Bhaskar Hazarika’s ‘Kothanodi’ has been honoured with the Rajat Kamal Award for Best Assamese Film at the 63rd National Film Awards that were announced on March 28. The film has genuinely electrified critics and audiences at the festival circuit, making his state and self proud. In rare achievements for an Assamese filmmaker, the film broke new ground when it was screened at the 20th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and BFI London Film Festival 2015.
Awarded for it’s stylish, poetic content, the film produced by Anurupa Hazarika, interweaves four iconic fables from Lakshminath Bezbaruah’s ‘Burhi Aair Sadhu’ into one adaptation, with a generous amount of magic realism thrown into the narrative. The film with a stellar cast of artistes like Seema Biswas, Adil Hussain, Zerifa Wahid, Urmila Mahanta, Kopil Bora, Asha Bordoloi among others, is cinematographed by Vijay Kutty. Both the producer and director of ‘Kothanodi’ will be given Rs 1,00,000 each along with the Rajat Kamal.
Manju Bora’s ‘Dau Huduni Methai’ has been declared the Best Bodo Film. The film is about the suffering of innocent Bodo villagers due to rampant militancy and violence. The film produced by Shankarlal Goenka and cinematographed by Sudheer Palsane, exposes the Bodo community, their lifestyle and tradition.
In the category of languages other than that specified in Schedule 8 of the Constitution, Nilanjan Datta’s Arunachali film ‘The Head Hunter’, produced by Splash Films Private Limited, has been awarded as the Best Wancho Film. The film revolves around an old man from a forgotten tribe in India dreaded for the practice of head hunting. It narrates the situation when government decides to build a road through a forest and a Wancho person tries to protect his forest. The film questions whether deforestation and development necessarily need to go hand-in-hand.
In the non-feature film category, Samujjal Kashyap’s ‘Tezpur 1962’, produced by Films Division of India, was declared the Best Investigative Film. The film based on a book by journalist Mrinal Talukdar paints a vivid sketch of Tezpur, a small town in central Assam, which was caught unawares as the 1962 war between India and China took an about turn. The civil administration was completely paralyzed and security forces left the town and its people to fend for themselves. With no other option left, the people of Tezpur began to evacuate the town leaving behind everything they owned. Infact, Tezpur is regarded as the only town of independent India which was evacuated for fear of war. ‘Tezpur 1962’s cinematography is handled by Nahid Ahmed and Samujjal Kashyap.