Shoma A. Chatterji, abptakmaa, Kolkata, 11th Jan 2020 : This year marks the fourth year of the West Bengal Film Journalist Associations’s fourth Samabartan awards for excellent contributions to Bengali cinema in 2019. The awards, apart from the Lifetime Achievement Award, are chosen from a nominated list by the organizers which are then sent to the WBFJA members to choose the best among the nominated names and send them back to the organisers.
Fortunately, 2019 has been a year where quality of Bengali films released offered a tough choice among the journalists. Of the 130 films released, at least 30 to 40 films ranked high and quite above average in terms of quality, choice of subject, direction, film craft and acting. The Press Conference was addressed to by Prosenjit Chaatterjee who has been a key person in backing the WBFJA in every field right till the day of the awards and that too, back-stage. Others present were actor-director Churni Ganguly, director Sujit Mukherjee, key person Gautam Jain and Nirmal Dhar, Secretary, WBFJA.
The most non-controversial nomination that is decided by the root committee of the awards is the bestowing of the Lifetime Achievement Award which went last year to Buddhadeb Dasgupta. This year, it is being bestowed on cinematographer Soumendu Roy who gained both fame and experience while working as cinematographer for Satyajit Ray. Soumendu Roy will be 87 on February 7 this year. Perhaps, according to veteran actress Sabitri Chatterjee, it is a bit too late for the award as he is now on a wheel chair but has promised to come to receive the award.
Prosenjit Chatterjee said that it would be tough for the top people in the industry – directors, music directors, actors and script writers and technicians to find a place within the nominations as the contenders were really posing a challenge as the direction of Bengali cinema is changing, slowly but surely. Churni Ganguly said that it would be a pleasant surprise for her if she found her film Tarikh in the list of “nominated” films though it has fetched her the National Award. But she was wrong because this film does feature among the nominations for Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director including one for Raima Sen for Best Actress.
When Srijit Mukherjee discovered that his film Vinci Da featured in the nominations, he was overjoyed because his film and he, as director, was rubbing shoulders with Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Aparna Sen. Nirmal Dhar explained that they had decided to choose only four films from the entire list and not more to make the media nominations easy. But looked at closely, some of the 24 categories have five to six nominated films. Why?
Many little-known and completely new names are there in the list who are strong probables among the list. One excellent example is Indradeep Dasgupta’s directorial debut Kedara which is featured in several of the sections and rightly so because it is a complete surprise to the entire audience including critics. The best part of 2019 is that many films like Jyeshtho Putro and Vinci Da have received both very good audience response as well as positive response from the critics,
The Samabartan will be held in Priya Cinema on Sunday the 12th of January with the entry of Santa Claus as a cheer to the Christmas spirit.