Filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly on his National Award-winning film Nagarkirtan and why he dislikes television content
Multiple National award-winning filmmaker Kaushik Ganguly will be again weaving magic on screen this Valentine’s week with his movieNagarkirtan. The movie, a poignant love story of a transgender woman and a flautist, portrays the prejudice and injustice faced by the gender non-conforming communities for centuries. It has been lauded at the various festivals including IFFI Goa and has bagged four National Awards in the best feature film (special jury), best actor, best costume and make-up categories. Though Ganguly’s Kishore Kumar Junior sank without a trace last year, he kick started 2019 with Bijoya -- a sequel to his National award-winning movie Bisorjon -- which is a box office success. Jestho Putro, Ganguly’s third film with Prosenjit Chatterjee, is also ready for a tentative release on April 25. With Nagarkirtan releasing soon, we catch up with Ganguly about the movie, his works and why he looks at Bengali television with disdain. Excerpts:
Bijoya has been received extremely well. Do we see another sequel on the anvil?
Bijoya is on its way to complete 50 days in cinema halls. There’s scope for another sequel, but I would give it a gap of at least a year before that. For the first time I had selfishly written a script keeping my character in focus. (Ganguly plays the layered and much loved Ganesh Mondal in both Bisorjon and Bijoya). In fact, Bijoya’s success made us postpone Nagarkirtan’s release (it was to release on January 18) since I didn’t want them to clash.
You've made other films on gender issue, too?
In fact, this is my third film on transgender/ LGBTQ communities (he made Ushnotar Jonyo for television in 2003 and Arekti premer Golpo in 2010). In an IPC 377–free India, the first rainbow of gender-free love on celluloid has risen in the East with Nagarkirtan. I have tried to tell a pure love story that’s sure to strike the right note with the audience.
Has Bengali film industry matured over the years?
Definitely, and I feel sad that while we recently celebrated 100 years of Bengali cinema, no filmmaker ever thought of making a movie on the midgets or eunuchs and other such neglected communities of the society, who have been always been used as cheap comic reliefs in our films. Not all yesteryear Bengali movies are good content wise. Currently, many more interesting subjects are being dealt with in celluloid despite budget constraints.
What about the current Bengali web content?
Though it is in its infancy, digital platform is sure to sound the death knell for television, which is going through a severe moonwalk. I cannot relate to the regressive content of the TV series. The kind of subject we had dealt with in television during our times, we should have made something like Narcos by now.