Indian film director Pradipta Bhattacharya has won the National Film Award for his film "Bakita Byaktigoto". Jyotika Jyoti, an actress from Bangladesh, has also acted in his film "Rajlokkhi Srikanto".
The director has recently created a six-episode web series called "Birohi". The series is available on YouTube channel "Uri Baba".
Pradipta has recently spoken to The Business Standard about his films and 'Birohi'.
The Business Standard (TBS): "Birohi" is your debut web series direction and you have received overwhelming response. How do you feel?
Pradipta Bhattacharya (PB): I feel great. The plotline develops from a town to a village. Hence, many viewers were able to connect with it. The viewers can establish such bonding with most of my works.
TBS: How was the journey of "Birohi"?
PB: This is the story of a friend of mine who used to work in a rural school. The story is based on the small incidents of his life mingled with my thoughts. The shooting took place in my own village at Tehatta in Nadia. I'm still in touch with that place. I'm familiar with the stories of this village as this is where I grew up.
In "Birohi", I've portrayed the story of an unemployed man who was a tutor. Then, he got a job at a government primary school. But the school is far away from his village and the name of that village is Birohi. Something strange happened thereafter which his life turned upside down. This character is named "Krishna" and Sayan Ghosh has played the role.
Apart from Sayan, Satakshi Nandi, Srabonti Bhattacharya, Kaushik Roy, Amit Saha, Anuradha Mukherjee, Soham Maitra, Deepak Haldar as well as some local theater actors acted in 'Birohi'. Satyaki Banerjee was the music composer of the series.
TBS: The real name of the village is Tehatta. But in the series it was renamed to Birohi. What is the reason behind choosing this name?
PB: Anyone who watches the series will understand the reason behind this. I chose this name to reflect the deep pain in one's heart. When you finish watching the entire series, a feeling of wailing will be created. This is why I chose this name - from 'Biroho' to 'Birohi'.
TBS: You won the National Film Award for "Bakita Byaktigoto". The entire movie was shot from the perspective of actor Ritwick Chakraborty, where it seemed as if he was telling a story while filming a documentary. What made you choose such an unconventional style of storytelling?
PB: The film was made in 2010 but we had plans to make such a movie earlier. Ritwick and I were flatmates back then. I used to make films for television. I made a lot of documentaries as well.
At that time a story came to my mind and I shared it with Ritwick. I wondered if the movie could be shot like a documentary. It would feel more real this way and the audience will have fun watching it. My idea was to make it difficult for the audience to distinguish whether it's a documentary or a fiction movie.
I moved forward with this idea in mind. I had to practice a lot to make a movie like this. The funny thing is that 'Bakita Byaktigoto' was also shot in Tehatta. I named the village 'Mohini' in that movie.
TBS: Your work creates quite a buzz and people love it. What do you think the reason is behind such admiration?
PB: I can't exactly say why people like my work. Those who like it can definitely say it better than me. But I think that finding a connection with what you watch is a big deal. My audience can connect to my works directly. I try to portray true emotions and bring realistic characters to my films. Maybe that's why people like it.
TBS: Bangladeshi actress Jyotika Jyoti has acted in your film "Rajlokhi O Srikanto". Do you want to work more with Bangladeshi actors?
PB: I have a story in mind for Jaya Ahsan. I want to work with her. Hopefully we will work together soon.
TBS: Are there any other Bangladeshi actors you want to work with?
PB: Yes, I want to work with Mosharraf Karim and Chanchal Chowdhury. I have plans for a few series and movies. Let's see what happens!