Team Tolly safe in Turkey

The day a military coup tried to topple the government in Turkey, a Tollywood team led by Calcutta-based filmmaker Birsa Dasgupta was busy shooting a love story in another part of Istanbul.

By Our bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 17.07.16
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Birsa Dasgupta (in red tee) and Bratya Basu (in green shirt) lunching at a restaurant in Istanbul on Saturday

Calcutta, July 16: The day a military coup tried to topple the government in Turkey, a Tollywood team led by Calcutta-based filmmaker Birsa Dasgupta was busy shooting a love story in another part of Istanbul.

The yet-to-be-titled Production No: 101, from Shree Venkatesh Films, stars Mimi Chakraborty, Bratya Basu, Gaurav Chakrabarty and debutant Yash Dasgupta, all of whom are currently stationed in Istanbul. Though the team didn't feel the impact of the coup, today's shoot was called off as a precautionary measure.

"There's no problem here. Everything is under control. But we are giving a day off today. Shooting resumes tomorrow," Birsa told Metro today from Euro Park Otel, which is on the European side of Istanbul and "20 minutes from Ataturk airport".

"The Indian embassy told me there's no problem but the situation is gradually improving. We went out for lunch a while back and life on the streets looked normal in this part of town," said actor-director and Bengal's IT minister Bratya Basu, who joined the cast and crew in Istanbul yesterday.

Though Venkatesh Films, back home, is expecting the budget to go haywire because of the cancelled shoot, they are "more concerned" about the team's safety.

"We were able to shoot till daylight yesterday. Today the team couldn't shoot. But hopefully we will resume tomorrow. It's been just five days that the team has shot in Istanbul. It's a month-long shoot. The entire film is supposed to be shot there. We are in touch with the Indian embassy and the local authorities in Istanbul. If all goes well, the team will return after completing the shoot. But if the situation gets worse, we might have to call them back," said Mahendra Soni of Shree Venkatesh Films.

The Production No: 101 team was shooting outdoors in Istanbul yesterday "when the coup happened". "We were doing an action sequence on a 1,200-year-old bridge," said Birsa.

"While returning from the shoot there was a huge jam on the road and we found out later what had happened. The cast and crew are safe," said Mimi, who plays a fun-loving girl in love with a gangster, played by Yash, the star of TV serial Bojhena Se Bojhena.

"Thank you Istanbul for making us feel like home, nothing to worry about... Safe & Secured," Yash tweeted.

"I got the news about the military coup around midnight. I saw it on TV. We have not been affected as such. Everything is quite normal," said Gaurav.