Assam filmmaker Anupam Borah is creating a magic realism from the island of Majuli– By Dipankar Sarkar


By DIPANKAR SARKAR | October 18, 2018

In the past few years, Assamese cinema has been making its strong presence felt in the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) festival, annually held in Mumbai. This year, besides Rima Das' 'Bulbal Can Sing' competing in the India Gold Section, Anupam Kaushik Borah's debut feature film 'Bornodi Bhotiai' will also be screened in the India Story section of the 20th edition of the festival to be held from 25th October to 1st November. This is going to be the first feature film made by filmmaker hailing from the river island of Majuli.


The young filmmaker is an alumnus from the National School of Drama, Delhi and has a theatre group 'Bhawariya The TPositives. In the year 2013, Anupam had directed a play titled 'Bornodi Bhotiai' which was intended to be an exercise in realism for the actors of the theatre group. The play was funny but real and depicted the island of Majuli like never been seen in any art form.

In the year 2017, when the theatre group had some money and with financial assistance from his family and friends, he decided to make his first feature film. It was a creative urge that was brewing in his mind for quite sometime and the film is based on the same play with the same soul as the play itself. In the words of the filmmaker the film is funnier, sharper, wider in its' canvas and more about the community as it celebrates life in Majuli.

Regarding the casting of the film, the director was firm in his decision to cast the same actors who had acted in the play. The cast of the film includes Dorothy Bharadwaj as the leading lady and it has a long list of casting with more than hundred and ten actors, a feat that is never seen before in Assamese cinema. Besides that, noted Assamese filmmaker Kenny Basumutary will be also seen as an actor in the film. Acclaimed music director from Assam Tarali Sarma has composed the music of the film, as she was thrilled with the storyline of the film.

Due to lack of proper financial resource, the director had to send a work in progress screener, instead of a technically accomplished film, to the selection commitee of MAMI and the news of selection has made him hasten the process of completing the film. The filmmaker has been running a crowdfunding campaign through Movitone Crowd Funding. According to Anupam, 'From promotion to the release of the film in Assam we still need a good amount of money. I am even struggling to manage money to get our lead cast to the World Premiere of the film in Mumbai. So, I would like to appeal to the good people to contribute to the film. It's my film, it's your film and most importantly it's peoples' film'.

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