By Hindustan Times
Bengal’s superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee, who recently returned to Hindi cinema as Dr Ahmed in Shanghai (2012), is partnering with Sahara to start a production company, Sahara Screen.
“We’re planning 10-12 films over the next three-five years, in Hindi, Bengali or bi-lingual. We’ll be following in the footsteps of Shakti Samanta, whose Amanush (’75), Anand Ashram (’77) and Barsaat Ki Raat (’81) were popular in both Hindi and bi-lingual formats. Some of my recent films like Baishey Shrabon (2011) and Bhuter Bhabishyat would work in Hindi too,” says the actor, who recently turned producer with the Bengali film Bapi Bari Ja.
In Mumbai last week to meet writers and directors, Prosenjit says Pradeep Sarkar is working on a subject for them and Shoojit Sircar may do a film too. “We’d like to rope in Sujoy (Ghosh) and Dibakar (Banerjee) as well but this isn’t only a Bengali club with established directors,” he says. “We’re open to newcomers with good subjects across India. I’ve always believed that Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen could have become national stars after Saptapadi (1961), if they got the right platform. This is not just for Bengal, but for Maharashtra and the South too. And to open up the market in Bangladesh.”
Will he be featuring in these films? “I’ve made 322 films and have never produced a movie for myself, even while giving jubilees for others. I see myself more in the role of company head, leader and mentor,” he says. “After Shanghai, I’ve proved that language and histrionics are not a barrier. I’m open to sensible films like Soojit’s Jaffna, in which I’m one of the leads and have a much longer screen time than the 12 minutes of Shanghai. But Sahara Screen is not being launched for me, the idea is to make good cinema.”