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Comments on Telefilms

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"Telefilms proved to be eye openers in the cultural scenario of Bengal as they constitute what may be termed as the only sensible, intelligent and meaningful alternative to quality cinema on the video or digital format."
 
Atanu Ghosh, Director.
 
“Our policy, as far as telefilms are concerned, is to experiment. We’ve tried to steer clear of the run-of-the-mill and introduced the big screen equivalent of parallel cinema to the small screen.”
 
“When we introduced telefilms, the main criterion was to try and achieve high standards of film making. You cannot have that without experimentation.”
 
- Rathikant Basu, Chairman TARA NETWORK. [Published in The Telegraph, Dec 17, 2006]
 
“People were not getting anything from Bengali feature films when telefilms offered them meaningful cinema.”

- Kaushik Ganguly, Director.

"We believe telefilms are definitely viable revenue models".

- Kaushik Duttasharma, Associate Chief Producer, ETV Network.

"As a filmmaker I feel today's young gen wants to involve movies in their lives purely as stress busters, be it telefilms or films. Firstly the commercial trash that has been cooked by the Bengali Film Industry for over the last fifteen years has scared away audiences and discouraged gen-x to even consider Bengali films and telefilms as an option ...
But everything goes in a circle as they say ... new young filmmakers are evolving and I think they are here to bring the ideal stuff that young urban audiences are desparately seeking today. What I feel audiences need are non serious, non intellectual films which are meaningful and entertaining and something the new gen audiences can relate to ... even if they are small budget digital films for multiplexes or telefilms for the idiot box ... gen-x wants fun stuff which can also be food for thought ... my advice to them is WAIT ... we're coming." -
Anindya Ghosh , Producer/Director.

"Since so many films are being made and appreciated in the video format the world over,we should wake up to the possibilities. On my recent visit to the US,I realised that television has created a tremendous interest among the people there.It's so nice to see Bengali NRIs recognise television actors so well. By talking to them,I realised that they are interested in good quality films but not the average Tollywood fare."
 
- Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Actor/Director.
 
“Since it introduced the Bengali telefilm, ETV has produced at least 10 to 12 excellent films which can be termed experimental whether in terms of daring subject matter or otherwise. While it was never really a policy decision, several film makers (for example, Anjan Dutta, a pioneer in the genre, and Kaushik Ganguly) ushered a brand of telefilms which could beat the so-called 'alternative' big screen Bengali cinema hands down."
 
Lamenting that these never got the recognition they deserved, overshadowed as they always were by their counterparts on celluloid.
 
“They could compete with the best parallel cinema in terms of idea or execution.”
 
- Shyamal Sengupta, former dean of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute [SRFTI], Calcutta / Director. [Published in The Telegraph, Dec 17, 2006]
 
“Television is a mass medium. It is not the forum for me to practise high art. In order to reach my audience I have to keep the language appropriately simple. Otherwise, I might lose them. It’s a matter of a click of a button on the remote control.”
 
- Anindita Sarbadhicari, Director. [Published in The Telegraph, Dec 17, 2006]
 
 
"This note is for all of you who make or wish to make Telefilms, which are different from the usual fare, and live in the dream of making feature length films someday.

Speaking from my experience of being inside the box - there's this terrible thing called the 'trade' in Indian film biz-talk.

It's this collection of opionated, experienced, networked, vocal beings (middle aged males) who delight in weighing the merits and shortcomings of projects in progress. Try anything apart from the usual Bollywood fare and you're finished, done before you even reach the starting line.

The more offbeat the project, the more joy is wrung out of tearing it apart. Take for instance astute comments like these:
It's not a family film.
I wouldn't go and watch it.
You wouldn't take your wife to see it.
These subjects are not meant for entertainment.
Okay there's a story, but there are no Stars!

I hope you're getting the picture. Working in this environment is an awesome challenge. And by awesome I mean it's like climbing the mountain with oxygen that's smelly.
So you better be prepared for the tough times ahead.
Just one sincere request to you all.

Please do not hide away from your dream of making; please do not surrender to temptations of making something you do not believe in, but you end up making because you have been forced to believe that if you really wish to make it in the business, you need to be conscious of the market.

Trust me mates, there's nothing called the so called market. It is you, I, us, we all together who make our market. We collectively need to make films and rock the film 'trade' in India. If one 'Satya' can change so much, we too can."

- Birsa Dasgupta, Director.
 
“It’s great that telefilms have created a more liberal space, but radical experimentation is neither possible nor perhaps desirable. You don’t have a niche audience, so you cannot be too arcane. Your treatment has to adhere to some of the medium’s idiomatic norms. You have to strike the right balance.”
 
- Mandira Mitra, Director. [Published in The Telegraph, Dec 17, 2006]


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