The Colourful Journey of Assamese Cinema: A Portrayal

25 Jul 2018

The glorious history of Assamese cinema dates back to the dreams and imagination of doyen film maker, poet, play writer, composer and freedom fighter, RupkonwarJyotiprasadAgarwala by setting a benchmark in the film arena through his masterpiece ‘Joymoti’, released in 1935. It is in the land of Assam that has given birth to eminent persons making a mark in the field of literature and culture. A rich culture of performing art presides in the state and prominent film makers have come up with masterpieces which have fetched national level accolades.

The Assamese film industry has seen many fold changes since 1935. With the release of movies like JyotiprasadAgarwala’s‘Indramalati’, Rohini Kumar Baruah’s‘Monumoti’, Parvati Prasad Baruva’s ‘Rupahi’, Kamal Narayan Choudhury’s ‘BadanBorphukan’, Suresh Chandra Goswami’s ‘Runumi’, PhaniSarma’s ‘Siraaj’, Assamese cinema left footprints for many others to reminisce its beautiful essence.

1950’s marked the beginning of a new wave in the history of Assamese cinema. ‘PiyoliPhukan’, directed by PhaniSarma fetched the National Award for best regional language film. Nip Baruah, famous director of Assamese film industry was a luminary of the 1950’s.  The first movie he directed was ‘SmritirParash’. It was in the 1950’s that music legend Dr BhupenHazarika got down to the world of movie direction. ‘Era Bator Sur’, directed by Dr BhupenHazarika created a modern wave, giving a new foundation to Assamese cinema. In 1959, Prabhat Mukherjee’s ‘Puberun’ succeeded in fetching international recognition for the first time. The screening of ‘Puberun’ in the Berlin Film Festival opened doors to an international platform for Assamese cinema.

The 60’s and 70’s saw another transition in Assamese film making. Different genres of movies including biopics were released in this period. SarbeswarChakrabarty’s ‘ManiramDewan’, Nip Barua’s ‘Narakasur’, Dr BhupenHazarika’s musical hit ‘Shakuntala’, ‘Pratidhwani’, ‘Lotighoti’, ‘SikmikBijuli’ also peeped in that period. The first Assamese comedy film, ‘Itu Situ Bohutu’ by BrajenBarua was released. BrajenBarua’s ‘Dr Bezbaruah’ was the first Assamese thriller which became a commercial blockbuster.

In the 70’s and 80’s, Assamese cinema collected many National Awards. Samarendra Narayan Deb’s ‘Aranya’, BrajenBarua’s ‘OpojaSonorMati’, AbjulMajjid’s ‘ChameliMemsaab’, AtulBordoloi’s ‘Kallol’, Dr BhadendraNathSaikia’s ‘SandhyaRaag’, are few of the prominent films of the era, which won Best Regional Film National Awards. In 1976, PadumBaruah’s ‘GongaSilonirPakhi’ paved the way for the scope for realistic art films in the field of Assamese cinema. For the first time in history, Assamese cinema took a turn into the genre of art, setting a milestone. It is in the 80’s, Dr BhabendraNathSaikia’s ‘SandhyaRaag’ could leave strong footsteps in the world of cinema. Most of the films of the 80’s were musical hits. Under the musical direction of Dr BhupenHazarika, Ramen Barua, JayantaHazarika, KhagenMahanta, etc., many Assamese movies could gather popularity. In 1982, JahnuBaruah stepped in the arena of Assamese films for the first time with his creation ‘Aparoopa’.

In the current era, JahnuBaruah’s ‘XagoroloiBohudoor’, ‘HalodhiaChorayeBaodhanKhai’, ‘Firingoti’, ‘KonikarRamdhenu’, could succeed in collecting various National and International awards. In the same time, Dr BhabendraNathSaikia’s ‘Agnisnaan’, ‘Kolahal’, ‘Sarothi’, ‘Abartan’, etc., also could collect awards.  Along with this, Shiv Prasad Thakur, Gautam Bora, SanjeevHazarika, MuninBaruah, ShantanaBordoloi, Manju Bora, etc., the film makers could make their greenery rich by their contribution.

From 1935- 2018, the golden journey of Assamese cinema has taken a new turn with recent releases.  The young director ReemaDas’s ‘Village Rockstars’ gives soul to the flow of Assamese cinema. Besides winning the ‘Swarna Kamal’ in National Film Awards, the movie ‘Village Rockstars’ has been highly appreciated in various National and International film festivals and given a new dimension to Assamese cinema.


Assam State Film (Finance and Development) Corporation Ltd and Assamese cinema

For boosting Assamese film industry and to financially support Assamese movie making, Assam State Film (Finance and Development) Corporation Ltd., has been helping in various ways since 2012. Of late it has taken various constructive plans for development of Assamese cinema and Assam Government has already prepared a blue print for a strong Film Policy. This policy will definitely help Assamese movie makers. For the development of Assamese cinema, Assam State Film (Finance and Development) Corporation Ltd. organises a two-day-long programme in 2018.


Date: July 28-29, 2018


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