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I aim to contribute to Bengal's cultural scene as a producer, says Samiran Das

The owner of Kaleidoscope, an event management company, music label and film production house, has backed critically acclaimed films such as Kedara (2019) and Coldfire (2021).

Roushni Sarkar

Producer Samiran Das’s event management company, music label and film production house Kaleidoscope is known for backing critically acclaimed projects, including music director-turned-filmmaker Indraadip Dasgupta’s debut Kedara (2019) and Riddhi Sen’s maiden directorial venture Coldfire (2021).

His latest project is Suman Mukhopadhyay’s upcoming adaptation of the classic Bengali novel Putul Nacher Itikatha, starring Abir Chatterjee, Parambrata Chatterjee and Jaya Ahsan.

Das founded Kaleidoscope in 2011 but despite contributing to Aparajita Tumi (2012) and Open Tee Bioscope (2015), he didn't take the leap into film production immediately.

“When I met Indraadip Dasgupta and heard the script of Kedara I realized that since it was a mid-budget film, I could take the first step towards producing a film,” said Das.

“I received multiple awards for Kedara and got recognition for my company as well. Hence, I decided to invest the revenue from my other works in film production."

Das then produced Dasgupta’s upcoming film Bismillah, starring Riddhi Sen, Kaushik Ganguly and Subhasree Ganguly. “Bismillah's budget was thrice the size of Kedara's. The film has been censored and is ready to do the festival rounds. Bismillah will be released on 18 August on the occasion of Janmashtami,” added Das.

The producer then backed Coldfire, which did not have the usual small budget of a short film. "Coldfire has also been recognized at some of the prestigious film festivals. Hence, I received more validation regarding my choice of content and gained more confidence,” he said.

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Putul Nacher Itikatha is a big-budget period film with a strong star cast. “I have been often judged for my choice of films and for my investment pattern. But my passion is to make good films as long as I can sustain myself. I believe that as a producer; I not only should earn money but also aim to make a contribution to the Bengali cultural scene,” said Das.

Das looks out for good content but understands the value of a good star cast as well. “For instance, If I had played Abir Chatterjee's role in Putul Nacher Itikatha nobody would come to watch the film,” said the producer. “I have observed that in Bengal, films of two ranges work. One, films starring Dev Adhikari or Jeet, which I know I am not in a position to back financially. And then there are films with good content, made with medium to small budgets. For films of the second category, the financial risks are fewer. These films get more recognized at festivals and the international film circuit, which has a lot of value for me.”

The producer thinks OTT platforms have eliminated major hurdles when it comes to viewing unique content. According to him, rural audiences also watch international films now. “I have observed at home that kids or teenagers these days don’t watch entertaining commercial films only; rather, they are keen to discover interesting content. Also, we don’t have the budget required to make an extravagant commercial film here in Bengal. Hence, I feel it is better to concentrate on small-budget films with good content,” he said.

Putul Nacher Itikatha has a month-long shooting schedule. “After we finish the film, we want to submit it for the film festival circuit. I would like to release the film after Bismillah. Putul Nacher Itikatha has an incredible story. It is going to be quite a challenge to present classic literature to the Bengali audience and personally, I love to take up challenges” he added.

Das is looking forward to producing one film each by Kaushik Ganguly and Dasgupta and also Sen's maiden feature film as a director this year.