Arindam Sil on journey as actor-producer, Databazaar Media Ventures, Bengali cinema

Bengali Actor Arindam SilJune 13, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Tollywood actor Arindam Sil shares his journey into the world of television and cinema, his career and Databazaar Media Ventures’ support in extending Bengali cinema to the North American market. Read the interview at Calcutta Tube.

Sil is face is very familiar because he has been very visible on the small screen and big screen in West Bengal for many years. But right now, he is busier behind the camera than in front of it. This MBA corporate executive who rose to CEO in his firm, decided to call it quits one day to do what he loves the most – films. But shouldn’t he be talking about it himself? So here goes…….

From the high-end corporal world to television and films as an actor and then to executive producer and producer. Tell us a bit about your journey, its pitfalls and its highs.

Databazaar Media Ventures brings in quality Bengali movies to North America.

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I would have been in States pursuing academics as my profession. But my first experience of acting during the time I had just completed my MBA and had applied for my PhD abroad, was like tasting blood. When my I-20 form to pursue PhD with scholarship came around iI had decided to be an actor and so I tore my form to bits, threw them in the waste box, I decided to become an actor. I did not tell my parents for the next ten years. My work got appreciated and the journey continued from television to stage to films. My stint in commercial cinema was not a happy experience. My dislike for brainless cinema finally got me interested in production. Over the last 6 years I have been executive producer for 11 films from Ek Mutho Chhobi, The Bong Connection, Via Darjeeling, 033, Brakefail till Shukno Lanka, Kahaani, and Nobel Chor. I am proud to have introduced the concept of Executive Producer in the Bengali Film Industry. I now have my own production house – Nothing Beyond Cinema. It has been a pretty interesting journey.

The phrase ‘executive producer’ sounds a loaded word. What does it entail within the Bengali cinema scenario?

At one time, and even now, he is considered to be a glorified production manager. I am happy to have brought in professionalism into this designation and to the industry as well. It is an extremely important area where the executive producer is as important as the director. The director looks after qualitative aspects of film making. The executive producer has to take care of everything from conceptualizing to budgeting, planning, scheduling, dealing with vendors, technicians and actors. He sees through the smooth running of the production till the end. He even contributes in marketing and raising finances at times. I now I have a company which acts as an ‘one stop shop’ for film making. The scenario in Bengal has changed. An exec executive producer is now a must for good cinema.

In what way do you think Databazaar Media Ventures has helped in perpuating the image and the viewing of Bengali cinema beyond Indian shores?

Bengali is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Sadly, Indian cinema does not reflect this. Another sad reality is that Indo – Bangladesh exchange of films does not happen. DMV is has taken the initiative in reaching out better cinema to its Bengali audience in the United States and in Canada. Till now they have generated revenue of around 25 – 30 lakh for an average budget Bengali film which is noteworthy.

-Shoma A. Chatterji

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