No recession in Bengali film industry, but many worry

December 18th, 2008 - 12:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 18 (IANS) The Bengali film industry has so far escaped the effects of global recession, but moviemakers and actors are afraid that if the situation worsens it will be hard to get producers for films.”The recession has not hit Tollywood (the Bengali film industry) so far. And there are fewer possibilities that it will face bad times in the near future,” A. Bhattacharya, president of the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA), told IANS.

“As it is, hardly 30 films are made a year in Tollywood and mostly they are low-budget ones. Besides, our actors are not as expensive as Bollywood people,” Bhattacharya said.

But filmmaker Gautam Ghose differed.

“Nowadays, mostly businessmen or business houses invest in Bengali films. But the annual turnover is so insignificant that if recession continues till the end of next year, it will be hard to get producers for Tollywood films. Who will dare to afford losses during hard times?” Ghose said.

Whether recession hits now or later, Bengali film actors have their own take on the economic crisis.

“Thankfully, my producers have not yet requested me to cut down on my rates despite the fact that I am one of the three highest paid actors here. But I am prepared for bad days. If the situation demands I am ready to compromise my rates,” said actor Prosenjit.

However, popular heroine Rituparna Sengupta said only slashing actors’ rates would not solve the recession problem in Tollywood.

“I charge what I deserve. So there’s no question of slashing my rates. And, as it is, only cutting actor prices won’t solve the problem,” she said.

Asked if she is preparing herself to face the economic downturn, Sengupta said: “I really can’t feel the downturn right now. And what’s the point in sitting and calculating what will happen in future? Why are we always thinking negative? It may also be that better times are awaiting in next quarter!”

While senior actors are sounding more ‘relaxed’, the newcomers are thinking of alternative careers.

“I am really scared these days. Though I already have a couple of films in hand, still future seems quite blurred. Anyway, if the situation turns too bad, I will try an alternative career,” said one-film-old actor Anshuman, whose film “Love Story” recently hit the theatres.

The best solution comes from actor Priyanka Sarkar.

“If I turn jobless during this recession, I will marry and settle down,” the debutante heroine of the film “Chirodini Tumi Je Amar” said.

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