The eighth edition of Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival (BVFF) concluded its highly anticipated final day at Jyoti Chitraban in Guwahati, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape.
The day commenced with a somber condolence prayer dedicated to the memory of the late veteran actor Jayanta Das, who passed away on the night of December 16. Reflecting on this loss, Founder and Festival Director Tanushree Hazarika expressed the collective sadness felt by the region. “Today is a mournful day for all of us, as we bid farewell to the region’s beloved Jayanta Das. His indelible contributions to Assamese cinema and his unwavering dedication will be fondly remembered by fans and well-wishers,” she said.
The final day of the eighth edition of Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival was brimming with captivating cinematic showcases, enlightening masterclasses, and engaging discussions that underscored the festival’s commitment to promoting cinematic excellence and fostering meaningful dialogue within the film community.
The day kicked off with an enthralling Cinematic Showcase featuring Harshad Nalawade’s thought-provoking film, ‘Follower,’ setting the tone for a day filled with cinematic brilliance. Following this was the screening of director Haobam Paban Kumar’s impactful feature film, ‘Nine Hills One Valley,’ which captivated the audience with its compelling narrative.
Renowned filmmaker Prakash Jha, an esteemed figure in the Indian film industry, graced the festival with his presence and led a masterclass session, providing cinema enthusiasts with invaluable insights into the craft of filmmaking. Later, he engaged in a stimulating discussion on ‘Exploring Sociopolitical Narratives and Filmmaking Craft’ with Founder and Festival Director of BVFF, Tanushree Hazarika.
In the evening, a riveting discussion on ‘Crafting Authentic Narratives’ unfolded, featuring esteemed panelists Adil Hussain and Nathalia Syam, moderated by Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri. The insightful conversation was followed by the screening of Nathalia Syam’s critically acclaimed film, ‘Footprints on Water,’ starring Adil Hussain, offering audiences a profound cinematic experience.
The festival also showcased the documentary film ‘Ladakh 470’ by director Shivam Singh Rajput, based on the Kargil Vijay Diwas 2022 run by Sufiya Sufi Runner.
The pinnacle of the evening was the highly anticipated Award Ceremony, where the best in cinematic achievement was celebrated.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon veteran actress Mridula Baruah. She is known for her diverse roles in films like Marami (1978), Upapath (1980), Bowari (1982), Koka Deuta Nati Aru Hati (1983), Abartan (1993), Tumi Mur Mathu Mur (2000), Barood (2004), Gun Gun Gaane Gaane (2002), Raghav (2023) and several others.
Nathalia Syam’s film, ‘Footprints on Water,’ starring Adil Hussain, was awarded the Best Feature Film. The film is about an underground community of illegal immigrants who yearn for a better life in the UK. Despite the initial promise, the protagonist Raghu and his family grapples with shared accommodations, illicit visas, and meager wages. Raghu, entangled in debt, compromises his values working for a fraudulent solicitor, leading to a groom being chosen for his daughter Meera.
The Best Director for Feature Film award went to Manoj Shinde for his Marathi language feature film ‘Valli’. The film is about a Goa farmer who was served a punishment for beating up a fellow villager. It tells the story Mattu, who had to deal with social humiliation and a financial burden.
The Best Short Film award went to Ronal Hussain’s film ‘Sneakers’. The short film is about the journey of a riverboat operator who is coerced by militants to transport them to the distant jungle for the execution of a supposed government informer.
The Best Documentary Film award went to ‘Mask Art Of Majuli’ directed by Utpal Borpujari. The documentary is about the 500-year-old mask-making tradition in Majuli river island.
The award ceremony marked a fitting conclusion to a week-long celebration of creativity and cinematic excellence.