Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival Ends On a High

The 4th Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival (BVFF) concluded on a high, boosted by the spirited presence of acclaimed director Imtiaz Ali. Also, the much anticipated results of the BVFF Short Film Competition, 2016 were also declared. Romi Meitei of Manipur won the first prize for his movie ‘Colours of Water’. He received prize money of Rs 50,000 and a scholarship of training of Rs 50,000 from Brahmaputra Foundation.  Badeimon Kharshing and Badap K. Lyngdoh of Meghalaya was the 1st Runner Up for their movie U Thlen who received Rs 30,000 as prize money and Rs 50,000 as scholarship while Manas Sagra of Assam was the 2nd Runner Up for his movie ‘Little Hearts’ receiving Rs 20,000 as prize money and Rs 50,000 as scholarship. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju attended the function as the Chief Guest.

Jnanada Kakati being given the Lifetime Achievement Award by Kiren Rijiju

On the occasion, noted actress Jnanada Kakati was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Kiren Rijiju. Rijiju also launched Brahmaputra Foundation which will work on the three aspects of human resources development of North East India, viz. education, skills and talent development. Tanushree Hazarika, Founder & Director of the initiative emphasised on the immense potential of the people of the region in particular areas of film-making, music and sports and that most of these talent remains unutilized because of lack of right mentoring and guidance which shall be the bridge that this Foundation shall aim to build. Sunit Jain, also Founding Director of the Foundation spoke about platforms, exposures, and opportunities that this Foundation would create for the people of this region in various areas of skill sets and talents that is currently inadequate.

Union Minister Rijiju terming himself as a great film enthusiast, became nostalgic speaking about his younger days when he used to come to Tezpur all the way from Arunachal Pradesh and watch five movies in a day at the theatres including’ Haathi Mere Saathi’ twice in the day! He said, ‘Filmmaking is the most potent software for any nation. For America, films work as a huge image booster. We have certain limitations in northeast but we also have so many things to celebrate. Northeast India is one of the most mystic regions in the world. The government is always trying to keep the environment in the region peaceful so that filmmaking can prosper without any hindrance.’

A very engaging panel discussion took place with Imtiaz Ali, who has directed movies like Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kaal, Tamasha and Rockstar. The session was moderated by noted filmmaker from Assam, Roopa Barooah. Ali, known for making classics like Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kaal, Rockstar and Highway said that he is more an audience than a filmmaker. ‘ I have made just six movies but have watched countless ones. So, I am more of an audience than a filmmaker’, he said. He also said that it is a miracle that despite living so close to Northeast, this was the first time he was visiting the region. When asked about what according to him were the flaws in his last movie Tamasha, Ali, who is making his next movie Shahrukh Khan, said that the movie was too bulky. He also said that it is a miracle that despite living so close to Northeast, this was the first time he was visiting the region.

A workshop on post-production was also organised which was attended by noted sound designer Amrit Pritam, Chinmoy Sarma and M.R.Mahapatra. Nagamese short film ‘Oh My Soul’ about LGBT community directed by Kivini Shohe was screened at the festival followed by ‘Myna and Asterix’ a short film for kids made by ‘Local Kungfu’ director Kenny Basumatary.

The festival ended with the screening of ‘Dooronir Nirola Poja’ directed  by Dhruva J Bordoloi which is the story of a middle class Assamese family.

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