Editing works of Angeekar Films’ first Assamese feature film Aei Maatite, directed by independent filmmaker and eminent theatre personality Dr Sitanath Lahkar, has been completed recently. The film, which is an adaptation of Dr Lahkar’s famous stage play Tamasaa on the burning issue of witch hunting, is edited by Dr A Nagraj.
An experienced editor of a number of documentary films Dr Nagraj, who is based in Tezpur, worked on the film’s various aspects for over two months. Aei Maatite is his first Assamese feature film and he took extra care in treating the subject matter considering its seriousness.
Commenting on his experience, Dr Nagraj said: “It has been a good experience. Aei Maatite is my first feature film and I have loved working with the Director Dr Lahkar, who really appreciates any new idea rather than imposing his own. It is also giving me immense pleasure for working on the film as it is on a very serious issue of our society.”
On the challenges that he faced while editing the film, Dr Nagraj, an Assistant Professor of Tezpur University, said: “Considering the fact that the film is based on a very important social problem, we had to take extra care in treating some elements. It is about how to portray the society in the best possible way, so that people understand the subject. At the same time, we had to be conscious that the film does well in the market as well.”
The Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, Lyrics and Direction of Aei Maatite are by Dr Lahkar, retired Principal of Cotton College. This will be his first feature film.
After completion of the video editing, now works for dubbing, colour correction and visual effects will start within ashortperiod of time.
The shooting of Aei Maatite was done in five locations – Jaipur village in Rani, Guwahati, Dimoria, Tezpur and Panikhaiti. The major part of the film was shot at Jaipur, where the unit received overwhelming help and support from the villagers. Kamrup District Administration, Assam Police, Fire Services Department, Tezpur University, Dimoria College and Cotton College have provided crucial support in making of the film.
The ‘action-drama’ film has some very critical scenes, shooting of which were done with utmost care and precision. Such type of rustic action scenes are hardly seen in Assamese films. The film will cinematically showcase some of the inhuman killings in the name of witch hunting. The entire shooting unit worked tirelessly to get those sequences done, which, it is hoped,will surely mesmerise the movie lovers.
Aei Maatite is a full-length Assamese feature film on the burning issue of witch hunting. Witch hunting or witchcraft is a serious social menace riding on superstition, coupled with greed for wealth and personal grudge of certain criminal gangs. It is prevalent in many states like Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Thousands of innocent people have lost their lives due to this evil practice, where villagers took part en-mass under the influence of superstition. Aei Maatite has a very strong message against witchcraft, upholding the value of scientific temperament and human life.
The film Aei Maatite will mainly talk about the witch hunting problem in Assam and how a section of people are using witchcraft for their own interest. Witchcraft has no reason at all and is shrouded with darkness of superstition, which is to be overcome by the society –this is the say of the film.
The lead male character in Aei Maatite is portrayed by Rupam Chetia. The lead female role of the film is played by newcomer Monisha Goswami, while Khwrwmdao Narzary acted in the lead negative role in his first Assamese film. In one very important role, Dr Lahkar himself acted. Other prominent senior actors and actresses in the film are Anil Das, Chetana Das, Bimal Jyoti Choudhury, Dr Rajeev Doley and Lalit Sarma. Also, Rajib Craw, Meena Ingti, Jina Rajkumari, Sasanka Samir, Dilip Phukan, Smita Lahkar, Bhupesh Sharma, Satyajit Gogoi, Trideep Lahkar, Raj Kumar Roy, Kumar Jyoti Sarma, Rajib Bayan, Manabendra Bhattacharya, Thomas Tumung, Utpal Das, Kamal Lochan Deka, Reena Teron, Dr Bijoya Goswami, Rajdeep Rahang, Tapashya Barua, Nayan Prasad, Kritima Das, AbaniSutradhar,Kiron Sankar, Debashis Saikia, Biju Buragohain, Abhinav Hazarika, Jubeel Kashyap, Deepak Malakar, Rupeswari Rahang, Apurba Malakar, Aman Rahang, Nabajyoti Das, Tarun Oja, Anuja Singha, Nitul Kumar Medhi, Garga Barman, Dhan Bishaya, Dhruba Jyoti Sarma, Achyut Malakar, Rituparna Saikia, Tehruddin Ahmed, Bhudhar Barman, Layanu Das, Rubee Das, Bhaskar Sharma, Chitra Barma, Anil Haloi, Surajit Nath, Binod Saikia,Tilottama Sharma, SBL Boro, Rita Devi and Sabdi Bharadwaj acted in some important roles.
A few other important characters of the film will be enacted by former Tezpur University Pro-VC and well-known lyricist-poet Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury, former Inspector General of Police S P Kar and Thengal-Kachari Autonomous Council CEM Kumud Kachari. AASU leader Lurinjyoti Gogoi, ABSU leader Pramod Boro, SFI leader Nirankush Nath and Chatra Mukti leader Bittu Sonowal will also be seen in the film in their real names and roles. In total, the film has over 100 characters and most of them will be played by newcomers.
The Assistant Directors of Aei Maatite are Anupam Baishya, Trideep Lahkar, Rajkumar Roy and Dipjyoti Deka. Music Direction is by Bibhuranjan Choudhury, while Art Director is Golok Saha. The film’s songs were Choreographed by Smita Lahkar. The Director of Photography is Pradip Daimary and Make-Up is by Aku Bothra. Still Photography is by Shelly Das. Manoj Mishra was the Production Manager during the shooting of the film.