Assamese feature film ‘Xhoixoboite Dhemalite’ (Rainbow Fields) has earned the Best Foreign Film Award at the Hollywood International CineFest 2017. “The movie is inspired by events I experienced as a child during the Assam Student Movement in the 1980s. It was filmed in Lakhimpur district, close to the Assam-Arunachal border,” the 45-year-old Guwahati-born Bidyut Kotoky, who has written and directed the film, said.
For long Assam has seen terror and violence from a close quarter. Starting with Assam agitation in 1979 against illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh to the reign of terror unleased by the banned terror-outfit United Liberation Front of Assam, because of violence several lives were lost and several others were left scarred for life. Thankfully, for the last few years, the state is witnessing peace to a great extent. But those who have experienced violence still could not forget those frightening days. The film depicts the impact of violence on human mind and soul, especially on children.
As described by the festival’s website – “This film is about children growing up in violent places, witnessing brutality around them and how it affects them deeply, leaving an indelible mark on their growth”. It has an emotional depth that cuts across geographical barriers.
“The award brings joy to everyone associated with the project, especially Bidyut, who’s a very creative director. It is also a moment of celebration for the Assam film industry,” said Victor Banerjee, who plays a grandfather adept in understanding child behaviour. The 70-year-old actor, renowned for his performances in ‘A Passage to India’ and ‘Ghare Baire’, also runs a school for the blind in Assam.
Besides Banerjee, the semi-autobiographical movie also stars Nakul Vaid, Naved Aslam, Nipon Goswami and Nikumoni Barua besides supermodel Dipannita Sharma.
Rainbow Fields is produced by India Stories, a Mumbai- based production house, and co-produced by Kotoky’s Dhruv Creative Productions and Kurmasana Kreates, a US-based production house. Accolades have followed each time director Kotoky has come out with a film. His film ‘Bhraimoman Theatre – where Othello sails with Titanic’ won the Special Jury award in the 53rd National Awards. Propelled by a terrific instinct for storytelling, his first feature film ‘Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare’ (As the River Flows) won the Audience Choice Award at the North Carolina International South Asian Film Festival (NCISAFF), the Best Screenplay and Best Actor Award at Washington DC South Asian Film Festival and the Best Screenplay Award at the Assam State Film Awards. His latest documentary, ‘Guns & Guitars’ – a musical travelogue, was a part of the Indian Panorama in IFFI, Goa (2016). Additionally, the film was selected as one of the top 100 documentaries of 2016 by Color Tape International Film Festival, considered the largest festival of the Southern Hemisphere. It recently won an award in the ‘best music category’ at the prestigious Finisterra Arrabida Film Art and Tourism Festival in Portugal.