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First ever Bengali film festival in London

Kolkata: In the first ever Bengali film festival in Europe, seven acclaimed movies of various genres will be screened at the prestigious Harrow Art Centre, London.

Called the Pratidin Probash Parboni Film Festival, to give the expatriate Bengalis a fair idea about the contemporary changes, turns and twists in the Bengali film industry, which is on a resurgent phase, the festival will mark the world premier of the much anticipated Balukabela.com, a very different work by debutante director Partho Sen and the first time screening of some other works appreciated in the audience domain.

Popular actor Rudranil Ghosh, two of whose films Balukabela and Elar Char Adhyay will be screened in the festival, told PTI "as `workers` in the film industry we are all excited with the developments. A large group of Bengalis had to depend on dvds to see us…. now they can see it almost instantly.

"I will be certainly there to be with our audience," Rudranil said.

"A wide section of the Bengalis living in UK always want to be updated about our contemporary releases, as they keenly follow the latest trends at their away home. No point in dishing out the old fare as they can procure the dvds of recent releases and can see," says Sayantan Das Adhikary, on behalf of the organisers.

Conceptualized and executed by Panchamukhee, a registered charity of UK and Candid Communication to give logistical support to the show from May 18 to 20, the experience is set to be replicated elsewhere, from November 2-4 in Sydney, he said.

Besides yet-to be released `Balukabela.com`, starring Parambrata Chattopadhyay a.k.a inspector Rana of Kahaani, Saswata Chatterjee a.k.a Bob Biswas in the same Hindi blockbuster, popular Bengali actor Rudranil Ghosh and others, the festival will herald the first European screening of director Anik Dutta`s popular debut film `Bhooter Bhobishyot`, Bappaditya Bandopadhyay`s period piece on anarchists in 30s `Elar Char Adhay` only days after its local release (on May 19 at the Harrow).

"The festival will also screen Arun Roy`s `Egaro`, on the historic win of Shibdas Bhaduri-led Mohun Bagan on July 29, 1911, over East Yorkshire regiment for a special emotional reason as it deals with our triumph on the football turf during pre-independence," he said.

Except Balukabela and Egaro, which had been picked up by the organisers for special reasons, all other films which also include Suman Ghosh`s appreciated work `Nobel Chor`, Sandip Roy`s superhit `Royal Bengal Rahasya` on popular fictional sleuth Feluda, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury`s `Aparajita Tumi` were all vetted by the NRBs (non-resident Bengalis).

"Next year we have plans to make it more elaborate, including the mainstream movies, which are also assuming a new glossy look with shots in foreign locales. There is a sizeable Bengali population about 2.5 lakh in UK spread over places like Edinnburgh, Glasgow, Bermingham and next year we would shuffle the film screenings at different venues to reach everybody."

The sponsors for the film festival is Universal Success Enterprises (USE) powered by Camellia Group and TV Partner Channel 10. .

Besides Rudranil, actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Saswata Chatterjee, Paoli Dam (whose hate story has caused ripples) theatre personality and West Bengal minister Bratya Basu, Aparajita Tumi director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and many other Bengali film actors will be present.

"We have given the accent on new directorial names as well as more established ones like Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and Suman Ghosh. While Aniruddha`s last film Aparajita Tumi or Suman`s Nobelchor had been screened through databazar in US and through IPTV, the audience in UK was deprived. We now want to bridge that gap through such a festival, of cult, classics as well as the popular ones higher on emotional quotient," he said.

"The new generation Bengalis want to see Param and Paoli, going by their recent releases. They are also another segment apart from the ones who are more attuned to Bengali films. Also there are Europeans having family links with Indians and we have chosen the fare catering to all with sub-titles."

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