Directing films happened all of a sudden for Debarati Gupta. The young director began her career as a journalist before shifting to writing scripts and ultimately directing films. Sholoana Bangaliana correspondent Priyanka Dutta engaged the director in a candid conversation.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– How did you get involved with the art of storytelling on the celluloid; tell us about your journey into films?
Debarati Gupta– Frankly, I never had the slightest inclination to join films. It all happened suddenly. I was involved in journalism in 2003-2004. However I did not like the profession much. So I opted for a change and started writing scripts. I then realized that script writing is one of the smallest parts in the process of film making, which is a bigger art form actually. Often the scripts were modified to suit the needs of the director. I realized that I need to get fully involved and this is how I started making films. Before doing my first film I assisted Bappditya Bandopadhyay in Housefull and Kagojer Bou. I was also the second assistant director for Chatrak.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– Your last film Hoi Choi was based on the struggles of a theater group. What is the topic of Post Kolkata, your next film?
Debarati Gupta– Four journalists go to North Kolkata to discover the culture and beauty of Kolkata. Despite living in the same city, they were not earlier aware of the culture and beauty of this part of the city. North Kolkata is like an alien place to them. The film has fun, sexuality and violence too.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– The names of the cast are the names of the months. This is quite intriguing; please throw some light on this?
Debarati Gupta– Nothing so intriguing about the names though. The names were just given randomly like we often have names of months for individuals.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– What role does music play in your film?
Debarati Gupta– Two young and new music directors Ariktam Chatterjee and Arpitam Chatterjee have done the music in this film. The music is important and will help in taking the story forward.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– What would you say is the USP of your film?
Debarati Gupta- Independent films are not made much in our country. This is even less in Kolkata. The film is an independent film which is one of the biggest USP’s of the film. Coupled with that the film has been shot differently and the film making process is not the typical one.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– What kind of films would you want people to remember you for?
Debarati Gupta– I am just two films old. Answering this question at this juncture is a bit difficult. However I feel it is for my good work that I will like to be remembered.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– Tollywood is engrossed with making films on novels. Do you have any such plans?
Debarati Gupta– I have no plans as such now. However, some of the novels and stories of Lila Majumdar interest me and I may make a film on her stories later on.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– Being a female director, do you get any kind of different or for that matter biased treatment in the Bengali Film industry?
Debarati Gupta– I will not say that I have faced biased treatment from the producers. However seeing my age, my work and the fact that I am a woman, many producers decline to work with me. They do not tell this directly but they do not look convinced.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– What homework do you usually do in order to perfect your skills?
Debarati Gupta– Watching good films, keeping a note of the techniques used by the great directors, thinking about a script and editing are some of the things that one can do to hone his/her skills.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– What do you look for in an actor before deciding to cast him or her in a movie?
Debarati Gupta– I select the cast based on the approach of the film. Post Kolkata is an independent film and I cannot afford to spend much. So the artists who worked in the film did not take remuneration. The only thing we spent money on was the charges for the camera and other equipments.
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana– Your message for young aspiring actors….
Debarati Gupta– I am an aspiring director myself. I am not in a position to give any tips and advices to anyone. However I wish them all the best.
On behalf of Sholoana Bangaliana, we wish the director all the best for her upcoming Bengali film Post Kolkata and we hope she achieves great success with all her projects.
Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.
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