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Celluloid feast

By The Assam Tribune
Celluloid feast
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DR. SUBRAT JYOTI NEOG, a jury member of the Indian Panorama at the recently held IFFI, writes about the films that stood out for them.

The 'Indian Panorama' is a flagship component of theInternational Film Festival of India (IFFI), under which the best films ofcontemporary Indian cinema are selected. And as a member of the 'Non-FeatureFilm' jury for the prestigious Indian Panorama of the 52nd International FilmFestival of India, 2021, we watched 203 films during a ten-day period in October,this year.

In this category, the jury found four types of films— Documentary Films, Docu-Fictions, Short Fictions, and Animated Films. Headedby filmmaker S. Nallamuthu, our jury eventually picked 20 non-features for the nine-dayevent that was held last month in a hybrid format. And the opening film forthis category was RajivParkash's Ved… The Visionary.

This film is a well-researched, well-documented filmwith great cinematic narration. It tells the wonderful journey of aninternationally acclaimed news cameraman Ved Parkash, who had covered many historicallyimportant moments of pre-Independence and post-Independence India. Ved Parkash'sextraordinary works included the coverage of Mahatma Gandhi's funeral, whichwas nominated for the British Academy Awards in 1949; the change of power whenIndia became independent; the tragedy that followed India's partition, etc.These rare clippings of the past are beautifully projected in this film. It isa great model of historical documentation, while it also portrays Ved Parkash'spersona with much sensitivity.

Another similar biographical documentary film is HaobamPaban Kumar's Pabung Syam, based onthe life of the pioneer of Manipuri cinema, Aribam Syam Sharma. As a director,singer, music composer, Sharma's contribution to Manipuri cinema isunparalleled. An excellent narrative style and an evocative visualisation ofthe life and works of Aribam make this a good piece of film art.

And then there was Ashoke Viswanathan's biographicaldocumentary — Badal Sircar &Alternative Theatre, which presents the journey of Badal Sircar as a playwrightand director. The film explores the relevance and impact of Alternative Theatrein the global context. It is a thought-provoking and well-documented polemicaldocumentary.Among the women-centric, inspirational Docu-Fictions,the jury took notice of Kishore Kalita's Assamese film Veerangana. This film is about AssamPolice's first female commando force and their role in effectivelydealing with crime against women. The well-scripted narrative is a significantaspect of this film and National award-winning film critic and filmmaker Utpal Datta,who is the writer of this film, deserves credit.

Satish Pande's English documentary Surmounting Challenges is based on theengineering and socio-political challenges that were encountered during theconstruction of the Delhi metro corridors. We recommended it to the IndianPanorama for its sincere documentation of some important socio-technologicalissues, Also, the graphics work on this film is outstanding.

Some other films that stood out were Lipika SinghDaria's Odia film Backstage, which isbased on the tradition and transition of the puppetry art form of Odisha, andChetan Bhakuni's Jugalbandi, a purelyabstract film which tells us that peace and satisfaction can be acquiredthrough one's involvement with pure art and the guru of that art. An intimateportrayal of Indian classical music, along with a beautiful image of BhimsenJoshi, makes the film worth watching.Sohil Vaidya's Marathi film Murmurs of the Jungle reflects the spiritual relationship betweenhumans and Nature. In this film, the filmmaker personifies the 'jungle' and it ismarked by evocative visualisation of Nature.

Dr. Deepika Kothari's directorial venture Bharat, Prakriti Ka Balak is the storyof Bharat, and the values of Indian culture and yoga, which have beenbeautifully shown with some archaeological, historical, and textual testimonies.Jai Prakash's Ganga-Putra is another outstandingfilm. In Naad-The Sound, thefilmmaker is of the view that whatever shape we give the children in theirearly growing years, they eventually grow up to take that shape and acquire thehabits.

Jackie R. Bala's Santali film, Witch explores the theme ofwitch-hunting. An artistic exploration of the theme made this film special forus. Gujarati film The Spell of Purplemesmerised us with its excellent cinematic aesthetics and women-centriccontent. The content of Subhas Sahoo's TeenAdhyay symbolises the ancient Indian philosophy of existence and its deepermeaning. Rahul Rawat's Sunpat hasbeen made in the Garhwali language and the story of the film beautifullyreveals the struggles of villagers living in the mountains.

Jeyachandra Hashmi's Tamil film Sweet Biriyanideals with the pain of an educated food delivery boy. Contemporary content withthe humanistic approach of the filmmaker makes this film worth watching. Thecontent of Abhijeet Sarathi's Hindi film BabluBabylon Se highlights some serious socio-environmental issues. The jury likedit for the sensitivity and feel for the subject expressed in its effectivecinematic style.

Loneliness is the main theme of Ananta NarayanMahadevan's The Knocker. The directoraesthetically presents how loneliness and isolation can affect humanpsychology. Sanghamitra Chaudhuri's Sainbarito Sandeshkhali is a well-researched Bengali film where the filmmakerspeaks about political killings in West Bengal in the last 50 years. Gajra, directed by Vineet Sharma, is astory of an aristocrat and his humble chauffeur Ramakant. The filmmaker presentstwo different lives. Presenting binary opposites, the director makes thecontent of the film very attractive.

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Celluloid feast

DR. SUBRAT JYOTI NEOG, a jury member of the Indian Panorama at the recently held IFFI, writes about the films that stood out for them.

The 'Indian Panorama' is a flagship component of theInternational Film Festival of India (IFFI), under which the best films ofcontemporary Indian cinema are selected. And as a member of the 'Non-FeatureFilm' jury for the prestigious Indian Panorama of the 52nd International FilmFestival of India, 2021, we watched 203 films during a ten-day period in October,this year.

In this category, the jury found four types of films— Documentary Films, Docu-Fictions, Short Fictions, and Animated Films. Headedby filmmaker S. Nallamuthu, our jury eventually picked 20 non-features for the nine-dayevent that was held last month in a hybrid format. And the opening film forthis category was RajivParkash's Ved… The Visionary.

This film is a well-researched, well-documented filmwith great cinematic narration. It tells the wonderful journey of aninternationally acclaimed news cameraman Ved Parkash, who had covered many historicallyimportant moments of pre-Independence and post-Independence India. Ved Parkash'sextraordinary works included the coverage of Mahatma Gandhi's funeral, whichwas nominated for the British Academy Awards in 1949; the change of power whenIndia became independent; the tragedy that followed India's partition, etc.These rare clippings of the past are beautifully projected in this film. It isa great model of historical documentation, while it also portrays Ved Parkash'spersona with much sensitivity.

Another similar biographical documentary film is HaobamPaban Kumar's Pabung Syam, based onthe life of the pioneer of Manipuri cinema, Aribam Syam Sharma. As a director,singer, music composer, Sharma's contribution to Manipuri cinema isunparalleled. An excellent narrative style and an evocative visualisation ofthe life and works of Aribam make this a good piece of film art.

And then there was Ashoke Viswanathan's biographicaldocumentary — Badal Sircar &Alternative Theatre, which presents the journey of Badal Sircar as a playwrightand director. The film explores the relevance and impact of Alternative Theatrein the global context. It is a thought-provoking and well-documented polemicaldocumentary.Among the women-centric, inspirational Docu-Fictions,the jury took notice of Kishore Kalita's Assamese film Veerangana. This film is about AssamPolice's first female commando force and their role in effectivelydealing with crime against women. The well-scripted narrative is a significantaspect of this film and National award-winning film critic and filmmaker Utpal Datta,who is the writer of this film, deserves credit.

Satish Pande's English documentary Surmounting Challenges is based on theengineering and socio-political challenges that were encountered during theconstruction of the Delhi metro corridors. We recommended it to the IndianPanorama for its sincere documentation of some important socio-technologicalissues, Also, the graphics work on this film is outstanding.

Some other films that stood out were Lipika SinghDaria's Odia film Backstage, which isbased on the tradition and transition of the puppetry art form of Odisha, andChetan Bhakuni's Jugalbandi, a purelyabstract film which tells us that peace and satisfaction can be acquiredthrough one's involvement with pure art and the guru of that art. An intimateportrayal of Indian classical music, along with a beautiful image of BhimsenJoshi, makes the film worth watching.Sohil Vaidya's Marathi film Murmurs of the Jungle reflects the spiritual relationship betweenhumans and Nature. In this film, the filmmaker personifies the 'jungle' and it ismarked by evocative visualisation of Nature.

Dr. Deepika Kothari's directorial venture Bharat, Prakriti Ka Balak is the storyof Bharat, and the values of Indian culture and yoga, which have beenbeautifully shown with some archaeological, historical, and textual testimonies.Jai Prakash's Ganga-Putra is another outstandingfilm. In Naad-The Sound, thefilmmaker is of the view that whatever shape we give the children in theirearly growing years, they eventually grow up to take that shape and acquire thehabits.

Jackie R. Bala's Santali film, Witch explores the theme ofwitch-hunting. An artistic exploration of the theme made this film special forus. Gujarati film The Spell of Purplemesmerised us with its excellent cinematic aesthetics and women-centriccontent. The content of Subhas Sahoo's TeenAdhyay symbolises the ancient Indian philosophy of existence and its deepermeaning. Rahul Rawat's Sunpat hasbeen made in the Garhwali language and the story of the film beautifullyreveals the struggles of villagers living in the mountains.

Jeyachandra Hashmi's Tamil film Sweet Biriyanideals with the pain of an educated food delivery boy. Contemporary content withthe humanistic approach of the filmmaker makes this film worth watching. Thecontent of Abhijeet Sarathi's Hindi film BabluBabylon Se highlights some serious socio-environmental issues. The jury likedit for the sensitivity and feel for the subject expressed in its effectivecinematic style.

Loneliness is the main theme of Ananta NarayanMahadevan's The Knocker. The directoraesthetically presents how loneliness and isolation can affect humanpsychology. Sanghamitra Chaudhuri's Sainbarito Sandeshkhali is a well-researched Bengali film where the filmmakerspeaks about political killings in West Bengal in the last 50 years. Gajra, directed by Vineet Sharma, is astory of an aristocrat and his humble chauffeur Ramakant. The filmmaker presentstwo different lives. Presenting binary opposites, the director makes thecontent of the film very attractive.