Deblina Chatterjee on ‘Ami Adu’ Bengali movie, its release in US by Databazaar Media Ventures

Deblina Chatterji in Bengali film 'Ami Aadu'June 13, 2011 (Calcutta Tube): Bengali actress Deblina Chatterjee shares her thoughts and experience working in the National award winning Bengali film Ami Adu’ directed by Somnath Gupta, the film releasing in North America. Read the interview at Calcutta Tube.

Meet Debalina. She is the pretty, fresh-looking young girl who just won the Best Debutant Award (Female) from Star Jalsa, a Bengali satellite channel, for her portrayal of the title role in New Theatres’ new film Ami Aadu. She played ‘Aadu’ and is thrilled about the award.. This Economics (Honours) Graduate from Kolkata University is currently trying her luck in films in Mumbai. She talks about her first film.

Watch ‘Ami Adu’ online with Databazaar Media Ventures at Roku. For more information visit

http://www.databazaarmedia.com/roku/

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How did you get the role of Aadu in Ami Aadu?

My friend works in a NGO in Kolkata. Our director Somnath-da (Somnath Gupta) also worked with the same NGO. He was desperately looking for a girl who would fit into his perception of what Aadu should look like. This common friend told him about me. They asked me to send some photographs. Somnath-da liked the photographs.

Did you jump at this opportunity of getting your first ever feature film and that too, in the lead?

I was a bit hesitant because of the Hindu-Muslim marriage thing. It was too sensitive a subject. Pinaki-da succeeded in convincing me that the film was not at all about the conflict arising out of a Hindu-Muslim marriage but it was something quite different the story would focus on.

How did you prepare for the role?

I was prepped through a photo-session. Somnath-da asked me to give different expressions demanded of the character. He organized an extensive workshop for me because mine was a layered role and also my first film.

What was the challenge?

It was a difficult role for any actress, leave alone a fresher like me. The greater challenge was in the extreme climatic conditions in Murshidabad. We had to shoot in an interior village, almost cut off from city civilization. I found it difficult to cope with the weather conditions. But we shot for one full month and I came to grips with it. In fact, when finished, the late Dilip Sircar commended me on being able to pull through the terrible heat and still perform so well.

Are you aware that Ami Aadu has been picked up for distribution through telecasting and DVD and streaming by Databazaar Media Ventures for North America and Canada?

Yes. I am thrilled that my brother who lives in Canada will actually be able to watch it there. Some of my friends have already watched it and have given me very positive feedback. It is a wonderful feeling just to imagine that so many Bengalis will be able to see my work in distant cities in the US and Canada.

And the string of awards? How do you respond to them?

I feel goose bumps on my skin. I was the first one to hear about Ami Aadu winning the National Award for the Best Feature Film in Bengali because I heard it first on television. I called up Pinaki-da and Somnath-da but they would not believe me at once. The SAARC Award for Best Feature Film and then my award – they just feel great.

Regrets?

Yes. Somnath-da got my voice dubbed by another artiste. I have lived in Kolkata all my life. I studied in a Bengali medium school. There is nothing that can mark my Bengali as ‘bad.’ What hurt the most is that Somnath-da did not even inform me about the dubbing. I thought I would be dubbing my lines. When I asked him, he suggested that they were getting a girl from Murshidabad who was a stage actress and would get the local accent right. But later I saw that the girl was an actress from Kolkata. She has done a very good job but I would have done the same.

-Shoma A. Chatterji

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