March 1, 2017

Avishka Phukon's Journey as a Scriptwriter

Throughout the 82-year-old cinematic journey of Assam, there has been an abject dearth of professional female screenwriters.

Avishka Phukon is one of those rare breed of female scriptwriters whose capabilities within her craft are prodigious. Her scripts for various documentaries, telefilms, serials and full-fledged features have brought her to the attention of people in the film industry. Once known by the name Natasha Phukan, Avishka has summoned up all of her courage to eke out a living as a professional scriptwriter, juggling both her profession and motherhood, being a single doting mother to a school-going child.

Avishka, who started acting as a child artiste when she was 7 years of age, made an immediate impression on the audiences with her delightful performance as a child artiste in Bidyut Chakravorty’s critically acclaimed telefilm ‘Kukurnesia Manuh’. The promise shown by Avishka Phukan, then known by her name Natasha Phukan, in that telefilm, was to be realised in good measure in due course of time. Later, she made good enough impression with her performances in Doordarshan telefilms like Santwana Bordoloi’s ‘Aranyak’, Charu Kamal Hazarika’s ‘Dur Nahi Sabera’ (Hindi), Asif Iqbal Hussain’s ‘Tengadoi’, etc. 

Not many know this, but Avishka Phukan acted as the leading lady in a Malayalam film titled ‘Unmatha Buddham Jagatha’ which was produced by Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) and directed by Bipin Bijoy.

Some of Avishka Phukan’s notable performances in feature films include Jayanta Das’s ‘Bhumiputra’, Munin Barua’s ‘Bidhata’ and ‘Barood’, etc. On the other hand, her photographs have made the covers of magazines like ‘Nandini’, ‘Bismoi’, in addition to ‘India Today Plus’, a national level magazine.

In 2000, she worked as an anchor in the film music-based serial ‘Chitramala’. She also appeared as an anchor in the serial ‘Jonaki Mon’ produced by NE TV. From 1999 to 2005, Avishka acted in several serials, including Bani Das’s ‘Ajon Eshwaaror Sandhanot’, Rupkamal Hazarika’s ‘Awasheshot’, Rajen Rajkhowa’s ‘Aaj Ka Abhimanyu’ (Hindi), etc.

After taking up jobs as a teacher in Guwahati based Delhi Public School and St Marys School, and even in some multi-national company outside the State, Avishka was encouraged to take up scriptwriting as a profession by journalist Ahir Bhairav, a distant relative of her’s, upon returning home.

Her first work as a professional scriptwriter came in the form of serial - ‘Ki Naam Di Matim’. Soon after, things fell into place and she has since managed to carve a niche, writing her scripts in Assamese, English and Hindi for Guwahati Doordarshan and PPC.

She felt confident enough to take her writing skills to the next level. Of late, Avishka Phukan’s major achievement has been her involvement as a screenplay writer and associate producer for an action-oriented film made in Assamese, Hindi and Khasi. Titled ‘Gangs of North-East’, the film features a cast of artistes and technicians hailing from almost the entire North East region.

Avishka Phukan has also directed a teleplay titled ‘Nyay Bisari’ for Guwahati Dordarshan under her own production banner ‘Devika Creations’. She is now busy scripting several serials in Hindi for Kishan Channel.


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