Filmmaker Sayantan Ghosal on working with Koel Mallick and Parambrata Chatterjee
A movie buff and booklover, director Sayantan Ghosal always wanted to make films. The 31-year-old filmmaker, whose Satyanweshi Byomkesh was a sleeper hit this Puja despite all odds, got noticed by the Bengali film industry with his first film, Jawker Dhan, which released in 2017.
“Many production houses, including SVF, contacted me after Jawker Dhan’s trailer released, and I went on to direct the first three seasons of Byomkesh for their web platform, Hoichoi,” says the casually dressed MBA degree holder, who caught the attention of his ad agency bosses when the three short films he made for them did really well on YouTube.
Buoyed by the response, they started the production house, Champion Movies, which financed Sayantan’s debut film, Jawker Dhan, followed by Alinagarer Golokdhadha in 2018. Now, along with Surinder Films, they have produced Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan, a fun-filled fantasy adventure that Sayantan directs, with Koel Mallick, Parambrata Chatterjee and Gaurab Chakraborty in the lead roles. We had a chat with Sayantan about his upcoming films and other projects, ahead of the release of Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan. Excerpts:
Your Puja release Satyanweshi Byomkesh was a sleeper hit despite all odds. How did that feel?
There were a lot of reservations about seeing Parambrata and Rudranil as Byomkesh and Ajit respectively. But it clicked wonderfully well, and we managed despite not getting the right halls, and competing with other four other big films made by much-accomplished and renowned seniors. So, yes, I am happy.
And now, it’s Sagardwipey Jawker Dhan. What’s the movie all about?
It’s a fun-filled, fantasy adventure for the family crowd with a lot of visual effects. That’s rare in a Bengali movie, and that’s one of the reasons we took a little longer to release it, as we wanted to ensure that the visuals don’t look tacky. More than half of the effects have been done in Mumbai studios, for a nice finishing touch.
Unlike my first movie, Jawker Dhan, which was based on Hemendra Kumar Roy’s eponymous book, this is an original story, and I have only retained the characters of Bimal and Kumar. They come to know that Red Mercury — a crucial compound that can solve the global fuel crisis — is available inside a Hindu temple, at an uncharted island in Thailand, and set off for the journey with a doctor named Ruby, played by Koel Mallick.
You also wrapped up shoots for Labazaar Crime and the City for ZEE5?
Yes, and though many people might feel from the look of the series that it would be violent, that’s only partially true. It’s about six characters who work in the homicide department — their lives, and how in real life, crime is solved by the police, which is way different than what is shown on the big screen. The series will be released next year January.
There’s also Tenida and Co.?
Yes, that’s another hugely popular character from Bengali literature, and it would have never been possible without the versatile Kanchan Mullick.
Any other upcoming projects?
Well, none so far. But if everything goes alright, then I would definitely love to gift another Byomkesh film, based on Durga Roshoshyo, for the audiences, next Puja.