Thursday, January 11, 2007

Adlabs Kolkata update

Adlabs' Kolkata business (Post-production and film processing) has an experienced local partner, RDB Organisation, that is into films for decades. RDB used to be run by late RD Banshal who has produced a couple of memorable films by Satyajit Ray.

The joint venture will also anchor the first of Adlabs multiplexes in Salt Lake in February.

Their post-production set-up in Tollygunge, Kolkata's film zone, boasts of the first Dolby Digital recording and mixing studio in the city, specially designed by Roger Darcy of Recording Architecture Ltd., UK. It is currently catering to Teentoretor Jishu, Sandip Ray's second film in the legendary Feluda series started by his illustrous father Satyajit Ray and Pinaki Chowdhury's latest production.

The film lab at Salt Lake is busy with Bappaditya Bandopadhyay's Kaal, a Hindi movie Falai by D&G Movies and the Pinaki Chowdhyry film among others. To quote Bappaditya, "Adlabs will help Tolly technicians immensely. Cinematographers always need a lab close at hand as it helps them experiment with the prints. Kaal is the first film being processed at Adlabs and the negatives have turned out really well."

The new, improved avatar of RPG's film wing

Today's Telegraph (Metro), to the delight of people like us viewers, tells us about Kolkata-based RPG Enterprises' newly restructured film and TV business. They are making a fresh start in Tollygunge after two debacles in Bengali- Mantra by Rabi Ranjan Maitra and Swapno by successful mainstream director Haranath Chakraborty starring the reigning king of Bengali cinema- Prosenjit.

They have divided the film business into three units to remain focussed- Bengali films, Hindi films and South Indian films (Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam). Aparna Sen, the head of Bengali films and television content, will produce Bengali films on their behalf. Her unit will start with her English-Bengali project The Japanese Wife (Japani Bouma in Bengali) starring Rahul Bose, Raima Sen and a Japanese actress to be shot in Sunderbans and Japan apart from Kolkata. The Hindi unit, headed by BR Sharan, will make Rituparno Ghosh's Draupadi.

Like a true corporate in film business, there will be a creative team under Aparna for screening and greenlighting scripts submitted by filmmakers and aspiring filmmakers.

Rather than a being more of a financier, RPG will be an active producer by bringing a quality control function to making films among other things, again a corporate characteristic. Aparna will be mentoring young directors, help them with the script (An area of her expertise by her own admission), cast & crew and in the process taking away a lot of problems that a director generally faces. This will ensure the director is focussed on his film. The aim is to marry quality with economic viability. They are now open to receiving scripts.

Later they will make content for Bengali television.

Looks like a dream come true for almost-starved viewers of meaningful Bengali cinema. Also talented telefilm directors, like Parambrata and many others, who rue about lack of opportunities in Tollygunge for fulfilling their big screen dreams, will now have a place to look forward to.