KOLKATA, September 15, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): At last, after a very long wait dotted with promises by big corporate and business houses, West Bengal is poised to launch a film city in the name and style of Purple Movie Town thanks to the endeavour and enterprising spirit of the people of Finesse Group and its subsidiary, namely, Purple Advertising Services Pvt Ltd of Kolkata. It will be West Bengal’s one and only one-stop-shop for making films along the lines of another similar town in Andhra Pradesh. Pritimoy Chakraborty, Chairperson of the Finesse Group, has steered this ambitious project from acquiring the land, getting the architectural designing done, appointing veteran production designer Nitish Roy as design consultant for the film city complex. Nitish Roy is one of the most outstanding designers of the Mumbai film industry who has won three National Awards for production design and is also responsible for the designing of Ramoji Rao Film City in Hyderabad.
“We originally owned 60 cottahs of land area in Bonhooghly Two in 24 Parganas (South) under Sonarpur Police Station. This falls under the local Panchayat and Zilla Parishad who have been very cooperative. The company bought another 4 acres of land to build up the project on an estimated budget of Rs.40 crores. This will create full-time employment the for youth of neighbouring villages throughout the year. State Bank of India is our major funding source. I am grateful to them for backing the project,” said Chakraborty.
An interesting feature of the movie town is that its two major studios with two floors each are being named after two living dignitaries of Bengali cinema. Purple I is named Soumitra Chatterjee Alcave and Purple II will be called Mithun Nagari. Why not Satyajit Ray or Ritwik Ghatak? “Because I personally feel it is pointless to celebrate the contribution of a great artiste when he is no more. What is the point of celebrating his name posthumously? Does he not have the right to be present to acknowledge the celebration and bless the studio names after him?” is Chakraborty’s straight answer. He has a point there.
Finesse Group, founded in 2005, is basically into the production and distribution of air conditioners, audio systems and television sets. The recession hit the main business so Chakraborty decided it was time to diversify without closing the foundation the group is based on. “The only business that did not suffer from the recession was the business of entertainment. Besides, I had this dream of bringing Indian cinema back to my home state – West Bengal which was once the capital of the best in Indian cinema. The best films made in our country were made in Kolkata. Why not give Bengali cinema the fillip it needs by way of infrastructure so that filmmakers need not go hunting for shooting locations, equipment, fancy gardens and shopping malls, ask for permission to shoot and spend a lot of time and money in travelling and other extras?” he asks rhetorically.
Purple Movie Town when it comes up in April 2011 and becomes functional will support the cinema of other neighbouring states like Orissa, Assam and Bihar which is the epicenter of the very successful Bhojpuri film industry. “Bhojpuri films are mostly shot in and around Mumbai which right now is not an ideal place for their shoots. Purple Movie Town will be closer to the outlet market in Bihar. We will be catering to several regional industries and we welcome Bollywood and Hollywood producers and financiers as well,” details Chakraborty. “Purple aims to transcend the expectation of every professional in the film industry by offering outstanding service, superior infrastructure and greater value. This will optimize system functionality and operation efficiency. The hard work, detailed monitoring, technical expertise and irrepressible enthusiasm all went hand in hand to ensure that Purple gives the most effective and professional service to our clients,” he adds.
Purple I has two studio floors, one measuring 13584sq ft and the other measuring 3000 sq ft. The other two studio floors are lodged in Purple II, one measuring 10051 sq ft and the other measuring 3388 sq ft. Purple Studio I and Purple Studio II are equipped with the latest technology and state of the art facilities. All the studio floors have been acoustically built to ensure added value and efficiency. Shooting will take place under controlled environment with 24-hour water and power supply and all infrastructural facilities like telephone and internet connection. The studio buildings will have 14 make-up rooms each named after a famous film star of Bengali cinema ranging from Kanan Devi to Rituparna Sen Gupta. The two studio buildings will have guest rooms of varied standards. A huge cafeteria would be serving all the unit members. A health spa with gym and sauna, two changing rooms within the spa and two toilets will be ready for houseguests who need to use the spa. Post production facility will be provided for dubbing and editing with latest equipments with a ‘preview theatre’ for viewing rushes and finals. Production control rooms with business centres for easy accessibility with the outside world and waiting areas in all categories have also been planned. The studio will offer art direction facility with an in-house art director. Carpentry service, costume designing, tailoring, laundry and ware house for storing properties will also be available. The entire town will be ready by April 2011. Purple Movie Town will have 20 flexible sets outside the two studios each with two shooting floors each. This will create full-time employment for youth of the neighbouring villages throughout the year. State Bank of India is our major funding source. I am grateful to them for backing the project. The flexible sets are being constructed in Hyderabad right now under the direct supervision of Nitish Roy’s team and will be delivered to the site through trucks and trailers.
“My goodwill as a businessman is the only collateral my bankers wanted and I gave it to them,” he sums up. Each of the two building will have four floors with a terrace. Each of these floors will be names after some famous cinema dignitary from Bengali cinema such as Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Dilip Roy and so on. The walls of these floors will be adorned with photographs from their films, working stills, portraits, memorabilia, song books, souvenirs, furniture and so on. Chakraborty’s archivists are already working towards locating and acquiring these collections.
“When I asked Mithun to suggest a special guest to come for the official opening, he at once said – Mrinal Sen. ‘Without Mrinal Sen, I would never have become the Mithun Chakraborty you know. So, he is the ideal person to grace the occasion with his presence and bless Purple Movie Town,’ he said. I was touched,” says Chakraborty. Purple I will be officially inaugurated in December and Purple II in January 2011.
- A modern shopping mall exterior with retail shops.
- A typical traditional Kolkata house with classical interiors
- A modern bungalow with contemporary, up-to-the-minute interior
- A hospital façade with interior having wards, ICU, corridors, Operation Theatre, Consulting Rooms etc.
- A beautiful Gandharva style temple.
- A colonial Court façade with interiors for lawyers chambers, corridors, Judge’s Chamber.
- A police station and Jail complex with interior for lockup room, corridor, jail with jailor’s office, courtyard for prisoners
- A classical railway station structure with ticket counters, huge lobby with indicators and railway platform and bogies with engine.
- A typical small Indian town with a town square, shops, market place, buildings and small streets etc.
- A big town with a collection of modern and old buildings, roads and by roads, city square, shop and office buildings, hoarding and a foreign city street.
- A state of the art modern Airport building
- A beautifully landscaped garden with classical fountain and outdoor scenes.
- The complex would include 55 rooms that can be used for accommodation and four luxury suites
By Shoma A. Chatterji, Wednesday, September 15, 2010