Thursday, August 30, 2007


Meet Suman Ghosh. This professor of economics at the Florida Atlantic University has an unusual hobby - making films.

Beginning with a documentary on Amartya Sen, the world-famous economist who won the Nobel Prize in 1998, Ghosh has now moved on to directing feature films.

Ghosh's Bengali film Footsteps (Podokkhep) was screened in July as part of the Indian competition section of the Osian's Cinefan film festival in New Delhi.

Ghosh told Toe Knee Unplugged he is now working on an English film.

How has the response been for your debut feature Footsteps?

Footsteps has already been to around 10 film festivals worldwide. I was surprised by the overwhelming reaction. It felt nice to find out that certain issues cut across cultures.
Though I had framed the film with respect to a Kolkata background it was pretty universal. It was really satisfying to see people in Canada, Prague and other places react to things the same way.
Footsteps was released in Kolkata in January. Unfortunately in India regional films do not get a release nationwide.
You have worked with Nandita Das and Soumitra Chatterjee in your Bengali film. Which actors do you want to work with in the future?

I have no particular targets as far as working with so and so is concerned. It depends on the particular role. I can only say there are actors that I like currently, but as I said it does not necessarily mean that I will cast them and work with them. That said, I think Saif Ali Khan and Konkona are the two actors that are consistently churning out amazing performances. They never cease to amaze me.
What project are you working on next?

I am working on an English film next. I can't say anything more about the project now.
A professor who's also a filmmaker - how hard has it been juggling the two vocations?

I never think of it that way - juggling two vocations. I think one must enjoy whatever one is doing. So the fact that I am pursuing two professions is an artifact of the excitement involved. The moment I will stop getting excited about making films or doing research in Economics, I will stop it. I can't see myself forcing into something.
But yes, I would say that I am good at compartmentalizing my vocations. When I was making the movie in India - for six months I just forgot about my existence as an economist. Similarly, when I am working on a research project I seem to forget about films. I can manage this changeover quite effectively.
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