Assamese Entrepreneurs Dominates Dubai’s Entertainment Arena

Last week Dubai witnessed the sixth show of One Night Stand – comedy in desi ishtyle… a rib tickling good and achingly funny monthly fixture on the comedy circuit aimed at Dubai’s desi community. Over the past few years Dubai has put itself on the map as the most happening place to be. The entertainment calendar is always filled with many events and venues that ensure there is something going to provide socialites and fun loveing expatriates a platter of varied opportunities to indulge their senses and unwind, amidst their otherwise fast-paced and stress filled lives.

As starter and with a view to adding a new dimension to this social plethora, Dubai is been presented by a fresh idea conceived to offer humor and a dash of comedy on the local asian entertainment scene. The event, playfully titled “One Night Stand”, is a monthly affair and is presented by FuzonMedia, an Event Incubation house. “One Night Stand” started with the very first show in January this year with bollywood artist Javed Jaafery and then followed by many such talents from UK, US and bollywood. All the shows of “one night stand” so far is a huge hit and widely accepted by the audience.

“We invite humor artist of asian origin with a celebrity status to present an evening of laughter. The comedy here is high-profile, mature and subtle, aimed at an equally mature audience,” said Utpal Nath, the man behind FuzonMedia and this new concept show. “To a certain extent these sessions is one-to-one, getting up close and personal and hence encouraging active participation. To ensure the success of this venture, the right venue has been selected,” he continued.

After the show the audience mingle with comedians of the caliber of Javed Jaffrey, Sajjid Khan, Cyrus Barucha, Archana Puransingh, among others. This creative fusion adds a light, classy, comic interruption to the existing plush ambience of the venue - Jimmy Dix, Dubai’s numero uno night club. The idea of partying to the beat of a popular DJ while sharing a laugh with a popular celebrity is makeing it an evening with a difference, one that is fresh and soul satisfying.

Utpal adds, “the central idea of the this line of show is to create a platform for comic actors. An ensemble cast performs skits, gags, stand up acts and even a typical Hindi-film-style-song and-dance routine.”

FuzonMedia, the company who owns this successful line of concept-show, is promoted and owned by Utpal Nath and Anupal Phookan, both young enterprising assamese residing in Dubai. FuzonMedia, besides being an event management company, also acts as a pure line production house for film/video productions. Furthermore, it also acts as an incubation house for new concepts and re-package old concepts.

Beside One Night Stand, Utpal is also very actively involved in Dubai’s cultural and social scene. Utpal recently directed a play called Visit Visa that was performed in Dubai at the Jumeirah International hotel’s auditorium, the best auditorium in Dubai. This play was a huge success and received rave reviews from the public and critics alike. As a matter of fact, due to the strong public demand, the play been staged for second time. In ‘Visit Visa’, Utpal experimented and infused some elements of modern experimental theatre along side conventional commercial theatre. Given the encouraging public response, this fusion seems to have worked. The play had only one cast and this part was well enacted by a popular Radio Jockey – Gagan Mudgal who works at a local radio station of Dubai called City FM.

Utpal also assisted the film director Aditya Bhattacharya, son of the great director Basu Bhattacharya and grandson of the greatest film-maker of all time, Bimol Roy. The movie that they worked on together is called ‘Dubai Return’, stars the highly versatile actor Irfan Khan and is slated for a release by the end of the year. Aditya himself has directed several award-winning films in Hindi as well as in Italian. His debut film ‘Rakh’ starred Aamir Khan – Rakh was not only Santosh Sivan’s (currently India’s top cinematographer) debut but also the one of the early movie of Amir Khan where he is been praised for his acting skills.

“At the moment,” said Utpal “I am writing the screenplay for Aditya\\'s next film where I will also be an associate director. This story is against a backdrop that projects three Non-Resident Assamese - how the greener grass on the other side of the fence took them out into the world (Dubai) to pursue their dreams and ambitions. They experience elation, disappointment, truth, reality - and how, they survive it all.” He wrote this story bearing in mind to make an assamese film out of it and has even named it – Xagoror Xipare. However, now with some modifications have been reworking into the original concept of an Assamese backdrop given the fact that they’re making this movie in Hindi and it’s aimed primarily at an international Indian audience as well as international film festivals. The name, cast and crew will be finalised by the first quarter of the coming year.

“I am also working on the script for my next play which is due to be staged by the end of this year. Apart from Gagan Mudgal and few local artists, Bhumika Chawla (of ‘Tere Naam’ fame) and Irfan Khan (of ‘Maqbool’ fame) will be acting in this play. However, the details are yet to be finalised,” Utpal confirms.

Utpal’s passion has always been film and drama but he was not able to pursue the same as a career option owing to an absence of scope and facility at the crucial time. Back then, he had to choose a ‘stable’ career option which he is in now. However, his passion for movies and drama continued unabated. Utpal is a hard-core movie buff and, although he was unable to engage in it as a career path, his resolve to work in this field did not subside. When the opportunity arose to get involved, it was at a point of time where he had reached stability in his present career. Fuelled with a determination to get involved in this scene, he enrolled for a course in film-making and was subsequently trained under Hollywood’s renowned film instructor, Dov S-S Simens. He also directed 3 music videos (including one in Assamese for Aftab Ahmed’s popular song Alingon Alingon). There’s a forthcoming video for a Pakistani band named ‘Fellas’ that was shot in Dubai and parts of Oman.

Apart from managing FuzonMedia, Utpal is also working as the Unit Manager - Sales and Marketing for a major pan arab service provider – ASPGulf, whose head-quarters are at the Dubai Internet City. “As far as I am aware, probably I am the only Assamese IT professional working out of the Dubai Internet City and definitely only one in my company since inception” states Utpal.

Dubai Internet City has presence of all the top IT companies of the world and acts as a hub and provides of knowledge economy ecosystem that is designed to support the business development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies. It is the Middle East\\'s biggest IT infrastructure, built inside a free trade zone, and has the largest commercial Internet Protocol Telephony system in the world.

“Under FuzonMedia, we have all the capabilities, skills as well as facilities to function as a full-fledged line-production House. Hence I would like to invite the new generation of Assamese film-makers to step forward and explore shooting outside of Assam and India. This move would not only introduce a new angle to their films and projects but would also simultaneously add a new flair. Dubai is a very picturesque city with charming vistas and has even used by Hollywood for filming purposes,” Utpal continues, “Dubai can be a stimulating backdrop for shooting music videos – the Arabic element will make for a very interesting video. Apart from Middle East we can also facilitate shooting schedules and other similar requirements in US, Europe, South Africa, etc. at a very affordable rate, ease and within budget.”

Utpal is residing in Dubai for the past 7 years with his wife, Chandana, who is also an IT professional working in Dubai. Utpal originally hails from Nagaon while his wife Chandana, is from Guwahati. Utpal can be contacted by email utpal@fuzonmedia.com