The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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It’s showbiz time for Buddha

After information and communication, it’s entertainment time. The spotlight will be on the third component of ICE when Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee keeps his big date with Bollywood — and a bit of Hollywood — this Friday noon.

The chief minister will meet a high-profile Ficci (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) delegation, led by filmmaker Yash Chopra, on November 29 to take the first steps towards a Tollywood turnaround.

The Ficci team will include Ketan Mehta of Maya Entertainment, Vikramjit Roy of Columbia Tristar, Deepak Asher of Inox Leisure, A. Ramesh of Prasad Laboratories, Atul Goel of eCity Entertainment and Arindam Chaudhuri of Planman Consulting. The chief minister will come to the table with WBIDC chairman Somnath Chatterjee, chief secretary S.N. Roy, industries and commerce secretary Jawhar Sircar and principal secretary to the chief minister Arun Bhattacharjee.

For Columbia Tristar, which has entered into its first regional marketing tie-up with recent release Sanjhbatir Roopkathara, Friday’s meeting marks a first.

“We have never made a presentation to the chief minister of any state before. We will announce our intent to work in close cooperation with the local industry and our commitment to the revival of quality Bengali films,” says Vikramjit Roy, manager, communication, Columbia Tristar.

The meeting comes in the wake of Chopra’s assurance to Bhattacharjee at the inauguration of the eastern India chapter of Frames, promoted by the entertainment cell of Ficci, in September. “You fix up a date and time and I will come with a team to address the concerns of the industry here,” the maker of Deewar and Kabhi Kabhie had told the chief minister.

“We didn’t go to them for help. The chief minister had discussed the government’s plans and policies for the entertainment industry at Frames 2002. We are happy that people are interested in setting up facilities here and the government will extend all cooperation,” said Arun Bhattacharjee, who is coordinating with Ficci.

“There are some specific investment plans with regard to setting up of multiplexes and post-production facilities, which the team will discuss with the chief minister,” said a Ficci spokesperson from New Delhi on Tuesday. “Some of them are coming to explore opportunities in areas like digital studios and theme parks. We expect a lot from the meeting, as the chief minister is personally monitoring the revival of the entertainment industry in Bengal.”

Every aspect of film-making — from content and post-production to screening and marketing — will be discussed by the Ficci team, says Arindam Chaudhuri, who has just produced his first Bengali film and is preparing to hit the floors with another.

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