Filmmaker Leena Ganguly talks about her next, Sanjhbati with Tolly star Dev

Leena Ganguly says her upcoming movie is a non-conformist relationship tale that is a first on celluloid

Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  08th March 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  08th March 2019 12:00 AM

A still from the serial Kusum Dola

A voracious reader, filmmaker Leena Ganguly is always surrounded by books. A big fan of Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Amitav Ghosh and Sirshendu Mukherjee, Leena has been writing scripts for Bengali television serials for over 14 years now, and churned out  TRP earners including Keya Patar Nouka, Jol Nupur, Punyi Pukur, Ishti Kutum and Seemarekha. “I wrote the script of Vidya Balan’s first Bengali movie Bhalo Theko in 2003. Around that time, I got an offer to write the script of mega serial Sonar Harin, since its TRPs were falling. After I took over, the serial ran till a 1000 episode. Since then I have never looked back,” remembers Leena.

After their first film Mati, starring Adil Hussain and Paoli Dam, got a warm reception last year, Leena and her co-filmmaker Saibal Banerjee are back with their second film, Sanjhbati, produced by Atanu Roy Chowdhury. Starring actors Dev, Arpita Chatterjee and Paoli Dam in pivotal roles, Leena tells us that the film tells an unusual story of relationships. “I cannot reveal the plot right now, but it’s a non-conformist relationship tale that has not been made on celluloid before,” stresses Leena, who will start shooting the film along with Saibal in June.

Filmmaker Leena Ganguly

Whether serials or films, Leena’s scripts have always been based around relationships. “I think my forte lies in telling relationship stories and it never gets boring or stagnant since relationships never die or end,” says Leena, who is currently reading Shamsur Rahman’s Kaaler Dhuloi Lekha.

Besides Sanjhbati, Leena and Saibal are also planning their third movie, which will be produced by their production house Magic Moments Motion Pictures. The working title of the film is Probashi, which is about a woman married and sent off to the United States. “When a girl gets married to an NRI, it may appear that it’s the passport to El Dorado. However, at times, it might turn out to be quite a nightmarish experience. Our film is about one such girl, married abroad,” reveals Leena. The film will be shot in the US and Leena will be leaving for the States this March end to scout for locations.

A still from the movie Mati

The director, who is also currently the chairperson of State Women’s Commission, admits that her encounters with real life experiences is has only enriched her as a storyteller. “There are so many stories, so many perspectives and problems. Definitely real life stories enlighten a writer a lot and I had always loved talking to people,” tells Leena, whose serials Phagun Bou, Nokshi Kantha and Mayurpankhi are currently running in television.

As a woman how, difficult had the journey been in the film and serial industry? “Definitely there was a lot of struggle since the industry is small and work is less. It’s a challenging field. Personally, I had been lucky that I got a lot of help from male colleagues, who had never taken advantage of me being a woman. But that doesn’t mean problems are not there and women do not face discrimination,” says Leena.