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Sight & Sound

Sight & Sound

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  26 Jan 2020 12:02 PM GMT

Prantik Deka

4th guwahati theatre festival 2019 concludes

The fourth season of G Plus Guwahati Theatre Festival recently concluded with Amol Palekar’s ‘Kusur’ (The Mistake), a Hindi thriller, featuring the veteran actor-director himself as a retired Assistant Police Commissioner Dandavate, who volunteers to serve at a police control room. Adapted by Sandhya Gokhale, the play presents a series of twists and turns, taking the audiences on a claustrophobic and thrilling, yet emotional and immersive journey. Palekar, who makes a comeback to stage after 25 years with the play, delivers a brilliant performance.

On the concluding day, The Life in the Theatre Award 2019 was presented to the celebrated artiste Nipon Goswami for his large and distinguished body of work in movies and theatre.

Guwahati Theatre Festival has become a landmark event in the region’s cultural landscape after its first edition in 2016. The purpose of this unique festival is to provide a platform for a diverse range of top-notch performing groups in the region to showcase their plays, among new audiences, infusing freshness and vivacity.

Besides Amol Palekar’s ‘Kusur’ (The Mistake), the festival, which was held from the 6 to 8 December, also featured two other nationally acclaimed plays – Rakesh Bedi’s ‘Patte Khul Gaye’ and Meherzad Patel’s ‘The Devil wears Bataa’.

Keeping its first season’s appeal intact, the festival has been a major success as it saw a turnout of almost 3000 people in a span of three days with the audience also looking forward to the festival returning for the next year. “It has been highly encouraging to see such a huge turnout each day, this being the only theatre event of such an importance happening in the city. We are already looking forward and planning for the next edition in 2020 and hope to make it even bigger, better and all-encompassing,” said Sunit Jain, Managing Director & Publisher of G Plus and Festival Chairman.

This festival, organised by G Plus in association with Ballentines and The Assam Tribune and supported by Assam Tourism, Apollo Hospitals, Purabi Milk, Bank of Baroda, Indian Oil and Life Insurance Corporation, aim to showcase world-class performances by leading theatre actors coupled with quality entertainment, making it a prestigious landmark in the cultural landscape of Guwahati.

The Guwahati Theatre Festival also held a theatre workshop conducted by Rakesh Bedi, where 100 students from Sanskriti the Gurukul and IIT-Guwahati participated. The workshop was hosted by Guwahati Theatre Festival and Brahmaputra Foundation and supported by Numaligarh Refinery Limited and North Eastern Council. The workshop was conducted by popular and veteran actor and director Rakesh Bedi. The youngsters got an opportunity to learn communication through acting and dramatics focussing on voice and movement techniques with specific learning goals that were demonstrated. The artiste spoke at length about the nuances of acting, the use of hand gestures, expressions and the importance of timing in theatre. “The students were very welcoming and interactive and showed keen interest in learning the nuances of theatre and drama,” Bedi said.

rupam sarmah’s ‘one little finger’ in the oscar race

Jorhat-born Rupam Sarmah’s narrative feature film ‘One Little Finger’ has landed in the race for the Academy Awards 2020. The film, produced in the USA and India with the theme – ‘Ability in Disability’, has been nominated in three categories – Best Original Song, Best Film and Best Original Score.

‘One Little Finger’ made history with more than 80 persons with disabilities acting in the movie. Over one billion people worldwide live with some form of disability, and the likelihood of experiencing disability at some stage in life pertains to everyone. Despite the large, global population dealing with disability, the surrounding stigma engrained in society detracts from the amazing ability of many individuals.

Written and directed by Dr Rupam Sarmah, the film is based on real-life stories. It is about an American neurologist (Tamela D'Amico), who uproots her life in the United States to study music therapy in India but ends up helping people with disabilities by bringing them together through music and inspiring them to challenge themselves.

“The goal of the film is to bring awareness about their disabilities and human rights, and to promote inclusion and diversity,” Sarmah said.

A US-based internationally-acclaimed musician, filmmaker, entrepreneur and scientist, Sarmah has been involved with persons of disabilities for a number of years now – through his research works on Artificial Intelligence and autism to find early intervention methods. Through this journey, he got a chance to work with many organisations, children with disabilities, parents and educational institutions, and he was intrigued to bring their life-stories to the big screen. Sarmah, who has also directed the music, has made music therapy an integral part of the film.

Besides Tamela D'Amico, ‘One Little Finger’ stars the Oscar nominated actress and composer Siedah Garrett, who plays the role of Dr Claudia. Sarmah has roped in a number of persons with disabilities to act in the film and giving them a chance to tell their stories. South Indian actress Abhinaya, a hearing impaired girl, Den, who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and rare Genetic Disorder, Jeeja, a National Award winner, who has cerebral palsy, among others, plays major characters in the film. The film also features some noted actors from Assam including the National Award-winning actress Malaya Goswami, Jaya Seal Ghosh, Pabitra Rabha and Surajit Sarmah, among others.

A number of Grammy and Oscar-winning artistes were involved in the making of the sound track, including Quincy Jones, Julian Lennon, Siedah Garrett, Kechi Okwuchi, Kevin Mackie and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. ‘One Little Finger’ has received an overwhelming response in the festival circuit across the world. It garnered the ‘Best Film for Inspiration Making a Global Impact – Founders Award’ at the Riverside International Film Festival held at Los Angeles earlier in the year.

“‘One Little Finger’ is not just a film. It’s a movement to break the barriers of the stigma of the word disability. All it takes is a change in perspective, a change in our mindset! Disability is only what we perceive, ability is everything of what we believe,” Sarmah, who has directed a number of documentaries, short and feature films over the years, said.

entries invited for ne film package

Entries have been invited for the North East Film Package (6 hours, 360 minutes duration) in the forthcoming Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for short, animation and documentary films to be held under the auspices of the Films Division during the last part of January next.

The entries should contain the film in Blu-Ray DVD/hard disc/DCP/high resolution DVD (with English subtitles). Moreover, film synopsis, stills from the film, director’s photograph and brief profile, year of production, cast and credit etc. should also be sent in another DVD along with the film.

The text should be in plain MS Word format and the still photographs should be in plain and simple JPG format. The entries should be sent only by courier or hand delivery to Chandan Sarmah, House No. 110, AK Azad Road, Rehabari, Guwahati -781 008 (Assam) or Asam Sahitya Sabha, Bhagawati Prasad Barua Bhawan, District Library premises, Guwahati-781001.

nagaland girl wins great indian ballet contest

Hailing from Nagaland, 11-year-old Sunepsangla Jamir, a class eight student of Maple Tree School, Dimapur, won the first prize in the Classical Ballet Solo Youth category at the Great Indian Ballet Competition, 2019, held recently in Mumbai. The competition was held at the Russian Centre in the country’s entertainment capital. This year’s edition of Great Indian Ballet Competition witnessed participation from 61 students.

Participants from across all corners of India in the age group of four to 25 years performed in two styles - classical and modern. Notably, both the semi-finals and the finals of the competition were open to public. The competition followed a no-audition format, where it is open for any enthusiast to apply.

Elimination took place through the first round and was judged by Singapore-based dance teacher Kimberely Martin, Japanese dancer Chiiho Sano who is studying the therapeutic effects of ballet and Goa-based Tino Sanchez who has worked with the likes of performance company, Cirque du Soleil.

Daughter of Aomeren Jamir and Ameü Jamir, Sunepsangla started ballet at the age of four but only took to it in earnest when she turned nine after she found herself a ballet tutor from Austria through the internet. She relies on short intensive courses in Mumbai twice a year for her ballet training, practising on her own at other times. Besides her goal to be the best ballet dancer, Sunepsangla also loves playing the piano.

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