian movie at the end of the day so they should not be categorised.
“I object to the concept of regional films. Films cannot be regional. Like athletes, you don’t call them regional, you call them Indian athletes. So, all these films are Indian films. We should get the honour of National films.” The director further says that the government should bring in a centralised distribution system to promote and screen non-Hindi films across the country so that they reach a wider audience.
“All movies have subtitles so, government should circulate these films everywhere. For that, we need centralised body and distribution system where we can submit our films.
“If they think these films are eligible for screenings they can take it and pay the producers to acquire them. If they start such a system, it will be good for so-called regional films.”