The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Wanted: Ideas first, funds later

Sumant Poddar,
Kyd Street.

Definitely! Bollywood’s support will not only enable Tollywood to grow, but will also help it tap unexploited talent. As far as money is concerned, there would be an immediate change in the concept of film-making. However, participation of the Bollywood underworld will be unavoidable.

Anindita Choudhury,

Most Bengali films fail not only due to poor storylines, but also due to poor marketing strategies. Bollywood’s aid will help revive the dying industry in Tollywood.

Mehreen Saba,
Park Street.

Yes, I think help from Bollywood will definitely develop Tollywood, since Bollywood has established itself, financially and otherwise. Improving the stocks of Tollywood will ensure that the rich heritage of Bengal is preserved for posterity.

Samreen Farah Naaz,
Address not given.

Yes, Bollywood’s money and marketing muscle will definitely turn Tollywood around in many ways, since Bollywood is better than Tollywood in almost every area of film-making.

Tapan Pal,

It is heartening to learn that a Bollywood-Tollywood partnership, with the state government acting as the catalyst, is on the anvil to resurrect Tollywood. But the chief minister’s statutory warning that effort should always be directed towards producing quality films is enough to scare off potential investors. There is no reason why Tollywood cannot make good movies by itself.

Arjun Mukherjee,
Address not given.

The way things are going in Tollywood, resurgence looks like a remote possibility. What Tollywood lacks more than adequate funds is good, intelligent cinema. Shallow scripts, hollow concepts and shameless aping of Hindi movies will take Tollywood nowhere. The so-called power marketing of Bollywood appears to be a lame duck, as much-hyped movies crash miserably at the box office. How this is going to pull Tollywood out of its misery is questionable. The fact remains that the loss of Uttam Kumar hit Tollywood harder than the industry thought it would. Tollywood has not been the same since.

Address not given.

Tollywood can never produce quality films. It can never match Bollywood even if the films are financed by it. Directors here lack imagination. The heroes here can never match the chocolate-boy image of even a Jimmy Shergill, and the heroines are eyesores after the likes of Preity Zinta. At best, Tollywood can produce arty movies and hope for some national awards.

Address not given.

Yes. Even below-average Bollywood films capitalise on the producer’s money-spending capacity and marketing strategy. Tollywood in contrast has been following the same old methods. The proposal in question will certainly be a boost for Tollywood.

B.N. Bose,
Dum Dum Park.

Bollywood producers spend crores to make a film. Hindi films have a market all over India and abroad. The rich producers with their marketing skills can surely help change Tollywood.

Aparajita Dasgupta,

The storyline is the most important factor for a film to succeed. Several big-budget Hindi movies with weak scripts flop. Tollywood producers must realise that only a good story can sell tickets.

Anwesha Ray,

Bollywood’s aggressive marketing makes the viewer take note of the films even if they are qualitatively poor. This is not possible in the Bengali film circuit due to financial limitations. But decent and sensitive films can always be made.

Md Shamim Aslam,
Tiljala Lane.

So what if Tollywood does not have the money to match Bollywood’s might. We still have talent and fresh ideas and with some cooperation from the government, we can aim even for the Oscars.

Rajarshi Ghosh,

Money alone can’t transform Tollywood overnight. Apart from financial backing, we also need good stories.

Jayanta Datta,

Lack of professionalism and the instinct to rise above average have spelt Tollywood’s doom. Naturally, investors have slunk away. If we can produce quality films, cash will automatically flow in.

Shiv Kumar Pandey,

Yes, certainly so. Tollywood had hit the nadir. But now, good films are being made, thanks to directors like Rituparno Ghosh. What Tollywood needs is funds and clever marketing strategies to create a buzz at least in the local circuit. And this is where Bollywood can pitch in.

Swagata Gupta,

Apart from the money and marketing muscle of Bollywood, what Tollywood needs is the proper utilisation of its own resources. It’s time our films stopped aping Bollywood and came up with original ideas. We also need fresh faces who can take up this challenge.

Sananda Sen,
New Alipore.

With producer Yash Chopra taking interest in Tollywood, things are perhaps looking up for the Bengali film industry. A good film cannot be made with meagre funds. As most Bengali films are made on frugal budgets, our film-makers cannot hire good studios, sophisticated cameras, or talented actors.

Pratyay Banerjee,

A super-hit film requires some basic ingredients like a good script, superb acting and skilful cinematography. Without these, marketing and money cannot help a film. Tollywood should rather concentrate on the content of the films.

Vineeta Nair,
Selimpur Road.

Bollywood’s money and marketing muscle will revamp the sagging spirit of Tollywood. Funds and marketing skills will act as an incentive for our directors to experiment.

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