Sanjib Dey’s internationally acclaimed movie ‘III Smoking Barrels’ has won the Silver Palm Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 12th Mexico International Film Festival recently.
Held annually each May, the festival is an extraordinary celebration of cinematic discovery and innovation. Every year, it has been honouring the best from around the world in various competition categories including Feature Films, Documentaries, Short Films, Foreign Films, Mexican Films, a short and feature length Screenplay Competition, Music Videos, Experimental Films, Television Pilots, Environmental Films, and more. In addition, Special Jury Prizes are awarded to several standout films and screenplays at the discretion of the Official Jury.
‘III Smoking Barrels’ is a film exclusively about North East India, addressing some important socio-political issues. It is an anthology of three diverse stories, each unraveling different stages of human life. The film is sated with the edginess of a documentary and play in a cinematically hitherto underrepresented region of the country, that ooze with endless possibilities of cinematic storytelling.
Earlier, the film was screened at the SFX Cinema to wide acclaim and appreciation in Chiang Mai, which is the largest city in northern Thailand. Interestingly, the special screening was organized by the city’s Indian Consulate – Shirish Jain, which was graced by the Consulate Generals/Consuls from countries like Japan, China, USA, Germany, France, Austria and Portugal. Kabir Khan, director of films like ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ and ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ was one of the chief guests along with other dignitaries, including Vice-Chairman and MD of HSMM Group, Laos – Soukhtavy Chowdhury, actress and film-maker from Assam, Rajni Basumatary as well as local cine-goers from Thailand. The director of the film Sanjib Dey and producer Amit Malpani who hails from Golaghat were both present there to grace the occasion.
The story and screenplay of ‘III Smoking Barrels’ has been written by Sanjib Dey, while Tasadduk Ahmed and Dev Gupta, both from Assam and presently working in Bollywood, have written the dialogues. Former Femina Miss India finalist Sukalpa Das is the costume designer of the film, and Phatik Baruah, a veteran in the business, has helmed the art direction department. Devabrot Chaliha, who has worked with famous Bollywood filmmakers like Imtiaz Ali and Anurag Kashyap, is the Sound Designer of the film, while three time National Award winner Alok De is the Sound Mixing Engineer. The film has been edited by Praveen Kathikuloth, who has edited the hit Bollywood film ‘Naam Shabana’ and is currently working on Neeraj Pandey’s upcoming film ‘Aiyaary’ starring Manoj Bajpayee and Siddharth Malhotra. Anil B. Akki, who is a name to reckon with in the Ad film industry and is also a Bollywood cinematographer, is the director of photography. It is worth mentioning that the large crew of the film comprises people from almost every state in the country, with representation from every North Eastern state.