'Resurgent' Bengal

Written by Sudipta Datta | Updated: Dec 21 2011, 08:45am hrs
Over the past two to three years, the Bengali film industry has seen a resurgence of sorts. While its fair to say that its nowhere near its past days of glory, the industry is celebrating the fact that it now releases around 100 films a year, which had dwindled to about 30 just five years ago. As the recent FICCI Frames-Deloitte report put it, in the past three to four years, the Bengali film industry has seen the emergence of middle of the road cinema, which is a blend of commercially viable, yet thought provoking for its audiences. Bengali film stalwarts Prosenjit Chatterjee and director Gautam Ghose have been at the forefront of this resurgence, working to improve the conditions of the film industry and ensuring that they are marketed better. Now, a Bengali hit film like Dui Prithibi is assured of returns like R5-6 crore, which can improve if the overseas market is exploited.

Sachin Sondhi, senior director, strategy & operations, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, and Sandip Biswas, director, Deloitte, says: With a rich media and entertainment industry driven by a strong local demand, West Bengal is poised to attain a greater position of strength in the coming years. Converting this potential into reality depends on its ability to develop quality content as well deliver it through the best-in-class platforms both in India and abroad.

The TV market, too, is growing, prompting all the national players, from Star, Sony and Zee, to look at the Bengal market seriously by launching Bengali GECs. The overall television industry in West Bengal is estimated to be R1,600 crore in FY 2011, as per the FICCI-Deloitte report. The television industry in West Bengal is expected to grow at 18% till FY 2015.