McCluskieganj is one of the locations where Tollywood director Ritabrata Bhattacharya plans to shoot. File picture
Bengal’s loss is Jharkhand’s gain.
Tourism in the state has received a shot in the arm with Tollywood filmmakers from Calcutta lining up to shoot their films here instead of good, ol’ Darjeeling and its nearby destinations, which are now off bounds because of Gorkhaland agitation.
A senior official in the state tourism department said three directors from Bengal were planning to shoot films and documentaries in Jharkhand because they consider the state to be a safe and economical destination.
Starting September-end, noted director Ritabrata Bhattacharya will arrive here to shoot his latest commercial venture Sandhya Namar Aage. “Talks are on with two more, including a documentary maker, who have expressed interests in capturing the scenic locales here,” said the official.
Bhattacharya, too, confirmed his plans. “We are scheduled to go on the floors between September last week and October first week. It may extend till November,” he said over phone from Calcutta.
Bhattacharya added that the film would be a thriller and they would capture Hazaribagh and McCluskieganj on camera.
“The scenic beauty of Kalimpong cannot be substituted, but having said that Jharkhand, too, offers stunning locations,” Bhattacharya said, adding that the script demanded British-styled bungalows and they have identified three beautiful edifices in the twin chosen spots.
The director further said the state government had assured them full co-operation, security and logistic support.
The state has had its share of celluloid luck earlier.
Yash Chopra’s Kala Pathhar was based on the Chasnala disaster and was shot in Dhanbad in late 70s.
More recently, Vikramadtiya Motwane’s Udaan had captured Jamshedpur. And, Anurag Kashyap shot his gangster saga in Wasseypur, Dhanbad, last year.
Realising the state’s potential in the tourism sector, former chief minister Arjun Munda had announced a film city in December last year. A site in Pithoria was identified, but nothing moved thereafter.
“Political instability has been an unlucky mascot for Jharkhand. However, we are again planning to hold a meeting with the art and culture department to explore a fresh roadmap for setting up the studio,” the official added.