Shieladitya Moulik's next film, Radio, has Priyanka Sarkar in the lead
Shieladitya Moulik shares details about his third outing, Radio
Entertainment is one of the worst-hit sectors by the pandemic, especially the regional ones. The Bengali film industry, already plagued by a dearth of financiers with deep pockets, took the severest blows during the successive lockdowns, with most of the projects, big and small, shelved and the ready ones waiting tentatively for crowds to return to the theatres. Though things were somehow manageable for the big names, the relatively new and rising talents have had the toughest time pulling the show.
Just before the epidemic broke, a bunch of promising young filmmakers debuted, impressing the Bengali audience with a fresh approach and, Shieladitya Moulik is one of them. His film Sweater (2019) was a sleeper hit and strongly resonated with cine lovers, young and old. A small-town relationship tale woven around crocheting, Sweater is a nuanced and subtle take on women's empowerment.
With his second film Hridpindo, starring Arpita Chatterjee, awaiting release, Moulik is ready to shoot his third movie, Radio. This film is a love story built around the nostalgic and once-household device, radio. "Hardly anyone listens to the radio anymore and the FM channels that were once thriving, now get ears only when we are travelling by cars. The film also plays on that nostalgia and more," he tells. Starring Priyanka Sarkar in the lead, Radio is about a character that goes through heartbreak and falls in love with a voice on the radio.
"Initially, I thought of making a short with the idea. But the second lockdown gave me adequate time to work on it further and it turned into a full-length feature," adds Moulik, who plans to go on the floors with Radio from the first week of next month.
Like many others, Moulik too utilised his free time during the pandemic by experimenting with several genre-bending shorts and Mahakali is definitely one of them. Starring National Award-winning actor Sudiptaa Chakraborty in the lead, it's a very interesting take on ‘reel vs real’ lives.
The story revolves around middle-class housewives hooked to tele-serials and how they perceive the glamourous world of cinema. Parallelly, it also shows how those within the film industry strive for a normal life. "I thought of this short about a couple of years back. I was supposed to shoot with Bollywood actor Renuka Shahane back then. But since I’m in Kolkata now, I thought of casting Sudiptaa and Gulshanara and they did a brilliant job," Moulik elaborates. This Hindi short is ready for festival rounds and will be released on an OTT platform soon after.
Any other new projects to look forward to, we ask. “I have a story in mind. It's about Gen-Z or millennial romance, around instant love, instant break-ups and instant gratification. Would be an interesting tale and the lead cast will have fresh faces," he signs off.