Channel boost for regional film forum

Indradhanu, Assam's first exclusive movie channel which goes on air on Saturday, aims to popularise Assamese and other regional language movies that find it difficult to get released in cinema halls.

By Avishek Sengupta in Guwahati
  • Published 13.04.17
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Sibanu Bora addresses the news conference in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos 

Guwahati, April 12: Indradhanu, Assam's first exclusive movie channel which goes on air on Saturday, aims to popularise Assamese and other regional language movies that find it difficult to get released in cinema halls.

Launched by Pride Entertainment Pvt Ltd, which also owns Assamese news channel News Live, entertainment channel Rang and music channel, Ramdhenu, Indradhanu initially will telecast Assamese, Hindi and Bengali movies.

The scenario of Assamese cinema, despite having an 82-year rich history with the first movie Joymoti directed by Jyoti Prasad Agarwala released in 1935, is still having a hard time competing with Hindi and English movies to get screening slots in theatres.

Directors and producers of Assamese movies have more than often complained that they cannot even reap the production costs.

"Assam has a bunch of passionate directors and producers who would sell their lands and properties to produce a movie. There is no dearth of talent here but we have no market. It is nice that a channel, exclusively for movies, is being launched. But if the channel authorities do not pay the producers well while purchasing the rights to telecast, the situation will not improve," Baharul Islam, an Assamese film director, said.

Actor and chairperson of the Assam State Film (finance and development) Corporation Jatin Bora said, "I hope the channel gives the required compensation to directors and increases the number of viewers of Assamese movies."

At present, there are about seven news channels, three entertainment channels and one music channel in Assamese.

"The current generation is more drawn towards Hindi and English movies and hardly watches films in regional languages. The low-budget regional movies in most of the cases do not get released in theatres. The channel will give those movies a platform," Sibanu Bora, the head of Indradhanu, said.

"Movies will be telecast in three slots - 11am, 3.30pm and 10.30pm. We have kept the 3.30pm slot to telecast Assamese movies. This will include the old classics to all time favourites and newly-released Assamese films," Bora said.

"Eventually, we will show movies in other regional languages of Assam. We will make and put subtitles for the regional-language movies to reach all the viewers. But it will take some time," he said.

Beside movies, the channel will also telecast short documentaries on legends of the Assamese film industry.

"We will shoot short documentaries on the legends of the film fraternity so that the new generation does not forget them," Bora added.

The channel will also have a music show, The Legend, which will feature popular Assamese, Hindi, Bengali and other regional-language songs.