Guti has successfully challenged the traditional thinking about female leads: Shankha Dasgupta
Shankha recently worked on Guti, released on 5 January
Before embarking on his journey as a film director, Shankha Dasgupta was a journalist. He joined The Daily Janakantha newspaper, after completing his bachelor's degree in business administration. Because it allowed him to communicate with and study people, two abilities that are crucial for any film director, he believes that his experience as a journalist has been important to his career as a director.
"I have been interested in filmmaking since my childhood. That's why I chose journalism and photography as a career, because through journalism and photography I could meet with more people and observe people more. Which is very important for filmmaking", Shankha said.
Shankha is a young and ambitious film director who has made a name for himself in the industry. He started his journey in 2008 and over the next two years, produced a number of television dramas. He took a hiatus thereafter, and then returned to produce TV ads in 2012. He has produced almost 350 TV commercials to date.
"I think we are heading towards a good time. OTT platforms are creating a big market for the industry and huge investments are coming in as well. Though I don't make movies, I think creating web series for OTT platforms is easier than releasing a movie now. Here, a director doesn't need to find a producer"
Shankha's first drama was 'Shilbhodro Abong Akti Nirbachon' and first TV commercial was for Robi, a telecommunication company. In an exclusive interview with The Business Standard, he talks about his journey, his inspirations, and his upcoming projects.
Shankha recently worked on two web series, Boli and Guti, with the latter released on 5 January 2023. In 2021, the highly-anticipated web series 'Boli' released on Hoichoi, featuring the renowned actor Chanchal Chowdhury. The series tells the story of Cheradia, a small Island.
Dasgupta followed Boli with 'Guti', a crime web series based on drug smuggling from Chattogram to Dhaka. The lead role is played by the celebrated actor Azmeri Haoqe Badhon, who portrays the wife of a small trader and mother to a little girl. In order to alleviate her family's economic crisis, she smuggles 'Yaba' through her anus to Dhaka. This series is highly recommended for its compelling plot and outstanding cast. Moreover, its cinematography is aesthetically pleasing.
"I possess no formal degree in filmmaking; however, I have learned by working on multiple projects. My first web series, Boli, provided me with valuable lessons that I later applied on Guti. This experience has been beneficial, as the audience provided positive feedback", said Shankha.
Due to preexisting stereotypes in Bangladesh, it is widely believed that films with a female lead don't draw audiences. However, Guti is a remarkable example of how this stereotype can be broken. Badhan's performance in this series is outstanding, and it serves as an example of how female characters can be portrayed in a positive light.
"It is my firm belief that Guti has successfully challenged the traditional thinking about female leads in films, " Shankha said.
Shankha believes OTT platforms are a great opportunity for the upcoming generation of filmmakers as the platform allows liberty; which in turn allows creativity to flourish and thus most of the movies and series on OTTs end up with interesting storylines.
"I think we are heading towards a good time. OTT platforms are creating a big market for the industry and huge investments are coming in as well. Though I don't make movies, I think creating web series for OTT platforms is easier than releasing a movie now. Here, a director doesn't need to find a producer," Sankha said.
"You have to pass many obstacles to release a movie. Lack of cinema halls is a big issue in our country. But with OTT platforms, you can easily reach a versatile audience for your work," He added.
Shankha is thinking of developing several exciting projects for OTT platforms. While the names of the projects are yet to be revealed, he confirmed they are in the planning stage.
Asghar Farhadi is one of his favorite film directors because of the realistic approach he takes to portray life in his films. He also reveres Martin Scorsese for his design, screenplay and execution.