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Handy guide on Assamese films - First-ever ready-reckoner on movie trivia to come out in August

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By Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 29.04.05

Guwahati, April 29: What was the first Assamese film in colour? Or, the first Assamese film in cinemascope? For those who freak out on movie trivia, the first ready-reckoner on the state?s film industry is on the way.

Compiled by well known film critic Arun Lochan Das, the ready-reckoner ? Asomiya Cinemar Kotha ? will reach the readers by August.

Das said the book would have every bit of information on the film industry ? for example, the first Assamese film in colour was Bhaiti and the first Assamese film in cinemascope, Jiban Suravi.

Sometimes referred to as Jollywood ? a take-off on Hollywood and Bollywood and with reference to Jyoti Chitraban ? the Assamese film industry is almost as old as the movie industry in the country. The first Assamese film Joymati was made just four years after the first talkie, Alamara (1931).

Veteran actor Biju Phukan was quite enthusiastic about the new venture. ?We needed this ready-reckoner quite badly. This will also give people outside the state a chance to know about our achievements.?

Filmmaker Kulada Kumar Bhattacharyya, too, echoed Phukan saying, ?It will be a very good endeavour. It would also help if it is brought out in English.? Das said Asomiya Cinemar Kotha would have a chronology of Assamese feature films and a list of national and international award- winning movies. ?I have also included rare stills of films like Bhupen Hazarika?s Pratidhwani (1964).

It will contain a list of award-winning films along with the name of the director, year and name of the award,? said Das. He has also included films made in various tribal dialects such as Bodo, Karbi, Dimasa and Mising.

Das felt the need to bring out the book, as there is no ready reckoner available. ?There is practically no data or reference in any of the libraries. I also plan to translate it into English.?

Earlier, Das had written several books on Assamese cinema, the first being Asomiya Chalachitra (1996). His second book, Chalachitra Nirmanor Hatputhi (a handbook on filmmaking), was also a first of its kind in Assamese, which gave details about the nuances and technical aspects of filmmaking. The book was brought out in two editions in 1997 and 2004.

Das had also recounted some interesting anecdotes when Assamese films were made in Calcutta in his book Ebar Ubhoti Chau in 2001. ?I have written about 12 old Assamese films from Indramalati to Dr Bezbaruah and the incidents which went into the making of these films.?