Assamese short film ‘Astitwa – The Identity‘ has recently bagged the Special Jury Award at the Delhi Shorts International Film Festival, 2015, held at New Delhi. The film directed by Sanchita Talukdar and produced by Jyoti Kakati under the banner of Sanchita Production, had previously bagged the Special Festival Mention Award at the 4th Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival, 2015, the ‘Official Selection Trophy’ along with a citation at the 5th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival, 2015, and the award for Best Emerging Women Film Director at the 4th Bengalore Shorts Film Festival, 2015.
A total of 550 films from 15 countries participated in the festival. There was some exciting new potential on display among the entries that encompassed various film genres including animation, documentary, drama, music and experimental.
Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining. Physical, sexual and psychological violence strikes women in epidemic proportions worldwide. It crosses every social and economic strata of society, every religion, race and ethnicity.
It’s a gross violation of women’s human rights. Not only does violence threaten women’s health and their social and economic well-being, it also thwarts global efforts to reduce poverty.
In Assam too, molestation and violence against women is increasing by the day.
Based on a true incident, the story of ‘Astitwa – The Identity’ takes place in a remote area of Assam. A few officers in their quest for terrorists enters a house, and then forcibly rapes a widow, besides indulging in violence against her family. After knowing about it, people raise their voices against the gruesome incident but to no avail. The woman fails to get any justice. Sometime later, the same officer tries to repeat that act by paying her a visit. Finally, the guilty officer is suspended from his job and punished for his crime.
This short film makes one realize that rape culture or violence against women is a real problem that does, in fact, exist, and that needs real attention. The film is co-produced by cultural activist Manab Jyoti Das. Jyoti Kakati writes the film’s story, script and dialogues. The film’s videography is done by Naba Das, while editing is performed by Sumit Baruah and Jyoti Kakati, and make-up is done by Uday Mandal.
Various roles in ‘Astitwa – The Identity’ are played by Pankaj Baruah, Jyotika Nandini, Manab Jyoti Das, Mrinal Bhumi, Gyandeep Kalita and Chintu Deka.