August 16, 2019

Assamese Women Filmmakers Honoured at the 66th National Film Awards

The flag of the Assamese film industry has been held aloft by three strikingly independent women filmmakers – Rima Das, Manju Borah and Bobby Sarma Baruah, who were recognised for their sterling works at the recently announced 66th National Film Awards, making the people of Assam proud. 

The much decorated filmmaker Rima Das, whose films have been making an enormous impact internationally, has added another feather in her cap, as her much acclaimed ‘Bulbul Can Sing’ has bagged the Rajat Kamal Award as the Best Assamese Film at the National Film Awards. Earlier, the film, produced under the banner of Flying River Films, was adjudged the ‘Best Indie Film’ at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2019, in Australia.

On the other hand, Manju Borah’s ‘In The Land of Poison Women’, produced under the banner of AAAS Productions Pvt. Ltd., has bagged the Rajat Kamal as the Best Pangchenpa Film. Bobby Sarma Baruah’s suspense thriller ‘Mishing’, produced by Sulakhyana Baruah and co-produced by Basanta Kumar Baruah and Bobby Sarma Baruah under the banner of BB Entertainment Trade Pvt. Ltd., has bagged the Rajat Kamal Award as the Best Feature Film in Sherdukpen.

‘Bulbul Can Sing’ had already won several accolades and screened in many national and international film festivals such as Toronto International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Osaka Asian Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, among others.

Shot in the stunning setting of her village Chayygaon in Assam, Rima Das’s film is a moving drama about coming of age, sexuality and personal identity.

It’s quite amazing and heartening at the same time that a film based in a small village in Assam, India, is winning hearts in various parts of the world.

The third Assamese feature of writer-director-producer Rima Das, who has multitasked here as director, writer, editor and cinematographer - to name just a handful of her responsibilities, the film follows up the wonderful ‘Village Rockstars’ with another powerful story of a young woman fighting to be independent whilst under the scrutiny of Assamese tradition.

Manju Bora’s ‘In The Land of Poison Women’, which is based on distinguished litterateur Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi’s much acclaimed work, depicts an individual’s effort to break the myth of ‘poison women’ in a remote part of Arunachal Pradesh. The superstitious belief has taken a toll on the girls and women of the Pangchenpa community. 

Bobby Sarma Baruah’s ‘Mishing’, based yet again on a much-admired work by Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi, explores the myths and legends of the Sherdukpen community in Arunachal Pradesh, while it makes an earnest attempt to preserve its dialect, which is on the verge of extinction.

The 66th National Film Awards were announced by Rahul Rawail (chairperson, feature film category), AS Kanal (chairperson, non-feature film category) and Utpal Borpujari (chairperson, best writing on cinema). The chairpersons and other jury members submitted the report on the 66th National Film Awards to Union minister Prakash Javadekar.

Prantik Deka.


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