Versatile actor Shayan Munshi talks to Shrabanti Basu from CalcuttaTube about Ekti Tarar Khonje directed by National award cinematographer Abhik Mukhopadhyay. The film which also marks the comeback of Bengali actress Arpita Chatterjee, is being promoted in the USA by Databazaar Media Ventures. The film is to be premiered at the NABC in Atlantic City held from 9th July to 11 th July 2010. Read the exclusive interview with Shayan Munshi at CalcuttaTube.
Databazaar Media Ventures will premiere ‘Ekti Tarar Khonje’ in NABC2010
On Sunday, in Metro Hall (3rd Floor)
CalcuttaTube: Please share your experience working in Ekti Tarar Khonje.
Shayan Munshi: It was very nice to work with Abhik Mukhopadhyay. It is a chance of a lifetime to work with the stature of Abhik, one of the rare geniuses in India. He has won the National award three times for his cinematography. His works in Ekti Tarar Khonje is awesome too. He has a great cinema mind. I have learnt a lot working with Abhik. Not just in my way of work, but also my thinking regarding cinema has matured a lot. Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s production has been exceptionally good. I have been very well looked after. It was worth coming all the way from Mumbai to Kolkata for Ekti Tarar Khonje and turned out to be one of my best experiences.
CalcuttaTube: Ekti Tarar Khonje belongs to a new genre that has never been explored before. Did your role in the film demand any special preparations on your part?
Shayan Munshi: Since the role I played in Ekti Tarar Khonje was of a suburban guy from Chandannagar, I had to work on the character’s orientation, mannerism and habits. I had started working on my role almost a fortnight before the actual shooting of the film started. It was again another great experience for me. I worked on some parts independently, and the rest with Abhik who guided me and did his best to me as close to the character as possible.
CalcuttaTube: What made you choose Ekti Tarar Khonje, since you are choosy about directors and scripts?
Shayan Munshi: I think my choice had a lot to do with the director and producer I had to got the opportunity to work with. I was also moved by the role and the entire cast. Working with actors like Dhritiman Chattopadhyay was very inspiring. Another very definite reason for choosing the film was of course Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. I have previously worked with him in the ‘Banga Sammelan’. He was keen that I work with him some time again and I knew that I could trust him with his choice of films. So when he offered me the role in Ekti Tarar Khonje, I did not think twice.
CalcuttaTube: Please share your experience working with actress Arpita Chatterjee who made her comeback with Ekti Tarar Khonje.
Shayan Munshi: It was nice working with her. Prior to this film, I did not really know much about her backgrounds, however. But once we started working together, we became good friends.
CalcuttaTube: Ekti Tarar Khonje has been shot in a red camera that uses digital technology. Was acting in the film different than other regular technology movies?
Shayan Munshi: Not at all. In fact, the acting was very much the same. We had a very smart technical team in Ekti Tarar Khonje. They handled everything with the camera. So even though the film was shot in red, I did not have to worry about anything.
CalcuttaTube: You have worked in many Bollywood films. How different it is working in the Bengali film industry than in Bollywood?
Shayan Munshi: The production cost differs greatly in Bengali and Hindi films. Bollywood films have larger budget, scale and audience than Bengali films which are still very regional. There are certain genres of Bengali films that cater to the educated audience. Films like ‘Antaheen’, ‘Anuranan’ are made for a certain audience. These movies, that require the the movie goers to have a certain level of intellect, go to different film festivals and even get nominations and awards at times.
We do not see these types of films in Bollywood much. As an actor, it is my aim to work in this kind of Bengali cinema solely to get creative satisfaction. It is not a monetary choice.
CalcuttaTube: Ekti Tarar Khonje is releasing in North America. How do you feel about it?
Shayan Munshi: I am very happy about it. I think the film was appeal to the western mass as it is very contemporary both in subject and in making. The music is also very good. So it is definitely appeal to the western mass. With this film I hope we will be able to cross all boundaries and borders.
CalcuttaTube: What are your upcoming projects?
Shayan Munshi: I just completed the Bengali film ‘Banshiwala’ directed by Anjan Das. The film is based on Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s novel. It was a great experience again. Anjan Das a very well known director in Kolkata and the film has a strong cast.
CalcuttaTube: Please say something for your fans.
Shayan Munshi: I would like them all to watch Ekti Tarar Khonje since we have all worked so hard for the film. I pray to God that anyone who is passionate about films enjoy this film. I hope to keep entertaining my fans in future through more good films and keep getting their appreciation.
CalcuttaTube: What would you have been if not actor?
Shayan Munshi: I would have been a sportsman. I was a tennis player, but had to quit because of some back problems. I could not make it to the national level, nor did I get to become a professional player. However, I still am and will still remain a sportsman in the bottom of my heart.
CalcuttaTube: What are your hobbies?
Shayan Munshi: I am involved in a lot of activities to keep me occupied in my free time. I do scuba diving, underwater photography, of course sports. I also do some marshal art training.