Tollywood goes global
By Bengali Tollywood News Network, Sun 29/Nov/2009

Quite a few mainstream masala films in Tollygunge are venturing beyond Indian shores purely to attract the audience in the home market.

“We wanted to shoot some scenes along the beach. Of course we could have done these in Goa. But we chose Pattaya in Thailand because the cost factor for Goa would hardly have been different and at the same time, we can give the audience the vicarious satisfaction of visiting a foreign country in its own soil,” says Raj Mukherjee, who flew with his 18-member team for his under-production film Lakshyabhed to Pattaya for three days to shoot the scenes in Thailand. The three-day shoot at Pattaya made a dent of Rs 5 lakh in producer Pankaj Agrawal’s pocket for a film whose total budget is Rs.65 lakh. The film stars Swastika Mukherjee, Rachana Banerjee, Tapas Pal and Sabyasachi Chakraborty.

Shukno Lanka, directed by Gautam Pande, is being produced by Mumbai Mantra, the film production wing of Mahindra & Mahindra. The cast and a few crew members will fly to Berlin early this month to catch the Berlin International Film Festival. This foreign jaunt comprises roughly 20 per cent of the film’s total budget of Rs.2.5 crore. Joy Ganguly of Moxie Entertainment which is handling the outdoor shoot for Mumbai Mantra says, “The Berlin Film Festival is an important part of the film’s script because it revolves around a director and his film. The Berlin shoot will add to the glamour quotient of the film.” The film stars Mithun Chakraborty, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Roopa Ganguly.

The team of the soon-to-be-released Mon Maane Na starring Koel Mullick and Dev flew to Singapore to shoot two song sequences over five days, notching up a cost of Rs.20 lakh of the film’s total budget of Rs.1.5 crore. The song sequences captured the scenic beauty of Jurong Bird Park, Orchard Road and Clarke Quay. Mon Maane Na is being directed by veteran Sujit Guha and produced by Nishpal Films. Nishpal Singh says shooting abroad is not new for films produced under his banner. “We have already shot abroad for Jeet-Koel film Hero whose songs were shot in Singapore and we took the team to Thailand for Ghatak starring Jeet and Koel Mullick again. If Bollywood can do it, why can’t we? It is a marketing strategy. Besides, shooting abroad adds to the gloss of the finished product. Mon Maane Na is a film on young love and has freshness about it. The audience will appreciate the songs shot abroad,” sums up Nishpal.

Bhalobasa Bhalobasa is doing reasonably well in the theatres right now. Producer Ashok Dhanuka and director Ravi Kinnagi took their 16-member team to shoot two song sequences with the leading pair Hiron and Shrabanti at Salzburg, Austria, not very popular as a shooting site despite its brilliant beauty. The songs were shot on the foothills of the Alps, capturing some of the hillscape of the place where the famous The Sound Of Music was shot. The trip cost Rs 23 lakh out of the film’s total budget of Rs 3 crore. “We wanted to invest the dream songs with a dream-like quality. It adds quality to a film on young romance. When my friends in the industry heard that I was making a regional film with a narrow market on a budget for Rs. 3 crore in an ambience where most Bengali films do not even manage to cover costs, they thought I was crazy. But I do not know of any Bengali film having been shot in Austria so I felt this would add to the film’s story which runs on two tracks - one on young love and one about the father-son conflict. I wanted it to be a really big film and I have no regrets,” says Dhanuka.

Off-mainstream filmmakers too have shot abroad. Two recent examples are Anjan Dutt’s The Bong Connection and Aniruddha Roy Choudhury’s Anuranan, where the foreign locales were directly linked to the film’s subject matter and story. But off-mainstream or pure masala, the Bengali cinema dish has finally decided to make the world its oyster.

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Debabrata Das Said:
I am surprised when I see this article. You said "Salzburg, Austria, not very popular" . On what basis , you said this !!!! This is one of the famous tourist spots . Not only that , Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart, one of the most important composers in western classical music ! Its centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it has a wonderful music festival. Please stop producing this kind of ridiculous info . Please study before writing anything.
Sat 30/Jun/2012
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