Not everyone is as lucky as Pradipta Bhattacharyya. He won the National Award for the best feature film in Bengali for his debut film, Bakita Byaktigato. But it’s been three years since he has directed another film for the big screen.
Unlike other filmmakers, who at times give in to the demands of producers, Pradipta clearly says that he won’t succumb to any pressure. For Pradipta, it doesn’t matter how many films he makes at the end of his career. “It doesn’t matter to me that I haven’t directed a single feature film after Bakita Byaktigato. I am happy making documentaries and editing films. But I cannot work with someone who will force me to do something, which I am not comfortable with. I cannot compromise with my creativity and bow down to unnecessary demands of a producer,” says the director.
Watch the trailer of Goen Da:
Pradipta, who directed a short film, Dheu, wanted to adapt popular Bengali author Swapan Kumar’s detective Dipak Chatterjee on the silver screen. “I really wanted to make films on Dipak Chatterjee. But there were some problems relating to the copyright,” he says.
A director, who is open to working on any medium, didn’t have any problem when he was approached to make a film for TV. Pradipta, who has always had a knack for detective stories, chose to make a detective film, Goen Da. But his detective, Illias, is not like any other sleuth in town. He (Tollywood actor Rahul plays the character) runs a tea shop. He falls in love with a teacher (actress Sohini Sarkar), who comes to the village. But when Sohini falls in trouble, Illias tries to help her out with his own investigation.
“Illias is humane. He doesn’t wear a hat, smokes a pipe or run an investigative agency. He is a tea-seller. I wrote this story six months ago,” says the director.
Actor Ritwick Chakraborty, who has acted in National Award-winning Bengali film Shabdo, is one Pradipta’s closest friends. In fact, Ritwick played the leading role in Bakita Byaktigato. Initially, Ritwick was supposed to play Illias. Interestingly, Ritwick also gave inputs to develop Illias’ character. “Ritwick couldn’t do the role. So, I approached Rahul and he has outdone himself as Illias. Ritwick has played a cameo in the film,” says Pradipta.
Like every independent director, Pradipta too is interested in making films on the web. And he has his reasons. His debut film, Bakita Byaktigato, which received critical acclaim, didn’t get too many theatres. The director took the film to various districts of West Bengal and screened it in makeshift theatres. Today, he prefers releasing a film on the web than on the big screen. “If you make a film sincerely and release it on the web, then you will eventually find an audience. Also, there’s no censorship on the web. These days, a lot of young minds are coming forward and screening films on the web. This is a great change in the world of filmmaking,” says the director.
Watch the trailer of Bakita Byaktigato: