Meet Samujjal Kashyap – Award winning Filmmaker and Film Editor from Assam
Renowned filmmaker and film editor from Assam, Samujjal Kashyap, has directed over 60 music videos, 10 films and 400 episodes of television serial. He first made his mark in the entertainment industry with the music video of ‘Aahoyaah’ that he edited in 2010.
Hailing from Barpeta in Assam, Samujjal did his schooling from St Mary’s High School, Barpeta Road and went to Madhab Choudhury College (MC College) Barpeta for higher secondary education in science. Later, he moved to Bangalore to study computer science engineering from Oxford College of Engineering.
Samujjal, who developed a passion for computer art while he was pursuing higher secondary education, quit engineering in his third year to pursue his dream.
“Back when I was in Barpeta, there was no professional training and barely any scope in the field of computer art. But while I was studying in Bangalore, I got introduced to many people working in the field and I knew exactly where to get my formal training from. So I quit engineering college and instead joined design schools,” he recalled, while speaking to G Plus.
Samujjal did a two-and-a-half-year diploma course from Arena Animations where he learnt the basics of animation and designing. While his parents didn’t approve of his decision in the beginning and his mother didn’t think that a job in animation could pay off bills, they started supporting him soon enough. He simultaneously joined MAAC Bangalore where he did a three-year course called Red Box 1, learning advanced visual effects. Additionally, he joined Manipal Institute of Media and Entertainment to learn film editing.
He started his journey as a video editor with a regional television news channel based in Bangalore, where he worked for nearly two years. During his tenure there, the 9/11 in USA attack shook the country.
“When the attack happened, it was the most hectic week at work. I remember not leaving office for around 3-4 days due to the TRP war among various channels. That’s when I realized that editing news packages and being time-bound wasn’t my calling,” Samujjal said.
Soon after, he quit the job and joined a film and design studio in the same city. Samujjal describes the work at the studio as the most satisfying one. “For the first time, I loved my work,” he said.
There, he took on major projects like Nike Bleed Blue Campaign, Kingfisher 2009 Calendar promo video, British telecom ad commercials, among others.
Samujjal decided to shift back to Guwahati, where his dad was running the Kadambari Studio. While in college, Samujjal only saw the studio as a fun space where he went to hang out and eat fast food, but now he saw it as an opportunity. He thought of taking the studio to greater heights with his acquired knowledge. Speaking to G Plus about Kadambari Creations, Samujjal informed, “Kadambari Creations is an independent media production company that started way back in 1990 with the aim to give cutting edge to the film/video production process in this region so that every aspect of the process is covered. We also launched an editing and post-production department that houses the best high-end equipments.”
In Guwahati, the editor turned director has worked on hundreds of projects for the Who’s Who of the Assamese entertainment industry. He also had a one-day stint at a regional news channel here but chose to stick to the entertainment business.
Samujjal, whose work made a mark in the Assamese entertainment industry within a very short span, decided to take on a bigger role from editor to director. In 2011, he directed his first music video ‘Duporore Rodali’ and went on direct famous television serials like ‘Shabda’ and ‘Nishabda’.
A four-time recipient of the ‘Best Music Video Director’ award, Samujjal has also directed his own documentary film called ‘Tezpur 1962.’ The film won the National Film Award for Best Investigating Film in 2016.
Speaking to G Plus about the film, Samujjal said, “I had read about the Youth Emergency Organisation (YEO) that had been formed during the evacuation of Tezpur. Though it is a common belief that everyone left Tezpur in 1962, the YEO was there patrolling the area. So, I wanted to make a fictional film about YEO. The idea was with me for two years. After I met a few people at the Films Division of India, I started work on the documentary. Renowned documentary filmmaker Joshy Joseph helped me with the editing.”
Samujjal, who is married to ace graphic designer Sheetal Kashyap, is father to a two year old girl. He is currently editing upcoming film ‘Adi’, and directing the music video of Hindi song ‘Palke’. Talking about his future plans, Samujjal informed G Plus that he is working on a second documentary film and plans to direct a feature film soon.