West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said Bengal had the best talent pool to come on top of the entertainment industry despite financial constraints in the fields of publicity and marketing.
Addressing a function to commemorate the 38th death anniversary of matinee idol Uttam Kumar, Ms Banerjee said, "Bengal may not have as much financial backing as many other states, we may be lacking on publicity and marketing fronts. But one will find the best talent pool on this soil."
"Bengal will win Bollywood one day and the world of entertainment will come over here," she said at the function organised by the Information and Cultural Affairs department.
Banerjee said a committee has been formed to celebrate the 100 years of Bengali cinema, which will screen films round the year.
Describing Uttam Kumar as a living legend, she said the matinee idol had won the hearts of not only Bengalis but the entire country and had wide following in Bollywood and in other regional film industry.
Director-actor Aparna Sen and veteran actor Paran Bandyopadhyay got the Mahanayak award separately from the CM.
Sen said her lifelong regret will remain not to cast Uttam Kumar in any of her directorial ventures .
Bandyopadhyay said Uttam Kumar was very much alive across all generations of actors.
Meanwhile at another programme, state Governor K N Tripathi inaugurated a festival of films featuring movies of Uttam Kumar.
Altogether 14 films will be screened in the seven-day 'Uttam Chalochhitro Utsab'.
The film festival was organised by Shilpi Sansad, an organisation working for the welfare of members of the Bengali film industry.
Veteran actress Madhabi Mukherjee said, "It is befitting that even 38 years after his death, Uttam Kumar is still fondly remembered by his thousands of fans across the country. To my knowledge, this is unique for any actor."
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