It is all about shooting for a cause – Kolkata director Malay Ghosh speaks on his short films on social issues and the nominations. He shared with Half Samosa about these films and his vision behind the brilliant and hard work.
Malay Ghosh’s Kolkata based Moulik Entertainment’s two short films Bongshojo & Moy Bhumi have been selected as Semi-Finalists at the International Open Film Festival (IOFF), 2016 among 4000 submissions from 105 countries under the scrutiny by 338 international juries. IOFF since its inception has been called as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world by international media.
Malay Ghosh, the founder of Moulik Entertainment is an old hand at acting and directing in Bengali theatre since 1988. Spanning a brilliant career of almost three decades in Kolkata, we have seen him as an actor and director in Bengali theatre, Short films, Musical videos, Voice Acting in Sony TV & Discovery Channel.
Half Samosa: We would like to congratulate you for the IOFF nominations for not one but two of the short films that you have directed as well as acted.
Malay: This is an honour and a matter of pride for me. This will give me further inspiration to move ahead and create such films.
Half Samosa: Bongshojo is one of the short films nominated and it was earlier under ‘Official Selections’ of festivals like OZARK SHORTS in Jan, 2016 & TIF Video Challenge in May, 2016. What is it about Bongshojo that is creating such a sensation?
Malay: Yes, Bongshojo is absolutely different which brings to light family problems arising out of communication gap between couples. The plot of Bongshojo is absolutely different from what we have in Bengali cinema today. In many ways it is quite ahead of its time.
The story is about Manab who is physically incapable of being a biological father. Manab finds his wife pregnant with his brother. In this moment of crisis, he is unable to share his emotional upheavals with anyone it is too much to bear for him as well, leading him to confide his indictment to a person who is dumb and deaf. Manab ultimately realizes the truth that this situation is a consequence of his lack of emotional bonding with his wife.
However, when this man has the sole intention of bringing joy and happiness to his family and loved ones and to also retain his self esteem, he overlooks his self interest and silently swallows the harsh truth- at that moment in this moment of extraordinary mental strength, he transcends from being a mere human to that of a divine personage.
Half Samosa: So this movie illustrates a kaleidoscope of emotions, doesn’t it?
Half Samosa: Bongshojo was also aired on TV after its release?
Malay: Yes Bongshojo is a short film less than 15 minutes long. It was aired on Kolkata TV from 8th to11th March in 2016.
Half Samosa: What is the second nominated film Moy Bhumi about?
Malay: I am very happy for Moy Bhumi because this movie addresses a very serious global issue. It is aimed to bring forward the upcoming shortage of drinking water. We did a lot of research work to collect genuine data and figures on the crisis. Instead of putting statistics and make it a documentary, we decided to present it as a short film. The story is about some friends living in a mess but through it the message is sent to the viewer.
Half Samosa: Why not make a documentary instead of a short film? Wouldn’t it be taken more seriously?
Malay: Shortage of drinking water is an unavoidable worldwide problem and it getting more serious day by day. I believe that a short film is one of the easiest forms of reaching to the mass with what I wish to share. We can see that it is such a fast lifestyle nowadays. Book readers have gone down, people are spending less time on plays and movies.
My trend is to make short films which people can also see online and these are less than 15 minutes of length. What is a more accessible and less time consuming for the viewers?
Half Samosa: That is actually a great idea. Is Moulik Entertainment shooting commercial films as well?
Malay: There are many organizations of this sort but when I established Moulik Entertainment in 2014 it was to specialize in making short films as we are doing now. Short films which will address social concerns and bring about change- that was our vision.
People are out of time to visit theatres and online films are the future. The short films are the easiest way to reach the mass as almost a majority of the population is now equipped with the internet facility. One can simply watch a short film on his mobile on his way to the office.
Half Samosa: Tell us about some more interesting short films.
Malay: Moulik Entertainment had produced CHITer. You could call it also an awareness video on the agents of Chit Funds. We usually see awareness campaigns for the investors but actually the investors rely on a company for investment because they trust the agents. Commonly these agents are mainly friends and relatives, who for a bit of extra commission, work for these companies. This type of investment ruins these investors, destroying themselves and their families too.
Half Samosa: This sounds like one film that needs to reach every household.
Malay: Of course, after all awareness will keep you safe.
Half Samosa: Your son, Moulik is only five years old but he has shown immense talent at this age. He seems to be very comfortable on screen.
Malay: Moulik had acted in a couple of Short Films till date like Et Tu Brute directed by Arin Paul & CHITer. He has done voice dubbing for a child actress in the movie ’89’ directed by Manoj Michigan. He is participating in theatres with me also.
But more importantly along with his studies, he is also enjoying his childhood. We keep him engaged in extracurricular activities like drawing, singing, recitation as well as sports like swimming and football which are very important for overall growth of a child.
Half Samosa: What does he enjoy the most?
Malay: He enjoys the most playing Tabla with his Guruji Advocate Sudip Kr. Das and recitation training from Ms. Rama Bose, who used to be his father’s voice trainer too about 36 years back.
Half Samosa: That’s wonderful! Mr. Ghosh , we would like to know that you been an actor, Director, Script Writer, Voice Artist and you are also involved in theatre. Are you going to keep away from commercial films?
Malay: I believe in reaching the people with my message in the best way my choice is an open book. But I feel at home when I shoot these short films in Kolkata. There are many challenges and when we overcome it, it looks worth the effort.
Half Samosa: Can you tell us an incident?
Malay: We were shooting a murder mystery As It Was which had a double role. It was a difficult task with very less technical support. We tried hands on shooting the double role with the minimum technical supports we had like the camerawork or editing helps and finally it when it came out good, the feeling was very satisfying.
However we experimented hands on shooting the double role at the floors only, without any camera trick or in the editing table, keeping in mind the low budget. This is where you need to visualize the film scene by scene even before its making. I mean that’s what you call home-work.
Half Samosa: That is difficult task indeed. What are social issues you are planning to bring up in future?
Malay: Our next movie CAT, You & Children is about child-parent relationship and it is set to release on Nov 14, that is, Children’s Day this year. Moulik is acting in it along with Gulshan and me and it has a special appearance by Binayak Banerjee.
Half Samosa: Not many people are out there who are making films with your vision. We hope you will keep on making such wonderful short films which are also a matter of pride for our country. Thank you for giving us time for this interview out of your busy schedule.