The country isn’t ignorant of the northeastern states anymore. The film industry in Assam is also giving tough competition to the other regional ones. A bunch of film directors is winning the heart of the audiences with their artistic vision, eventually growing the industry. Many of them are getting recognized and appreciated in various national and international film festivals across the globe. So here is a list of the top ten directors taking Assamese cinema to a different level!
Jahnu Barua was the Chairman of the Indian Film Directors’ Association in 1993. He is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards. Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai (1987), Firingoti (1992), Xagoroloi Bohu Door (1995), Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Mara (2005), Konikar Ramdhenu (2003), and Baandhon (2012) are some of his notable works. Ajeyo and Bhoga Khirikee are his recent Assamese film releases.
An Assamese playback singer, lyricist, poet, actor, and a film-director, Bhupen Hazarika is widely known as Xudha Kontho, which means nectar-throated in English. He made his directorial debut with the Assamese film Era Bator Sur in 1956. He is a recipient of Padma Shri (1977), Padma Bhushan (2001), Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1992), Padma Vibhushan (2012), and Bharat Ratna (2019). Hazarika was also the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi from December 1998 to December 2003.
A well-known independent filmmaker, Rima Das directed the Assamese drama film Village Rockstars in 2017. It became the Indian official entry to the 90th Academy Awards under the Best Foreign Language Film category. She wrote, shot, directed, edited, and produced the film herself. She is also one of the Brand Ambassadors of the Share Her Journey campaign that intends to encourage gender equality in cinema at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).
Manju Borah is a well-known short story writer and a film director from Guwahati, Assam. She made her debut in the 1999 Assamese film Baibhab which won the Best Film in Asia Award at the 6th Dhaka International Film Festival in 2000. Her film Aakashitorar Kothare won the Best Director Award at the Assam State Film Awards in 2004.
Munin Barua is an Assamese film director known for helping establish and popularize Assamese Cinema outside the state. Munin made his directorial debut with the 1987 Assamese film Pratima. His 2000 Assamese romantic-drama film Hiya Diya Niya became a box office hit. Bowari, Daag, Maya, Bidhata, and Barood are some of his notable films. He also directed many TV serials like Rudra and Papu Nikur Xongbad.
Aimee Baruah is a famous actress and filmmaker in the Assamese film industry. Aimee made her directorial debut with the Assamese film Semkhor in 2021. The Indian Panorama section of the 52nd International Film Festival of India screened the movie as the opening feature film. This director from Nagaon has been in association with the industry for almost three decades.
Kripal Kalita made his debut with the feature film Bridge, which won the Jury Special Mention at the 51st International Film Festival of India in Goa. The film also won Best Film at the Golden Jury International Film Festival in 2020 and the Thrissur International Film Festival. Kalita also directed a short movie Jaapi, which received the Best North East Film at the Chalachitram National Film Festival 2019.
Bhaskar Hazarika is a well-known name in the Assamese film industry. He made his debut with the 2015 horror-fantasy Assamese film Kothanodi, starring and Adil Hussain Adil Hussain is a prominent Indian television, fi >> Read More... in the lead roles. 20th BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) screened the film and won the award for Best Feature Film in Assamese at the 63rd National Film Awards The National Film Awards gets presented every year >> Read More... . His next feature film Aamis in 2019, received five nominations at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film also won the Best Director Award at SAIFF (Singapore South Asian International Film Festival).
An alumnus of the FTII (Film and Television Institute of India), Reema Borah is a famous director in the Assamese film industry. She made her debut with the Assamese feature film Bokul in 2015, which premiered at the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Many national and international film festivals across the globe screened the film, where it received critical appreciation from the audiences.
A pediatrician by profession, Bordoloi is a well-known director in the Assamese film industry. She made her directorial debut with the 1996 Assamese drama film Adajya, which won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Assamese. Her 2017 Assamese drama film Maj Rati Keteki won the Best Assamese Feature Film Award at the 2017 National Awards. The film starred Adil Hussain in the lead role.