Five Assamese Movies that put Assam on the World Map
The Assamese entertainment industry is finally witnessing a period of boom. From fashion designers to musicians to actors and filmmakers – people from Assam are making a name internationally for their tremendous work. The Assamese film industry, specifically, is thriving and we’re producing quality movies that are reaching the global audience, being screened at international film festivals and receiving numerous awards.
Here's the thing about Assamese cinema - they're simple and beautiful. Our filmmakers do not need big budgets to make artistic and realistic films that speak to one and all. As G Plus turns 5, we look back on the top 5 Assamese films from the bygone year that were successful in making a global impact!
1. Village Rockstars by Rima Das - India’s official nomination for the Oscars in the ‘Foreign Language Film’ category, Village Rockstars has achieved heights that very few Assamese movies could. It has put Assamese cinema in the world map, once again!
The film, which had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and India premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival 2018, has been screened in more than 70 international and national film festivals and won 44 awards, including four National Awards - Best Feature Film Award along with Best Child Artist Award for lead actress Bhanita Das, Best Audiography Award for Ambient Sound and Best Editing Award for Rima Das.
Set in Das’ own village Chhaygaon in Assam,Village Rockstars is the story of ‘poor but amazing children’ who live a fun-filled life. It revolves around the lives of a little village girl Dhunu who dreams to have a real guitar and forms a music band with her friends in the village. The film narrates the day to day struggles of common villagers and the way they deal with poverty and natural disasters. In the film, Dhunu’s family that consists of her widowed mother Basanti and her elder brother Manabendra represents the life of the villagers.
2. Ishu by Utpal Borpujari - The feature film debut of critic-turned-filmmaker Utpal Borpujari, Ishu is a National Award winning Assamese film. In the same year that Village Rockstars won the National Film Award, Ishu won the award for the Best Assamese Film from the President of India.
The film is a big screen adaptation of Manikuntala Bhattacharjya’s children’s novel with the same name. It addresses one the most disturbing social issues in the state, witch-hunting. The film, which marks the screen debut of Kapil Garo from Sonapur Barosojiya village on the outskirts of Guwahati in the title role, has travelled to several places and won many accolades in the past.
The film has been screened at multiple national as well as international film festivals, including New York Indian Film Festival, Toulouse Indian Film Festival in France, Bengaluru International Film Festival, Kolkata International Film Festival and International Children's Film Festival.
3. Xhoixobote Dhemalite (Rainbow Fields) by Bidyut Kokoty - Assamese film 'Xhoihobote Dhemalite', which portrays children growing up in violent times and witnessing brutality around them, has made as much impact in the United States as it did in India. The film not only released commercially in US, it also got nominated in eight categories at the Love International Film Festival (LIFF) in Los Angeles, US.
Xhoixoboite Dhemalite (Rainbow Fields) has been winning awards and acclamations world-wide. In 2017, it won the Best Foreign Film Award at the Hollywood International Cine Fest. Earlier, the film was appreciated at the screening at International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. It was also screened at the Catoosa Country Film Festival, USA. In 2018, it released at the Cine Grand Cinema Fremont (California) and Cine Grand New Jersey. It also bagged five nominations at the Treasure Coast International Film Festival (TCIFF), Florida - best film, best director and best screenplay, best editing (Pallavi Kotoky) and best cinematography (Satya Prakash Rath).
Semi autobiographical in nature, Xhoixobote Dhemalite is inspired by true incidents from director Bidyut Kotoky's life and features among others actors like Victor Banerjee, Dipannita Sharma, Nakul Vaid,Naved Aslam, Nipon Goswami and Nikumoni Barua.
4. Maj Rati Keteki by Santwana Bordoloi - National award-winning Assamese film, Maj Rati Keteki directed by Santwana Bordoloi acts as a mirror to the Assamese society. Based on Indira Goswami's novel Dontal Haatir Uiye Khuwa Haoda, the film rotates around Priyendu Hazarika, a renowned writer and author, who returns to his hometown, a place that inspired him to become a writer, after almost a decade. Upon returning, he reminisces the time that he spent here, growing up, remembering the people he loved and lost. While he lacks the courage to weave the painful and harsh truth into his story, he decides to face his own truth alone, away from the appreciative audience.
The film premiered at the 21st International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) in the International Competition category. One of the very few Assamese movies that’s available on popular online streaming websites like Netflix and Amazon, Maj Rati Keteki started to gain critical acclamation way before its release – it was adjudged the best Assamese feature film at the 64th National Film Awards. Lead actor Adil Hussain won the national award with jury’s special mention for his role, and he also won the best actor in a regional film for 2016.
5. Bulbul Can Sing by Rima Das - Rima Das' latest movie Bulbul Can Sing recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in the competition segment 'Contemporary World Cinema' where it received huge applause.
Bulbul Can Sing, according to its official synopsis, is a visceral coming-of-age drama about a teenage girl, Bulbul, living in a village in Assam, fighting her way through love and loss as she figures out who she really is. The writer-director-producer has made the film independently, in the same way as her earlier film Village Rockstars.
Not much after its international premiere, Bulbul Can Sing is set to make its Indian premiere with the Jio MAMI Film Festival in Mumbai, where it'll be screemned in the Indian Contemporary section.
- Entertainment News
- Assamese Movies
- Popular Assamese Movies
- Village Rockstars by Rima Das
- Ishu by Utpal Borpujari
- Xhoixobote Dhemalite (Rainbow Fields) by Bidyut Kokoty
- Maj Rati Keteki by Santwana Bordoloi
- Bulbul Can Sing by Rima Das