Mumbai-based filmmaker Shekhar Ghosh is ready with his first Bengali film
With more than 1,500 ad films under his hat, Shekhar Ghosh needs no introduction in Mumbai’s bustling advertising circuit. Also, the creative director of the well-received teenage reality crime shows Gumraah that aired on Channel V, Ghosh’s first brush with filmmaking was with a short Blank Call starring Mandira Bedi.
Since then he has made two Hindi films, Sooper Se Ooper and Chowky and was an associate director in Sudhir Misra’s Inkaar starring Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada Singh. After about 25 years in Mumbai industry, the native returns home for his debut Bengali film that’s ready for a theatrical release around Bengali New Year’s day next year. Excerpts:
Tell us what prodded you to dabble in Tollywood?
Every Bengali filmmaker living outside Bengal cherishes to make a Bengali movie someday. I too harboured that dream for long and had written two-three scripts too. But back-to-back projects didn’t permit time for the same. But the lockdown and the ensuing postponement of work gave me the required time to make Bengali films. And I am not making one, I am here ready with five-six scripts that are all waiting to be made into films. I am here to stay and produce and direct quality Bengali movies.
The first one starring Shaheb Bhattacherjee, Sauraseni Maitra and Shantilal Mukherjee is ready for release around Bengali New Year day.
What is the film about?
It’s a crime thriller based around the news syndicate. As an ex-pat Bengali, I wanted to create content that’s relatable to a Bengali living outside Bengal. So, instead of locally entrenched topics, I chose universally appealing ones. In this film, Sauraseni plays Pakhi Roy, a young and ethical journalist who gets into danger for stubbornly pursuing the truth. The story begins when she disappears and the plot unravels like onion peels.
Can you shed some light on the other Bengali films that are in the queue?
The next one is titled Marichika and the filming will be on a large canvas in Kolkata, Kalimpong and Delhi. It’s an original script revolving around three generations and how having a surname or, to be precise, belonging to a renowned family can serve to your advantage. The third one is on a RAW agent and based on a true incident.
Any other projects?
I am already doing a Hindi web series for a national platform but I can’t reveal more about the same. Also, the shooting for my next Hindi film, Sikke Ka Ikka is going on.
What about web projects in Bengali?
Not really. It’s saddening to see how web series are made here. Both nationally and internationally, web projects have huge budgets, at times, more than a film’s. Sadly, here it’s the reverse with series being shot in less than 20 days with poor quality equipment and minimal budget. That’s why the content is qualitatively poor and it’s basically television serials on the web.