In an effort to promote Assamese cinema which has an illustrious legacy of over 80 years, Prag Network, a pioneer in the field of Electronic Media in the entire North East India, has once again organized the biggest mega event of the region – the 12th Prag Cine Awards North-East 2016 on May 14 and 15 in Tezpur. Like the years before, this time around too, the Prag Cine Awards attracted a good number of films, filmmakers and panelists, besides luring a number of glamorous artistes from Assam, the North East states and even Bollywood. This time, the awards were given in 19 different categories to some of the most exciting and varied array of Assamese films produced from Assam in years that were censored in 2015. ‘Kothanodi’ and ‘Antareen’ topped the nomination list with ten nominations each. The Awards was also marked by a strong presence of films from other North East states, including Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal.
This year ‘Antareen’ produced by Manabendra Adhikary bagged the Best Film award. The film also garnered the Best Actress award for Urmila Mahanta, the Best Cinematography award for Suman Duwarah and the Best Lyricist award for Tarali Sarma. The Best Director prize was bagged by Reema Borah for ‘Bokul’. The film also fetched the Best Editing award for Rantu Chetia and Jasor Imtiaz, and the Best Sound Recording prize for Bibek Basumatary. The experienced Pranjal Saikia bagged the Best Actor award for ‘Lokabandhoo’. The Best Supporting prizes were bagged by veteran actor Kulada Kumar Bhattacharya for ‘Cactus’ and Kasvi Sarma for ‘Kothanodi’. ‘Kothanodi’ also fetched its director Bhaskar Hazarika the Best Screenplay award. The Best Singer (Male) was garnered by Mrinal Vaishnav for ‘Marksheet’, while Madhusmita Borthakur received the Best Singer (Female) for the film ‘Khel – The Game’. The National award-winning music director Tarali Sarma bagged the Best Music Director award for ‘Mriganabhi’. The Best Choreography award was picked up by Uday Shankar for ‘Khel – The Game’. The award for Best Art Direction went to Golok Saha for ‘Kothanodi’. The film also fetched Rani Dutta Barua the award for Best Costume Designing. Sanku Barua and Biswajit Das garnered the Best Make-up prize for ‘Lokabandhoo’. ‘Khel – The Game’ garnered handed over with the Best Popular Film award. The award for Best Popular Film was bagged by ‘Khel – The Game’. Upcoming filmmaker Ratan Sil Sarma was conferred with the Best Debut Director prize for his work in ‘Marksheet’. Manju Bora’s ‘Dau Huduni Methai’ won the award for Best Film in Language other than Assamese.
On the other hand, the Khasi film ‘Onaatah’, produced by Arpana Kurbah and Jova Kurbah under the banner of Kurbah Films, bagged three awards including the award for Best Film (North East), Best Director for Pradip Kurbah and Best Actress for Sweety Pala who wins it jointly with Manipuri actress L. Tonthoingambi for ‘Patkee Tharo’. The award for Best Actor was bagged by Nokshaa Saham for the Arunachali movie ‘The Head Hunter’. Upcoming artistes Aditya Malla Buzarbaruah and Abhijit Chowdhury received a Special Jury Mention for their acting in ‘Marksheet’. The director of ‘The Head Hunter’, Nilanjan Datta also received a Special Jury Mention. The state’s noted film critic Manoj Barpujari was conferred with the Best Critic award.
This year, prominent Assamese actress Bidya Rao was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution towards the Assamese film Industry. Previously, the Prag Cine Award for this category was presented to Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (2003), Gyanada Kakati (2004), Abdul Mazid (2010), Nipon Goswami (2011), Biju Phukan (2012), Mridula Baruah (2014) and Bishnu Kharghoria (2015). The well-known model and actress Dipannita Sharma was christened with the ‘Golden Icon’ award.
A number of celebrities, politicians, film enthusiasts among others attended the event, including Bollywood star Sunil Shetty, Meiyang Chang among others.