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    Dated : Saturday, January 07, 2017

Assamese Films in 2016

The year has been one of mixed baggage. Nobody was predicting anything except further sorrow for the producers and financers who put their money on the line and run financial risks. There were no easy formulas for commercial success. After a really ordinary first half, the box-office leap frogged in the second part of 2016, but only temporarily, when audiences trooped off to see Assamese movies at the theatres, even exceeding expectations. This surge in admissions indicated that there is still a market for quality movies. Altogether 20 Assamese films saw the light of day, which was quite in contrast to the dismal 2015, which saw the industry at its lowest ebb with the release of just eight films, most of whom have been box-office catastrophes. In terms of popular and critical reception and commercial success, the year's top film was undoubtedly the Rajat Kamal winning 'Kothanodi'. The film drew rave reviews at the festival circuit, satisfying the most discerning cinemagoers, and at the same time striking a resonant note with the common audiences, helped to some extent by the word of mouth publicity. The other bright spots in 2016 are 'Doordarshan Eti Jantra', 'Gaane Ki Aane', 'Bahniman' and surprisingly, the animated 'Sarbagunakar Srimanta Sankardeva'. But before the year gave a taste of the new vibrancy that has taken shape, the other movies 'Tumar Premot Pori', followed by 'Love in Tawang', 'Borhxaranya', 'Lokabandhoo', 'Pratyahban', 'Cactus', 'Morichika', 'Doordarshan Eti', 'Saat Nomboror Sandhanat', 'Dikchow Banat Palaax', 'Hari Om', 'Paglee', 'Rough & Tough', 'Zero : The Value Of Life' have all out done one another in terms of box-office receipts, which was very poor indeed, leaving several producers in the lurch. A number of films are by first-time directors, not fully sentient to the vagaries of market film and contemporary taste. Manju Borah's Rajat Kamal winning film 'Dau Huduni Methai' made in the Bodo language hit the theatres on December 30.

Audiences nowadays are well informed with sharper sensibility and greater awareness. For all their intents and purposes, most of the movies suffered due to an apparent lack of promotion and marketing, such vital components in today's day and age. The lack of adequate number of cinema halls is another factor deeply affecting the outcome at the box-office.

The intensive publicity campaign did a world of good to Rajesh Bhuyan's 'Doordarshan Eti Jantra' and Biswajeet Bora's 'Bahniman', which have done exceedingly well at the box-office. The films more than fulfilled the expectations of fans. Both the films were buoyed by a strong performance from Jatin Bora, a busy mobile theatre artiste as well. Despite the passage of time and a growing pouch, he has managed to keep his star appeal intact . 'Bahniman' might be an exercise in style that we very rarely see on screen but there's an interesting twist to the story. Bhaskar Hazarika showed his remarkable ability to inspire performances from an ensemble cast in 'Kothanodi'. Zubeen Garg deserves some credit for his charismatic turn in 'Gaane Ki Aane', which did pretty well but perhaps not quite as well as it had been hoped it would. It was quite surprising, and at the same time, heartening to find an animated film like 'Sarbagunakar Srimanta Sankardeva' on the list of films doing well, belying everyone's expectations.

Its high time that filmmakers dispense with the idea of siring mediocre, amateurish productions in the name of entertainment, which has often been the case. They need to conform to the conception of realist family entertainment in accordance with the developments in society and populist culture. There were a few movies that gave an indication of that very idea in terms of subject and treatment.

It has been a revelation of sorts, in a sense that some filmmakers have amptly demonstrated that they are not afraid to explore new genres and styles. Its not often that we see directors try something novel with a new form of storytelling. Bhaskar Hazarika's 'Kothanodi' was a case in point. Sanjb Sabhapandit's 'Dikchow Banat Palaax' and Diganta Mazumdar's 'Borhxaranya' might have got a raw deal with the audience but the intentions were all the same honest and pure. The year also witnessed the injection of quite a few new blood from all quarters - filmmakers, scriptwriters, actors, producers, etc.


Best Actress Award to Urmila Mahanta

Actress Urmila Mahanta has won the Best Actress award at the Patna International Film Festival, held under the aegis of the Film Finance and Development Corporation of Bihar and the government of Bihar recently. Urmila was bestowed with the honour for her role in the much talked about Assamese film 'Bokul', directed by promising new talent Rima Bora.

It is to be noted that two other upcoming filmmakers also won 'Best Category' awards. A short film 'Shorotor Aabeli' made by Mukul Haloi, a student of the Direction department at FTII, Pune, got the Best Short Film award, while 'Head Hunter', made in the Arunachali Wancho language by Nilanjan Dutta, a professor of FTII, won two awards in the category of 'Best Screenplay' and 'Best Actor' (Nokoshiva Sahmi). The awards were given away by Manoj Vajpayee and Sonal Mansingh.


Dipannita Sharma’s Next Film on Arnab Goswami

Dipannita Sharma, the supermodel turned actress has already made a lot of heads turn with her upcoming bollywood venture titled 'Coffee with D' which also stars Sunil Grover.

It will be refreshing to see Dipannita Sharma on the screen after so long. Her last outing was in the horror film 'Pizza' in 2014.

Directed by Vishal Mishra, 'Coffee with D' is loosely based on India's most controversial journalist Arnab Goswami who is to be played by Sunil Grover who is better known by his name Dr. Mashhoor Gulati from Kapil Sharma Show.

‘Coffee with D' is a hilarious escapade where Arnab and his team comprising of Neha, Roy, Rummy and Chussi manage to interview the most dreaded Don. So sit back, but don't relax because India's most loved news reporter is going against the world's most wanted Don.


New Single ‘Endharaloi Haat Meli Dilo’ Released

A new single, Endharaloi Haat Meli Dilo was recently released to pay tribute to the legendary poet, Hiren Bhattacharya. The remarkable aspect about this video is the collaboration of two artistes - Hiru da and renowned film actor-director Abdul Mazid. Mazid, for the first time, is taking part in a video song. The song is produced by the Contemporary Art Group Entertainment.

Endharaloi Haat Meli Dilo has been composed by JP Das and the music has been directed by Abhijit Barman. It has been beautifully rendered by Hemanta Debnath. The other co-artistes of this video are Abhijit Barman, Prantik Phukan, Saurav Kumar Das and Hemanta Debnath. The song's video has been directed by National Award winner Kaushik Borbora and the asistant director is Champak Deka, with editing by Kaju.


‘Dau Huduni Methai’ Releases

Winner of the prestigious Rajat Kamal for Best Bodo Film at 63rd National Awards, 'Dau Huduni Methai' has hit theatres on December 30 across Assam. Directed by Seven-time National Award winning director Manju Borah, 'Dau Huduni Methai' (Song Of The Horned Owl) is about the suffering of innocent Bodo villagers due to rampant militancy and violence.

The film recounts the effects of insurgency and counterinsurgency on common folk through the perspective of Raimali, a young rape victim. As she lies in an abandoned house, she recalls how separatist violence marred her life, that of her lover and their families, contrasting its intrusive nature with indigenous folklore and the immutability of the Assamese landscape.

‘Dau Huduni Methai' is the first Bodo film to have its mainstream theatrical release across Assam. In addition to winning the Best Camera award at the 4th Afghanistan International Women's Film Festival, and receiving official selections to IFFI, Indian Panorama, 2015, and Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2015, the film also became the first Bodo film to have its World Premiere at the World Film Festival 2015, Montreal.


Layer Up, Look Stylish this Season

Show off all those dresses but keep yourself warm using different layers like coats and jackets for this party season.

A few tips and tricks that you could use while dressing up for a party:

· Transitional layering: It's perfectly acceptable and absolutely smart to carry your summer favourites to the winter. All you need is a little colour balancing and subtle winter styling.

Dress up your denims by layering it with a sheer lace slit-dress, or slay your slip dress over a full-sleeved turtle-neck knit. Even your distressed denim jacket and beige shorts have the dinner potential.

· Statement jacket: Wear a decorative coat and don't take it off, even indoors. What's a party without a statement evening coat? This season be brave with your outermost layering and do not succumb to the ‘everyone has one' black coat.

· Pop it out: So what if the sun is down, pop out in a super vibrant colour. Take cues from the newly released pantone colour of 2017 - greenery, or stick to the classic red in the true Christmas spirit.

Avoid colour overkill, just inlay the colour to pop your otherwise muted outfit. Throw on a pair of chunky black block heels with a matching clutch to complete the look.

· The unexpected twist: Pair a lace blouse with a leather mini-skirt, or spice up your little black dress for an ultimate naughty-meets-nice contrast. Create the high-low by combining striking pieces.

Sport the 1980s disco queen in a one-shouldered dress, or make heads turn in a high slit version - adding a flair to your basics is the key. Voluminous hair, tassel earrings, and oversized specs is the quirk we are talking about.

· Sparkle in sequin: If you want your outfit to speak louder than words then dazzle the dance floor in a sparkly and shimmery masterpiece. Heavily embellished or jewel encrusted highlights, more the bling the better.

If you are not in for an over-the-top statement, then swap your embellished dress with a skirt or flared pant and offset the sheen with a pixie white top.

· Metallic midi: Metallic micro pleated skirt is really big this year, and makes a stunning choice for the party season. Pair a silver skirt with a crisp white shirt, or go bold in black metallic with a dainty red ruffle top.

· Velvet suit: Ditch the tweed or plaids, and trade in for an overall velvet suit. Take the look to the holiday soiree in deep burgundy, navy, or emerald green. If you are the chic, all black type, then go for the classic jumpsuit silhouette.

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In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
— Robert Frost
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