Assamese film ‘Marksheet’ finally gets a new lease of life after it was released on cinemasofassam.com on June 28, thus becoming the first Assamese movie to be released on a digital platform. Film enthusiasts and fans from all over the globe can access this subtitled offering through this website by furnishing a minimum fee. No one knows how much of a viable business model its going to be in the end, but this tactic could well benefit cash-strapped small-time producers who couldn’t afford to release their films themselves in theatres. The lack of distribution for many Assamese films has been a major cause of concern. There are quite a few films that deserve to be more widely seen but neither film distributors nor exhibitors are showing any interest in Assamese films at the moment.
Its not a bad idea, given the dwindling fortunes of Assamese cinema, the digital platform is an option, albeit an alternative one, that can’t be ruled out. It may not replicate the pleasure of theatre-viewing experience, but then they come cheap, are easy and convenient, and not governed by any box-office ramifications. The consequence of this move, if it catches on, could open up new possibilities and usher in a notable change in the industry.
A good number of movies in Assam are being made by first-time directors, telling personal or autobiographical stories, that somewhat reflect their upbringing and curiosities. ‘Marksheet’ is Ratan Sil Sarma’s debut venture as a filmmaker. With a vast experience of more than 14 years in the entertainment industry, Sarma has been associated with various national and international media houses as well as notable advertising agencies. The film, told in a simple and direct way, is produced by Himjyoti Talukdar, Dikhit Das and Ratan Sil Sarma under the banner of Enajori Talkies and HDR Creations. The film’s story-screenplay and dialogues have been penned by Himjyoti Talukdar.
The story of ‘Marksheet’ revolves around a charming, playful kid Babu who dwells in his own fantastical world much to the dislike of his father who constantly rebukes him for his academic detachment. Babu fails in his half yearly examination and is filled with horror to hand over his marksheet to his dad. In a bid to escape the horror of paternal confrontation he runs away and meets Azad, a poor kid who lives with his dumb uncle, who works as a labourer in a construction site. Azad learns from Babu, the latter’s trials and troubles. He helps Babu escape to his grandmother’s home. The film captures the culminating friendship of these two innocent kids who are mesmerised by each other’s company, as their lives change forever. The key roles in the film are played by Aditya Malla Buzarbaruah, Abhijit Chowdhury, Pranami Bora, Jintu Kalita and Dibyajyoti Saikia. Music has been scored by Tarali Sarma. The film’s title track has been composed and rendered by Joi Barua. Cinematography is done by Dikhit Das. A part of the movie was completed by crowd funding, which is catching up with Assamese filmmakers in a big way. The film is edited by the director Ratan Sil Sarma himself. The film’s production controller is Gopal Mandal. Costume and makeup are by Gautam Choudhury and Priyanka Dihingia.
‘Marksheet’ was selected in six different categories in the Prag Cine Awards 2016 and received three awards – ‘Best Debut Direction’ for Ratan Sil Sarma, ‘Best Playback Singer Male’ for Mrinal Baishnav and ‘Jury Special Mention’ for Aditya Malla Buzarbaruah and Abhijit Chowdhury.