Many film directors and critics had objected to showcasing of innumerable giant photos of Mamata Banerjee plastered at the popular main venue of the festival - the Nandan Auditorium Complex
Kolkata: Bengali filmmaker Anik Dutta is in a soup for pointing a finger at the Mamata Banerjee government’s political propaganda during the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival.
Many film directors and critics had objected to showcasing of innumerable giant photos of Mamata Banerjee plastered at the popular main venue of the festival - the Nandan Auditorium Complex. Dutt was publicly critical about "excess" at a panel discussion at the venue itself.
Speaking at a panel discussion at the festival, the ‘Bhooter Bhabishyat’ director said: “In reality, cinema doesn’t belong to the director or the producer. It belongs to the person whose pictures are splashed all over the Nandan and around the city.”
His comments triggered a storm on social media, with bouquets and brickbats flying alike. Many messages were congratulatory, applauded his criticism as "a brave act" and mocked the government. Some local newspapers have also attacked the filmmakers for saying such a thing.
Speaking to MyNation over the phone, the filmmaker said, “Actually, I am repeatedly being asked to comment on this (issue) since the past few days. I’m bored of it now.”
Sources said that many feel that Dutt might face major resistance from Trinamool-run film unions and they might create problems while providing him with technicians, permissions and other kinds of support while making his movies.
However, the filmmaker seems to be unperturbed about the probable consequences. Dutta told a leading Bengali daily, “Some people are saying, now (they will) make it difficult for me to earn my rice. It’s okay, I will manage with rotis!”
However, Padma Shri filmmaker Tarun Majumdar has supported Dutta. Talking to My Nation, the National Award winning director said: “He (Dutta) has spoken the truth. I support his words. Not everybody can show the courage he has shown. At one point, the Kolkata Film Festival was considered as a serious thing, it is not meant for having fun. Good films from across the world are screened here, they are studied, treated as textbooks. Things have changed now.”
Taking a dig at the chief minister, Majumdar added, “I have never seen pictures of great filmmakers like Satyajit Ray being displayed at the venue. Even former chief ministers Jyoti Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee never displayed their pictures. She (Mamata Banerjee) is not a film personality. Then why were her pictures displayed at the film festival venue? I am failing to understand that!”
Commenting on the filmmaker being tagged as a supporter of the Opposition, CPI(M) leader Dr Sujan Chakraborty told My Nation, “If there are people who are tagging him as CPM or BJP, then probably they are Trinamool minded and hence they are trying to label his words as politically motivated. But his words aren’t politically motivated, they are real. What he (Dutta) has said is absolutely correct and there is no doubt about that. Any reasonable or sensible person in the world would point this out. Somehow a situation has been created in the state where nobody can speak his or her mind.”
Chakraborty added that the present government is trying to “hijack” the Kolkata film festival and give it a political tinge. “Not only the film festival but the FIFA Youth World Cup campaign in Kolkata last year was also dominated by her pictures. Even while celebrating Netaji or Tagore’s birth anniversary, the CM’s poster is always bigger than that of Subhas Chandra Bose or Tagore. What’s the logic.”
On the work front, Dutta is working on his next film Bhabiswater Bhoot’, the logo of which was released during Diwali.
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Last Updated Nov 21, 2018, 4:40 PM IST