Guwahati: Upcoming movie 'Noise of Silence', which is being billed as Bollywood's first film on updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), will be released on OTT platforms before the end of the year. Around 19 lakh citizens of Assam were left stateless after the publication of the final list on August 31, 2019. The film, based on "true-life events" was entirely shot in Tripura, another first for Bollywood.
'Noise of Silence' revolves around a couple that finds itself excluded from the citizen list and a Rohingya Muslim girl who enters India in search of her mother.
The film's director, Saif Baidya, says his sole intent to make the movie was to show the anguish of the lakhs of people in Assam who were excluded from the citizen list and had to prove their roots in order to be allowed to stay in the land of their ancestor.
Baidya says he got the idea for the film after his former Assistant Director, whose father is in the Army, was left out of the NRC. Due to this, he had to run from pillar to post in an attempt to prove his citizenship.
The man had to go home to Assam twice every month to attend a courtroom. Even though his father was a serving army man, the assistant director and his mother had found themselves out of the then NRC draft list.
The shooting was completed in 28 days in February of 2020 at almost 20 locations of Tripura including Chhabimura, Unakoti, Durgabari Tea Estate and Agartala.
Hrishie Raj, Sayantika Nath, and Meenakshi Ghosh have been cast in lead roles. The film also features actors Firdaus Hassan, Ajay Kundal, and Puja Jha.
Through his movie, the director says, he wanted to inform people of the country about NRC and CAA. He says that although the movie deserves to be seen in a large hall, OTT is also ideal.
Although the movie cannot be released in theatres due to the imposition of Covid-19 lockdown, the one hour and fifty minutes movie is likely to be released within one to one and half months on OTT platforms, the director said.
The NRC revision was undertaken as per the Assam Accord, 1985 to identify 'genuine' Indian citizens and doubtful individuals. It is by far the biggest citizenship revision held in India since 1951.