The prime purpose of cinema is to serve social cause, not entertainment. The basic purpose of a film festival is to evolve cinema and not merely attract tourists. It is of course desirable if a film festival becomes catalyst to enhance cinema-tourism. These were the observations of renowned Assamese film director Jahnu Barua who has a number of prize winning films to his credit. Mr. Barua was interacting with the media persons at 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa today, after screening of his Assamese film Firingoti in the festival.
Replying to a query Mr. Barua said, “Cinema is a mission and not a source of entertainment to me”. He said, this was the reason that a film in which he had favoured the cause of boatmen against construction of a bridge, which invited criticism, although later the film brought laurels to him. As regards the infancy of the cinema in the North-eastern region of India, the Assamese and Hindi film maker Barua accepted that only Assam and Manipur were producing their own films till two years ago, but of late Meghalaya has also joined film making and in the coming five years cinema will grow in the North-eastern states.
Jahnu Barua who has won several awards is also a member of the steering committee of the IFFI. He did his post- graduation diploma in film direction from Film and TV Institute of India(FTII), Pune. One of India’s internationally acclaimed film makers, he got major national as well as international recognition with ’Halodhia Choraya Baodhan Khai’ that won National Award for Best Film (Golden Lotus) in 1988 and several international recognitions, including the Grand Prix Silver Leopard and World Ecumenical Award at Locarno International Film Festival, best film at Amien International Film Festival and best of Asia at Tokyo International Film Festival. He has served as Jury member/Chairperson in many national and international film festivals.