Assamese cinema set for a boost

Filmmakers such as Jahnu Barua are making a mark in Bollywood too.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2006 18:24 IST

Assamese film-makers such as Bhabendranath Saikia, Jahnu Barua and Santwana Bordoloi have received national and international acclaim, but the growth of Assamese cinema has been impeded due to a small market and lack of finances.

"The market of Assamese films is very small. Therefore at times we fail to make the kind of films we want to," says eminent film maker Jahnu Barua of Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara fame.

But if the plans of the Assam State Films (Finance and Development) Corporation are any indication, this industry can expect to get a major boost.

Recently, a three day festival of Assamese films was held in the capital. Many similar initiatives are on the anvil.

"Our films have always received critical acclaim. This festival is an attempt to bring Assamese cinema to a larger audience here," says Barua.

"Such festivals pave the way for other communities to watch our films. If we don't see the films of other languages, how can regional cinema grow?" he asks.

"This was the first attempt of its kind in New Delhi. We hope to make it an annual affair, " says Bobeeta Sharma, chairperson, Assam State Films (Finance and Development) Corporation.

While the festival was received well by the cinegoers, efforts are being made to enhance the market of these films even further inAssam.

"Enterpreneurs interested in opening multiplexes in Assam would be encouraged by the government," she says.

ASFDC is also planning to raise funds for the growth and development of Assamese cinema.

"The government is planning to set up a fund which can support the growth and development of cinema in Assam, " says Nazneen Ahmed, the Managing Director of ASFDC.

"We are actually thinking in terms of developing a cultural policy for films in the state so that film makers in the state can be provided with all possible assistance," she says.

Apart from Assamese films, film makers from many tribal communities in the state are also making films. A film made in Karbi language received a national award couple of years back. But these film makers are also facing financial problems. Lack of technical expertise is an added trouble.

"The concept of mini cinema halls would be taken up in the areas where there are no theatres. Then our films would be able to reach a larger audience, " says Ahmed.

If all these initiatives become successful, Assamese cinema is sure to attain greater heights.

First Published: Jan 20, 2006 18:24 IST