West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the state's regional film industry can compete with Hollywood.
"Culture unites everyone. No one can create a rift in the world of art. I am confident one day Tollywood will give tough competition to Hollywood," Banerjee said while felicitating actors with the annual 'Mahanayak Samman' awards.
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The Bengali film industry is called popularly known as Tollywood as the major studios are located in the Tollygunge area of south Kolkata.
The awards were instituted in 2012 in the memory of Bengali matinee legend Uttam Kumar
who is remembered as 'Mahanayak' (great actor).
Veteran actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty, ("Parineeta" and "Feluda" series of films) was conferred the Mahanayak Samman while actress Rituparna Sengupta (of "Main Meri Patni aur Woh" fame) received the Mahanayika Samman.
Actor Paran Bandyopadhyay, composer Anjan Dutta, singer Sandhya Roy, actor-director Chiranjeet Chakraborty ("Chotushkone" fame) and filmmaker Utpalendu Chakraborty were honoured with the lifetime achievement awards.
Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay, co-director of the critically-acclaimed film "Bela Seshe", composer Shantanu Moitra, cinematographers Gopi Bhagat and Sudip Chattopadhyay. art director Indranil Ghosh were also felicitated.
Special awards were given to actors Debalina Roy, Rajatabha Dutta, Dulal Sarkar, Dulal Lahiri, Rahul Bandyopadhyay, Abhishek Chatterjee, Tanushree Chakraborty, Sreelekha Mitra and Biswanath Basu.