Kolkata, Nov 11 (IBNS): Leading lights of the Bengali film industry joined the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in a call to combine creativity with commerce to promote the movie industry for sustainable and inclusive growth.
At the inaugural function of Film Mart organized by CII Eastern Region at Nandan on Nov 11, noted film maker Haranath Chakraborty underscored the need for properly marketing Bengali movies to earn bigger audiences.
“I appreciate CII’s efforts to organise such forums, which I am sure will inspire all of us to look at the industry from a modern perspective," he said.
Movie actresses Koel Mullick and Locket Chatterjee agreed, and highlighted the importance of profitability.
“I think Bengali movies have the potential to make a foray into international market,” said Chatterjee.
Painter Suvaprasanna, who made a special appearance at the inaugural function of the Film Mart, said there is an urgent need to market regional movies. “I thank CII for its persistent efforts to highlight the importance of commerce.”
Earlier, in his theme address, RK Agrawal, Chairman, CII Eastern Region, dwelt on how the Indian movie industry has grown in strength and influence in the past 100 years. Agrawal said 99 years ago, Dadasaheb Phalke made a movie called Raja Harishchandra on a king who never lied. “That was a silent movie released on May 3, 1913. hundred years have passed since then. Today, Indian films are watched in over 100 countries.”
Not only Bollywood movies, regional films are doing very well. “Gabbar Singh, the Telugu remake of Dabang, has grossed over Rs 150 crore, while Nanban, the Tamil version of 3 Idiots, has made a collection over Rs 160 crore.”
This, added Agrwal, gives Bengali movie industry a reason to scan, introspect and analyze how it can go forward.
“In recent times, some Bengali movies such as Bhuter Bhabishyat have attracted a huge number of cine-goers and done extremely well in terms of revenues. Most significantly, people are talking about Bengali cinema in drawing rooms, colleges, coffee houses or elsewhere.”
“It is clear that Bengali movie industry is maturing and growing in strength. I believe Bengali film industry has great potential do even better to attract big investments from big-ticket production houses. If UTV, Reliance, Eros enter the Tamil film market, why not Bengal?”
CII, he said, has been driving several initiatives to promote the growth and development of the country’s movie industry.
“Making the centenary celebration of Indian cinema is now a major theme in CII’s activities,” he said.
Agrawal said there have been some significant trends in the past couple of years. “Content-driven movies like Kahani and Dirty Picture are giving big-budget and star-studded movies a run for their money. Regional movies, on the other hand, especially the ones produced in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, are getting stronger.
And most importantly, buffs are back to movie theatres. As of now the biggest beneficiaries are the Tamil and Telugu film industries.”
In his welcome address, Sanjay Budhia, Chairman – Entertainment Task Force, CII Eastern Region, described Bengal as a knowledge and intellectual hub. “It is now time to transform intellect and knowledge and intellect into profitable businesses for sustainable growth for community at large,” he said.
Yadab Mondal, CEO, Nandan, said it’s a great privilege to christen the stage as Hiralal Mancha to pay tribute to a pioneer who made the first advertisement film in the sub-continent.
In his closing remarks, Dr Saugat Mukherjee thanked all the dignitaries and guests and said CII’s initiative to organize the Film Mart for the past few years will go a long way in
rejuvenating the Bengali film industry.
The inaugural session was followed by the screening of three silent movies including Raja Harishchandra, the first Indian movie made by Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913.
Musician Debojyoti Mishra lent a contemporary touch by providing the background music to these movies of the bygone era.