The Tollywood fraternity here has called for an immediate halt to dubbing Hindi films and telly soaps in Bengali.
The call by the Bengali film industry comes in the wake of dubbed versions of Yash Raj Film production 'Gunday' releasing simultaneously in Hindi and Bengali in the state. The film was shot extensively in the city and other parts of West Bengal and has the star cast of Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra capturing the flavour of the state in the 1970s and 1980s. Bengali film superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee said, "We have nothing personal against any producers.
In fact we have high regard for legendary producer-directors like late Yashji. "But as Bengali film industry is poised for a turnaround with audiences returning to the theatres again, any cinematic work dubbed in the language and screened will create an unfair situation.
Our gentle request is please stop this. I would have talked to Yashji about this had he been around ... If any artiste from here still wishes to be part of any such dubbing venture we will be forced to boycott him/her."
Chatterjee, awarded for his performances in 'Moner Manush', 'Autograph', 'Dosar' and a host of other films in his over three-decade-long career, said last night that Bollywood films have always enjoyed sizeable following in all corners of Bengal. The Tollywood fraternity was not against it and had in fact cooperated in the outdoor shoots of Hindi films, including 'Gunday'.
"Let Hindi films run parallel to films made in Bengali by people here. We urge everybody concerned not to screen any dubbed film in theatres and serials on television any more."
Celebrated actor Parambrata Chatterjee of 'Kahaani' fame said, "We are not issuing any threat to anybody. But the local industry has its stake. This is our united stand and we mean it." Actor-director and producer Arindam Sil said as line producer of 'Gunday' and many other Hindi films he could vouchsafe that no artiste from Tollygunj did the Bengali voice-over for the film from here.
To a question, popular Bengali film director Raj Chakraborty requested for an end to airing future episodes of serials dubbed in Bengali on TV. "This is no threat, but is a request for allowing the survival of local industry."
Big ticket producers Srikant Mohta of Shree Venkatesh films said, "At a time when Tollywood films are attracting good audience response due to content and quality we have to work for saving this limited market."
Another top producer Ashok Dhanuka of Eskay Movies said the Bengali film industry has attracted Rs 1500 crore total investment in recent times from just Rs 10 crore to Rs 15 crore several years ago. If we don't protect Bengali film industry, it will spell doom."
Directors Kamaleswar Mukhopadhyay of 'Chander Pahar' fame, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Moinak Bhowmik, Sudeshna Roy, Abhijit Guha, actors Rajatabhao Dutta, music composer-director Debajyoti Mishra, Indradeep Dasgupta, producer Nishpal Singh Rane were also present at the meeting in a city film studio.