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Kalimpong charms Tollywood tribe

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  • Published 26.12.04

Kalimpong, Dec. 26: This charmingly quaint and sleepy subdivisional hill town is the flavour of the month for Tollywood.

It will be filmmaker Sandip Ray?s address for the next 28 days. After a successful comeback with the Feluda flick, Bombaiyer Bombetey, earlier this year, Ray is ready for his next project Nishi Japon.

The film is being shot at Crookety, a bungalow at Chandraloke, around which the script revolves.

The cottage is also the place where Helena Roerich, best known for her espousal of Agni Yoga teachings, had spent the last eight years of her life after her husband, famous Russian painter Nicholas Roerich, passed away in Kullu.

Produced by R.D. Bansal and directed by the Ray junior, the film?s star cast includes Saumitra Chatterjee, Dipanker De, Sabyasachi Chakravorty, Parambrotta Chattopadhay, Raima Sen and Rituporna SenGupta.

Talking to The Telegraph, the son of Satyajit Ray said: ?It has been 10 years that I have been wanting to do this film, based on the novel Nishi Japon by Narayan Gangopadoy, but could not find a producer and that is where R.D. Bansal stepped in.

He has, in the past, produced about five films of my father.?

Asked why Kalimpong was chosen as the location of his latest venture, Ray said: ?It was in 1995 that we came across this place. We searched the entire north Bengal for a cottage that would suit the story and found Crookety.

The whole film is themed on the cottage. Kalimpong as a location for movies has great potential. It is also a fantastic destination.?

?We are shooting the whole film here and will finish the work at one stretch. That will take around 26-27 days,? said Ray, adding that he had hired the cottage for one month.

The film, which is likely to be released in mid-April, tells the story about a close-knit family that disintegrates due to various reasons and the problems they face after that.

Sabyasachi Chakravorty, who plays the role of eldest son Nirmal, who is a military doctor, said: ?I feel the entire north Bengal has lot of potential with its variety of picturesque landscapes. It is an ideal destination for filmmakers.?

Just a few minutes walk from there, at the Kalimpong golf course, director Prabhat Ray finished shooting a song sequence for his latest project Manik.

Produced by Ashadeep Enterprises, the movie is about a village boy, starring Jeet, who falls in love with city girl Koel Mallick.

?This is the last day of our shooting. We are doing a total of two song sequences here. We have already shot in places around Kalimpong like Deolo and Dr Grahams Homes. We were looking for fresh locations that have not been covered by Bengali films and Kalimpong is filled with such places,? said associate producer of the film, Shyamal Dutt said Friday.

His hero agrees.

?Kalimpong is a lovely place. I have visited this place several times, Deolo being my favourite haunt,? said Jeet, adding that he has always found the hill people very helpful.