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'Barak Valley has a prestigious cinematic past'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  11 Jun 2016 12:00 AM GMT


Silchar, June 10: An 8-day workshop on Film Appreciation and Criticism was conducted at the department of Mass Communication, Assam University. On the last day of the workshop, on June 9, the fil session of the workshop was graced by the presence of Bishwajit Sheel, jourlist and filmmaker of this region. He made an interesting observation on the history of cinema in the valley. Chronicling various events related to filmmaking and film writing, he said, “Till 1993, there was nothing to speak about on the history of cinema in the valley. There was no momentum. In the year 1993, I stared working and came to know about the cinematic past of this region. I came to know about Mani Bhattacharjee, who was an assistant to the legendary filmmaker Bimal Roy. Rajkumar Singh too had worked with Himangshu Rai’s ‘Achut Kanya’.

Sheel spoke about Promothesh Chandra Barua, the legendary filmmaker who made Devdas in the 1930s and said that Barua was from Silchar. Other mes include Uday Shankar, Lalit Mohan Dev, Sadhan Mukherjee and Satyendra Basu. Sadhan Mukherjee, a resident of Sadarghat area of this town, had worked in Khogen Mitra’s ‘Krishkanter Will’. He added that it was the legendary Mukunda Bhattacharjee who took an initiative in taking the legacy forward.

Enlightening the participants, Bishwajit Sheel, said, “Mention must be made of Mani Bhattacharjee, whose Mujhe Jeene Do won him the President’s medal. His brother, Manik Bhattacharjee was also associated with the world of cinema. He had worked as an assistant editor to Ardhendu Chatterjee.”

Till date, no book related to the history of Indian cinema has mentioned anything about the cinema made in this Barak Valley. He also said that the glorious past of cinematic events have not been taken up seriously by various societies. It was in the early 1970s that a film society tried its best to find a footing in this valley. A magazine entitled ‘Pratisuta’ was brought out in 1980s which dealt with the writings on cinema. In Karimganj also, a cine society was established where participants used to view and write about cinema. They also used to publish the articles on booklets and magazines. But they succumbed to pretentious Bengali and Hindi films and established ‘Shara Bochorer Chabi’.

Bishwajit Sheel encouraged the young minds to come up with bright ideas about filmmaking so that the cinematic past of the valley can be revisited.

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