Millennium Post

British Council to screen Shakespearean short films in Durga Puja pandals

This is for the first time in the country that a city has been chosen to host such a wonderful event where people would be able to watch films based on all the Shakespearean plays, while queuing up outside two traditional Puja pandals.

Each film of 10 minutes duration will be shown on a giant screen at the Puja pandals of Ballygunge Cultural Association in South Kolkata and Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab Samity in the northern fringes of the city. The British Council has tied up with these two Puja committees to organise the programme.

The Globe Theatre made these short films which were already screened along the 2.5 miles stretch between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge in London.

The films were shot in the locations Shakespeare would have thought of while writing the famous plays. The famous Shakespearean character Cleopatra would be featured in the backdrops of the Pyramids in the film, Shylock in Venice’s former Jewish Ghetto, and Hamlet on the rocks of Elsinore. People in the city and Shakespeare lovers would be able to watch video representations of their favourite characters like Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and others.

Anjan Ukil, Secretary of Ballygunge Cultural Association said that a 8-6 feet LED screen would be installed at the Puja pandal where Shakespearean dramas would be shown to the people in the queue. “We readily accepted the idea given by the British Council as we thought that Durga Puja is the best platform not only to share the two cultures but also to promote our traditional festival in the global arena.

 The state government has been focusing on the promotion of the Bengal’s traditional art and culture,” Ukil said.

Dulal Chand Seal, trustee, Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsav Samity said: “It gives us immense pleasure to be associated with British Council in screening Shakespearean plays during puja days. It will also help us in the cultural and social upliftment. 

A LED television measuring 12-10 feet would be installed outside the main puja pandal.”
An artist who conceptualised the art gallery which is the theme of Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsav Samity this year said that there is a thematic connection between Maa Durga and the women character created by Shakespeare as many of them represent women power which is symbolised by Maa Durga. 

Yadavendra Sen, art director who conceptualises themes for top Pujas said: “People now a days are not so interested in staging dramas, theatres which are not only important medium to satisfy one’s own emotion but also gives immense pleasures to people.”

Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director East India, British Council said that first time in the country short films on Shakespearean plays would be shown in the city during Durga Puja. 

“As we celebrate Rabindranath Tagore through various programmes, Shakespeare who is another cultural icon of the world must travel through space and time. There is no better platform than Durga Puja to commemorate the death anniversary of this great playwright,” Chakrabarti said.
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