This Site Content Administered by
INFORMATION & BROADCASTING

IFFI 2009 : 75 YEARS OF ASSAMESE CINEMA


Panaji: November 25,2009





     
Joymoti, India's third talkie and the first Assamese film, was released in Kolkata's Rownak theatre on March 10, 1935. The 40th IFFI is celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of this birth of the Assamese film industry with a special package celebrating the Platinum jubilee of the start of the state’s cinematic journey. 

 Joymoti, made by Jyotiprasad Agarwalla, a cinema-crazy writer-poet-playwright-musician-freedom fighter scion of a family with roots in Rajasthan, was a financial disaster, but its socio-political theme and strong regional flavour firmly planted the roots of a film industry that is still driven more by passion than by economics.
 

The state's film industry, which has seen films made in Assamese as well as various ethnic languages like Bodo, Karbi, Mishing and Sadri (the language spoken by tea garden communities) over the years, has seen many a high, particularly since the late 1970s, in terms of artistic excellence. This has come parallel to a number of commercially successful ventures, most of them social dramas.

 Joymoti's off-the-beaten-track realistic treatment was in contrast to the theatrical style of filmmaking practised elsewhere in India in those times, thanks to Agarwalla's study of European realistic storytelling style. The tradition he set for sensitive and sensible cinema got maintained later by stalwarts like the Jahnu Barua and teh late Bhabendra Nath Saikia.

Almost a contemporary of Jyotiprasad was Pramathesh Barua, scion of the royal family of Gauripur in western Assam. Barua’s exploits in Indian cinema are too well known to be recounted, though he never made a film in Assamese, having chosen Kolkata as his place of work and Bengali and Hindi as his languages of cinematic expression.

 Jyotiprasad's frustration after the financial setback resulting from Joymoti got reflected in his next film, the second Assamese film Indramalati in 1939, which was a social drama devoid of Joymoti's realism. The next 15 years saw just a handful of films being made, almost all of them historicals or stories with strong local flavour.

It was in 1955 that Piyali Phukan by Phani Sarma became the first film from the region to earn plaudits outside, winning a Certificate of Merit in the National Film Awards of India. 1959 saw Puberun by Prabhat Mukherjee, the first film from the region to be screened at the Berlin international film festival. 
           

 The mid-1950s saw the emergence of Dr Bhupen Hazarika as a filmmaker with his directorial debut Era Bator Sur. It appropriately showcased the musical genius in him. The 1950s and 1960s were also the decades of the Barua brothers Brojen, Nip, Dibon, Ramen and Dwipen of Guwahati, considered the first family of Assamese cinema.

 Hazarika, meanwhile, scored some haunting tunes in the Sarbeswar Chakraborty-directed historical Moniram Dewan. One of the songs, ‘Buku haum haum kore’ later became a chartbuster as ‘Dil hoom hoom kare’ in Kalpana Lajmi's Hindi film Rudaali. Hazarika also made some interesting films such as Pratidhwani, Latighati and Chikmik Bijuli in those years.

 Ganga Chilanir Pakhi, was released in 1976 and directed by Padum Barua, effectively heralded the realistic filmmaking movement in the state, presenting a real picture of rural Assam without resorting to melodrama. In 1977 came Bhabendra Nath Saikia’s Sandhyarag, which attracted the attention of the world beyond to Assamese cinema. Saikia’s humane, simple storytelling also won him acclaim for Anirbaan, Agnisnaan, Kolahal, Sarathi, Abartan, Itihaas and Kaalsandhya, the last one being a Hindi film that set the tone for realistic films on the issue of insurgency.

 If Saikia provided the spark, Jahnu Barua took Assamese cinema to greater heights. Having begun with Aparoopa in 1982, Barua went on to make Papori, Banani, Pokhi, Kuhkhal and Konikar Ramdhenu. He, however, found himself among the best of contemporary Indian filmmakers after making Halodhiya Choraye Baodhan Khai (The Catastrophe) and Hkhagoroloi Bohu Door (It's a Long Way to the Sea). The first won him a host of international awards as well as the Northeast's only National Award for Best Film while the latter earned him critical acclaim across the globe. His Hindi filmMaine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara also got appreciated widely.

Filmmakers like Gautam Bora, who made the outstanding Wosobipo (1989) in the Karbi language, Sanjeev Hazarika (Haladhar and Meemanxa), Santwana Bardoloi (Adajya), Bidyut Chakraborty (Rag Birag), Manju Borah (Baibhav, Akashitorar Kothare, Laaj, Aai Kot Nai, etc.), Sanjib Sabhapandit (Juiye Poora Xoon and Jaatinga Ityadi) and Jwngdao Bodosa (Alayaran, Hagramayo Jinahari in Bodo language).

 Meanwhile, talented names from Assam, like actor Seema Biswas, singer-composer Zubeen Garg and director Meera Kagti have sought and found recognition in film industries in Mumbai and elsewhere.

Films being showcased at IFFI:

Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Aru Joymoti, made by Dr Bhupen Hazarika, incorporating the remains of the original Joymoti and rushes of Indramalati.

Ganga Chilonir Pakhi, Padum Barua

Agnisnan, by Bhabendra Nath Saikia

Halodhiya Choraye Baodhan Khai, Jahnu Barua

Aai Kot Nai, Manju Borah

 Delegates representing the Assamese film industry at 40th IFFI:

Jahnu Barua, director; Gyanada Kakoti, actress; Bidya Rao, actress; Bobbeeta Sharma, Chairperson, Assam Film (Finance & Development Corporation); Swapnanil Barua, Secretary, Culture, Government of Assam; Nazreen Ahmed, Managing Director, Assam Film (Finance & Development Corporation); Utpal Borpujari, Film Critic

 

Click here to download high quality photo

    Click here to download high quality photo

more photos ....
MEDIA UNITS

PIB MAIN SITE (DELHI)

DD NEWS

AIR NEWS

D A V P

R N I

D F F

GOVERNMENT LINKS

PRESIDENT

PRIME MINISTER

CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

MAHA. GOVERNMENT

MAHARASHTRA MEDIA

MEDIA LIST

NEWSPAPERS

TELEVISION MEDIA

MEDIA REGULATION

CABLE REGULATION

CONTENT CODE

ADVERTISING CODE

PROGRAMMING CODE

JOURNALIST CORNER

JOURNALISM BASICS

INDIAN SCHOOLS

INT.SCHOOLS

PIB LIBRARY

OTHER LINKS

INDIAN AIRLINES

INDIAN RAILWAYS

BUSES

Requested Page Not Found ---

This Site Content Administered by : Manish Desai, Director (M&C),
Press Information Bureau, Mumbai
Site is designed and hosted by National Informatics Centre (NIC)
Information is provided and updated by :Press Information Bureau