Guwahati: The documentary ‘Fehujali’ was screened at the esteemed 16th Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) 2024 on Friday, before a full house that included noted film personalities, critics, and movie lovers. The film clinched the Best Short Documentary award in the biggest competitive Film Festival in the world, JIFF.
Amidst the formidable competition of 2971 entries from 82 nations, 326 films representing 67 countries, ultimately culminating in the selection of 71 films from 19 countries for JIFF 24, a remarkable achievement acknowledged as a world record.
Crafted under the aegis of the DGP, Assam, ‘Fehujali’ is directed by Dr. Parthasarathi Mahanta, with English subtitles meticulously curated by Dr. Jovial Kalita. GP Singh, Director General of Police, Assam, articulated, “We have seen some young boys and girls joining camps of terrorist groups falling for various gimmicks being peddled. We decided to bring to the public domain true-life stories of disillusionment amongst those who had fallen prey to such a propaganda campaign and joined terrorist organizations. They wanted to share their ordeal with other similarly placed youths to prevent them from making the same mistake that they had made. It is our effort to awaken our youths to reality.”
Director Dr. Mahanta explained, “The documentary ventures into the struggles of marginalized youths within the state, ensnared by extremist factions employing coercive methods, including financial enticement, as recruitment tactics. The narrative unfolds the disillusionment faced by these individuals upon realizing the futility of their purported mission to liberate Assam from India, recognizing themselves as mere pawns manipulated by foreign interests exploiting misguided patriotism. Their journey back home is one marked by shattered dreams and newfound clarity.”
Through compelling cinematic storytelling, the documentary serves as a clarion call to the disenchanted youth, imploring them to steer clear of the allure of extremism and embrace a path of purpose and righteousness. The chairperson of Sahayat, as well as a recipient of the Padma Shri Award, Dr. Maya Tendon, who was also present in the audience lauds the film’s production quality and the clarity of its message. The documentary garnered widespread acclaim and admiration. Audiences have expressed profound appreciation for its ability to shed light on the experiences of such youth. Furthermore, ‘Fehujali’ has sparked meaningful conversations and discussions among viewers. Overall, the overwhelmingly positive reception of this documentary underscores its significance as not just a cinematic achievement but also a powerful tool for awareness and change.