Acclaimed filmmaker Suman Ghosh (Bengali Films: Padakkhep; Dwando) talks to Ankan Basu from CalcuttaTube at the North America Bengali Conference 2010 (NABC) held at the Atlantic City Conference Center, New Jersey. Suman Ghosh is a part of the Databazaar Media Ventures group that promotes quality Bengali films in North America and Canada. The interview was conducted at the Databazaar Media Ventures stall at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
CalcuttaTube: You have been with Databazaar Media Ventures from the very beginning of the foundation. Please tell us how the idea of promoting Bengali films here in the US evolved.
Suman Ghosh: It was Oney Seal, the owner and CEO of Databazaar Media Ventures (DMV), who came up with the idea bringing Bengali films to North America. We all came forward to help him. We researched on the market of Bengali films abroad and how it can be used in a proper way for film promotions. There is a demand for Bengali movies here, but the supply has been mostly illegal. So we thought that if we could form a proper business body, it would help the industry. That is how we started Databazaar with the intention of bringing in good Bengali films for Bengali-movie lovers. For filmmakers like us, who are trying to make films with cerebral sides, the funding is extremely important.
CalcuttaTube: Bengali films are now having a bigger market. Do you think that the films are up to the mark where the can appeal to the global audience?
Suman Ghosh: There are definitely good Bengali films being made, though all of them are not being made keeping the global audience in mind. Filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Aparna Sen, Mira Nair took their films to different global film festivals. We are lacking that thing right now. Once we get enough funding for Bengali films, directors will feel more secured to experiments and that in turn will bring in the global audience.
CalcuttaTube: Have you ever thought of working with the actors here in the USA? Or would you simply prefer to work with actors from Kolkata?
Suman Ghosh: Actually if my films have backdrops in India, I will work with actors there. If I make a film set in the US, I will have to choose my cast from here. In ‘Dwando’ I worked with actor Samrat Chakrabarty who is based in US. We came across each other in a film festival in New York.
CalcuttaTube: Databazaar Media Ventures is taking every possible measure to stop piracy of Bengali films. Please share your views.
Suman Ghosh: Yes, Databazzar is working very hard against piracy. We have our share of responsibilities, as well. We should stop buying DVDs that are pirated or come through some sort of middlemen. It is very upsetting if people who do not belong anywhere in the making process get all the money. So when Databazaar is bringing Bengali films here in the US, they are basically channeling the money to the right sources, which is extremely important. But it is not only Databazaar’s responsibilities. The users also have to act responsibly and stop accessing illegally promoted materials.
CalcuttaTube: What is response from film directors and producers from Kolkata? Are they equally interested in your ventures or approach you all self motivated?
Suman Ghosh: They are equally interested. However, this is a both way thing and our venture is still in a budding stage. We are all trying to give our best to the Bengali film industry. This NABC 2010 is very special. We have among us ace director Aniruddha Ray Chowdhury, film distributor Arijit Dutta who are promoting on behalf of us. Things will get even better in a few more months.
CalcuttaTube: Please share your experience here at the NABC.
Suman Ghosh: This is actually the second NABC that I am attending. I am previously been to another one in Boston. It is a great feeling having so many people gathered here with the sole purpose of nurturing Bengali culture.
Watch the EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW by CALCUTTATUBE