Meet Pabitra Margherita – Chairman of Jyoti Chitrabon
GUWAHATI: With over 20 years of experience in the field of culture, Pabitra Margherita is the present chairman of Jyoti Chitrabon Film Studio. An active TV panelist and media member of state Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), Pabitra has been actively involved in politics for the past four years. He is a renowned name in the state media fraternity having acted in multiple movies and produced over a hundred songs and short fims.
As his name suggests, Pabitra hails from Margherita, a small town in the fast east of Assam. His father belongs to Mazenga village in Nazira so Pabitra has also spent his childhood there. However, he studied at Margherita Public Higher Secondary School till class 10 and moved to Jorhat to pursue higher secondary education from JB College, Jorhat. Further, he moved to Guwahati where he did a diploma course in textile technology from Assam Textile Institute.
Pabitra is currently married to popular Assamese actor Gayatri Mahanta who is currently pursuing PhD from Gauhati University. Their 6-year-old son Jeeu is studying at Asom Jatiya Vidyalaya, a vernacular medium school.
After completing his studies, Pabitra moved to Mumbai for a couple of years. There he stayed with Assamese singer and actor Zubeen Garg and worked in the corporate sector. “In terms of art and culture, the influence of Zubeen is highest in my life,” says Pabitra, who has been involved in designing Zubeen Garg’s shows and other cultural activities.
Pabitra, who was always very culturally inclined, started his journey in 1999 as the founding editor of an Assamese cultural magazine ‘Maya’. Speaking to G Plus Pabitra said, “I had no prior experience in writing or editing but I used to read a lot. So I was overwhelmed when I got the offer to work as the editor of a cultural magazine and grabbed the opportunity.”
He used to also work as the creative consultant of the publication house of ‘Maya’ and design their cultural activities. Simultaneously, Pabitra also became the editor of another cultural magazine ‘Sa Re Ga Ma’. The magazine was distributed free of cost to libraries and music buffs.
Finally, in 2004, Pabitra launched his own production house ‘Margherita and associates’. The first project produced under the banner was a full-fledged Assamese prarthana album. Pabitra went on to produce Junbaai, a Bihu based Assamese short story, which gained massive popularity. Since then, he has been a producer of audio visuals.
Speaking to G Plus about the beginning of his career as a producer, Pabitra recalls. “Once when I was in Fancy Bazaar, I asked one of the wholesellers of DVDs and audio cassettes how many VCD players he sells every day and his answer was very surprising – 1000 VCD players a day. So I got into thinking, what are people listening to? After much brainstorming, I decided to produce short video movies with Assamese story, backdrop and songs”
In the past decade, Pabitra has produced 100s of songs in different languages including Bihu and devotional songs. Additionally, he has to his credit over a dozen short films. Pabitra has also anchored a large number of TV shows and cultural programs and served as a content provider to some of the major TV channels of the state.
In 2014, Pabitra joined politics. Within three months of joining, he got appointed as the spokesperson for BJP. After serving three terms as BJP spokesperson, Pabitra was appointed as the chairman of Jyoti Chitrabon in 2017, a position he continues to hold. Simultaneously, he is also serving as the deputy in-charge of Sivasagar district, BJP.
Under the leadership of Pabitra, Jyoti Chitrabon organized the first Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) in 2017. After its huge success, the film society is set to organize the second edition of GIFF in October this year and it promises to be bigger and better.
“We are expecting a footfall of 6000-7000 people at this year’s GIFF. We have arranged food and lodging for 500 students and teachers who will be coming in from all the seven neighboring states. Moreover, keeping the vision of the chief minister, we are not confining the festival only to Guwahati. So, we are targeting the nearby areas as well as the valleys from where more people will be coming in – free buses to and fro will also be provided,” informed Pabitra.
He further told G Plus that a total of 108 films in more than 50 languages will be screened during the festival. With the region of focus being ASEAN countries, a record number of 20 ambassadors from different countries are expected to take part in the GIFF, along with over 30 countries sending their cultural delegates.