Kolkata, Jan 28 (PTI) National Award-winning director Kaushik Ganguly is set to helm his first Hindi film, 'Manohar Pandey' and the filmmaker says making the pandemic-set movie in the language is 'only incidental'.
The director is known for acclaimed films in Bengali cinema such as 'Shabdo', 'Chotoder Chobi' and 'Nagarkirtan', 'Cinemawala', and 'Bishorjan', among others.
Ganguly further said he is averse to branding 'Manohar Pandey' as his Bollywood debut.
'This should not be called as Kaushik Ganguly's first Bollywood film. Yes, I have chosen the language Hindi for the first time as my characters are Hindi speaking. Had there been main Bengali characters, it would have been made in Bengali. Here the subject is important, not the language,' the 52-year-old director told PTI.
According to Ganguly, the film deals with the impact of lockdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic on the life of a middle class Hindi speaking couple living in the city. It stars Raghubir Yadav in the title role, along with Supriya Pathak Kapur and Saurabh Shukla.
Ganguly, however, said making the film in Hindi medium would allow it to reach out to a bigger audience.
'There is a sizeable Hindi speaking population from north India in parts of central and north Kolkata and in the Naihati-Titagarh belt. They had been living here for ages. I thought why not choose my protagonist from these people,' he said.
'Manohar Pandey' is produced by Nispal Singh and Surinder Singh under the banner Surinder Films Pvt. Ltd.
The setting is essentially Kolkata and the producers are from West Bengal, Ganguly said.
'After making over 20 films in Bengali, I don't think I need any publicity as making my first Bollywood film,' he added.
Shooting for 'Manohar Pandey' is underway in Chitpur area of the city and will continue in other pockets of Kolkata with a sizeable Hindi speaking population for a month. Greater Kolkata, including the Barrackpore industrial belt, will also serve as a location.
Asked why he chose the subject, Ganguly said during lockdown, which created an unprecedented situation for everyone, he thought of a subject that would mirror the experiences of the common people from the emotional point of view, how prolonged confinement and setback in economic activities would impact them personally.
'There are also other issues - social, economic and emotional effects of lockdown on the people - which have been dealt with in the film,' he said. PTI SUS RDS BK BK