With veteran actors Saumitra Chatterjee and Mithun Chakrabarty agreeing to accept awards from the state government for their contribution to Bengali cinema ,the Chief Ministers efforts to move closer to artistes of Tollywood irrespective of their Marxist leanings seems to be bearing fruits.
The award-giving function is going to be held tomorrow at Science City auditorium.
While Chatterjee along with Sabitri Chatterjee and Supriya Devi are going to receive awards for lifetime achievement in films,Mithun becomes the first actor to receive the Mahanayak Uttam Kumar Sanman.
All four will receive a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh each along with a medal and a citation. I have received the invitation and I am going to attend the function, Saumitra Chatterjee,recipient of Dada Saheb Phalke award this year,said.
On July 18,when Mamata had announced the awards,she said she wanted to bridge the gap between those who owe allegiance to her and those who have strong leanings towards Marxists. One can follow a particular political ideology (among the film fraternity and artistes) but that does not mean that his or her contribution to the field of culture can be ignored, said Mamata.
Since then feelers were sent to these artistes from Mamatas office and her close quarters requesting them to attend the function.
Apart from the first two categories,prizes will be given in the special categories of acting,music direction,film direction,cinematography,art direction and story writing. In all,41 people,which include such personalities like film maker Gautam Ghosh,music directors Rabindra Jain and Bappi Lahiri,will be given awards which will comprise,apart from a citation and medal,a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.
Incidentally,during the film festival organised by the state government in November last year,Chatterjee attended after requests from Mamata herself.
Even before Mamata was in power,the film fraternity in West Bengal was divided with people like filmmaker Mrinal Sen,actors Saumitra Chatterjee,Mithun Chakrabarty,Biplab Chatterjee,sticking with the Marxists while filmmakers Haranath Chakrabarty and actors like Supriya Devi,Sabitri Chatterjee and Prasenjit Chatterjee having allegiance to the Trinamool Congress.