Mamata Banerjee, flanked by Moon Moon Sen, Dipankar Dey and Ranjit Mullick, at the launch of the revamped Technicians Studio in Tollygunge on Saturday.
Two years ago, the chief minister had met a team of Tolly technicians, directors and actors to discuss the problems of the film industry and formed a committee for the betterment of the studios and laboratories.
Calling it “a historic day in the film and television world”, Mamata recalled the “long fight” to stop the facility from being sold to a private group “which was strongly resisted by the artistes and technicians. They were on the road to protest and I also stood by them at that time”.
The renovated Technicians Studio “has all the amenities of a modern studio”. It has six floors, of which two are air-conditioned, as are the two conference rooms.
While Mamata stepped into the revamped studio for a walkthrough, she was approached by Tollywood actors and directors protesting the release next Friday of the dubbed Bengali version of Gunday, the Yash Raj Films movie starring Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor.
Seated in a circle and over a cup of tea, Mamata was handed a letter of appeal.
Parambrata Chattopadhyay, June and Raj Chakraborty took turns to brief the chief minister about the Gunday threat to Bengali films. Mamata asked: “Do they dub Hindi films in Marathi?” On being told how strong the regional industries are, Mamata said: “If they don’t allow, how can we? Get the papers in order and let me know what are the things I can do in my capacity to help.”
June said: “We pleaded to her for help because this is going to directly harm the industry. Karnataka, Chennai, Maharashtra have all got together and prevented dubbed films from releasing on moral grounds.”
Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha, report by Mohua Das