Millennium Post

SRK shows the world how ‘Bengal Leads’

Starring the state's brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, an advertisement highlighting the strengths of West Bengal was released on Sunday. A part of the 'Bengal Leads' campaign to attract investors and tourists into the state, the two-minute promotional film talks of a new resurgent Bengal consistent with Rabindranath Tagore's dream of Sonar Bangla ['Golden Bengal'].

With the Rabindra sangeet tune of 'Banglar Mati Banglar Jol' playing in the background, the Bollywood baadshah proudly says, 'There is something special about Bengal.'

Officials of the state information and cultural affairs department said that a positive and vibrant image of the state would be created through a series of campaigns and advertisements featuring Khan.

In the next few days, the video will be released on national TV channels.

With breathtaking shots of the forests of Sunderbans, the mountains and rivers of north Bengal, the advertisement not only showcases the natural beauty of the state but also highlights the rich cultural heritage of Kolkata and in Tagore's abode of Santiniketan. The religious sites in the state such as the famed temple of Kalighat, Dakshineswar and Belur Math also feature in the promo film.

Also talking of economic activities in the state, it highlights industrialisation, agricultural growth, skilled artisans and handicrafts. Education, health and sports are also talked about in the video, which has music by Shantanu Moitra.

The advertisement is a brainchild of the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was involved at all stages right from conceptualisation to implementation, officials said. The Bengali film director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, who directed this audio-visual, said that even the song and the tag line were her ideas. 'She told us that the audio-visual is meant to show that everything is present in Bengal, we just need to find it out. We tried to do exactly that,' said the National Film Award winning film-maker.

He also said that it was not meant just to attract tourists. 'We just wanted to show the strengths of Bengal which is very wide and diversified. It is about the awakening of Bengal,' the film-maker said.

Khan, who described Kolkata as his second home after buying the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008, has apparently not charging any fee for the shoot. 'My fees for the job is that I have to get free fish fry each time I come here,' he had earlier jokingly said to dismiss queries on his remuneration.

The officials said that another film to promote tourism was also on the cards.
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