Last Friday a Bengali film, Anuranan, dubbed in Hindi, was released in select multiplexes in Mumbai and Delhi, reviving the trend set by Shakti Samanta in the '80s with films like Amanush, Anyay Abichar and Anand Ashram.
Debutant director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury admits that it was Shemaroo Entertainment's idea to dub it and he was happy to go along.
"Though the milieu is very Bengali the emotions are universal. We noticed that when the film was doing the rounds of the festival circuit and we thought this was one way a regional film could reach out to a Pan-Indian audience," points out Roy Chowdhury who's quite enthused by the response from the two cities.
"A lady from Delhi told me my film had moved her to tears. Sudhir Mishra approached me for a screening at the Kala Ghoda festival and Anurag Bose wants me to direct a film for him," he enthuses.
After screenings in Singapore and 12 states across the US, Shemaroo is now negotiating for a tie-up in the UK where the film could release soon with English sub-titles.
Toplining Rahul Bose, Rituparna Senghupta, Raima Sen and Rajat Kapoor, Anuranan was the first Bengali film to be shot in London and enjoyed a 100-day run in Kolkata.
<b1>Two more films
The ad filmmaker-turned-director says that his production house is still making ads to pay the bills, but he himself has been busy finishing two scripts. In the pipeline is another Bengali film that should start in April-May .
"It's a love story with a difference.. very urban.. set in Kolkata. I want to capture the city with all its heat and dust," says the director who is in the middle of casting.
The third film will be in Hindi.. a sweet prem kahani set against the backdrop of terrorism with plenty of thrills.
"I plan to shoot it in Kolkata, Orissa, Arunanchal Pradesh or Jammu and Kashmir," Roy Chowdhury informs. Shemaroo has given the go-ahead to this project and could collaborate with him on the bangla film too.
"I like the way Shemaroo marketed Anuranan. There were ads in all the major papers for a week and the film got three shows at a Delhi multiplex. Such efforts are a great boost for regional filmmakers who are always complaining about getting the step-motherly treatment outside Bengal," he asserts.