Tough to make independent films on insurgency: National Award winner

Jaicheng Jai Dohutia, who directed the National Film Award-winning Moran movie “Haanduk”, says as a filmmaker it is not easy to make independent films on topics like insurgency.

His film tries to capture the essence of waiting with the problem of insurgency as a backdrop.

Apart from the prestigious award, Dohutia, an Assamese, was also honoured with the Best Director award for “Haanduk” at the first edition of PickUrFlick Indie Film Festival here on May 21.

He said in a statement: “As a filmmaker, it is very difficult to make independent films on issues like insurgency. I’ve always wanted to bring out things which are not audible.”

“I portrayed this issue in my own visual way. I have always been terrorised by insurgency since childhood; I know families who have been affected by insurgents. The traumatisation has affected the locals so much, that they have muted their voice, they think it’s okay to have such issues.”

He feels no one dared to bring this on a public platform.

“It has been a difficult process for me to bring in the real story into the mainstream cinema. To bring this sensitive issue, I tried to portray it in a natural way to not face major consequences,” Dohutia added.

The three-day festival concluded on May 21 with the screening of over 16 multi-lingual films and an award ceremony felicitating 12 winners, including Dohutia.

The closing film was German feature “Hore Die Stille” (Hear The Silence) by Ed Ehrenburg. It won the best feature film award and best cinematography award.

Anirban Guha and his wife Sinjini Sengupta won the best screenplay award for “Elixir”. The Bengali short has been to Cannes Film Festival.

They said: “Independent cinema is coming in because given the digital market, given the internet, in the current of time, people spend time looking at the phone screen.

“If independent film can actually tap that space in the viewers mind then perhaps that has opened up an entirely a new market into this mainstream cinema. This is a parallel field that is opening up.”

Sidartha Murjani was awarded the emerging talent of the year as an actor/writer for three of his films (“Menage”, “Riemann” and “Dealer”).

Abhishek Sinha, founder of, said: “The festival will come back with more diverse global films next year.”


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