Calcutta Tube/Kolkata: Chhanda Guha is the producer of Takhan Teish presented by Rathikant Basu of Tara Films. But her main business is looking after the three Tara channels, namely Tara Music, Tara News and TV South Asia as Executive Director. She is excited with the founding of Tara Films that has ventured into feature films for the large screen with Takhan Teish directed by Atanu Ghosh. Chhanda talks about Tara Films, Atanu Ghosh and the commercial feedback the film is getting across Kolkata theatres.

What motivated Tara to found Tara Films and step into the rather risky territory of feature films?
Tara has always promoted new talent for its television channels be it in terms of entertainment, news and programmes that fall within its South East Channel’s programmes. We extended the logic to enlarge our horizons by venturing into feature film production. Our CEO, Rathikant Basu took a lot of interest in this ambitious project. Atanu has made many telefilms for us over the past several years. We are familiar with his work. Choosing him for our first film project was by default.

How do you look back on this new window opening up for Tara Films?
It has been a wonderful learning experience for all of us. We have made many feature films exclusively for our channel. But this is something new for all of us. Making a feature film for a ticketed audience is a different ball game altogether. But we were prepared to see it through its end.

Now that the film has been released, what are your feelings?
I have seen the film. I am happy with what I have seen. The film explores the two worlds of reality and virtual reality and how these two worlds impact on human relationships and interaction in urban India today. The urban audience, I feel, will identify with issues the film raises as they have been tackled with the kind of subtlety and low-key treatment that is Atanu’s signature.

Now that the film has been running for a week, how is the footfall in the theatres like?
To define it in one word, it is incredible. The film is not mainstream in any sense so I felt it has niche appeal that might not work with the mainstream audience. But the footfalls in the theatres, both multiplexes and single screen halls, have been amazing. Star Theatre is the northern parts of the city drew 100% for most of its screenings. At South City Mall, Inox City Centre and Elgin Road multiplexes, the footfall has been around 95%. City Centre recorded 175 out of 237 seats as ‘sold’. It is only at Nandan that the pull has been a bit on the lower side. But that is not discouraging because the screenings here are at 1.45 everyday so pickings are a bit low. On Sunday, the incomings fell even lower because the underground metro service stops running at 1.45. If there is a change in the screening schedule, I am confident that the pickings will rise. The most amazing ticket sales have been happening at Priya which has multiple-film screenings. On Wednesday, the 26th, till 7.00 pm, 550 tickets were sold already for weekend shows and they were still counting. What more can one ask for. Takhn Teish is a different kind of film. It does not feature stars of commercial Bengali cinema, does not have action, violence. It is not a romantic love story in the conventional sense. We did not shoot in exotic foreign locales. It does not have song-dance numbers. Yet, it is pulling in the audience in droves. I hoped it would do well. But I did not imagine this kind of response, really.

Shoma A. Chatterji

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