13th April, 2018
Utpal Borpujari’s “Ishu” won Best Feature Film in Assamese at 65th National Film Awards, 2018. The awards announced on 13 April 2018. The awards ceremony will be held on 3 May 2018.
The theme of the feature film “Ishu”is based on renowned Assamese author, novelist Monikuntola Bhattacharya’s well-liked book by the same name. The movie is also the directional debut of National Award-winning film critic and much-admired documentary director Utpal Borpujari.
“Ishu” directed by Utpal Borpujari, with an intention to generate consciousness regarding the wicked carry out of witch hunting process which still exists in Assam & other parts of the country .
Cast: Kapil Garo, Bishnu Kharghoria, Tonthoingambi Leishangthem Devi (National Award-winning actress from Manipur), Chetana Das, Pratibha Choudhury, Nibedita Bharali , Monuj Borkotoky, Dipika Deka.
The movie “Ishu” is set in Goalpara district of Assam, among the Rabha tribal community. Report says, although Jharkhand is top in the number of witchcraft deaths, but there are another 11 other states including Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra where witch-hunting cases are reported in some interior places.
Way back in 2012, Utpal Borpujari’s script for Ishu was the single non-European admission for the co-production market of Cinekid, the world’s biggest film & small screen festival for children, held at Amsterdam on 26th October 2012.
“Ishu” presents an insight of a very old system of fallacy, witchcraft/witch-hunting from the end of an innocent kid, whose aunt is branded as a witch by a wicked village local quack.
Even though the movie has a susceptible and stern theme, he made the film in such a way that it is fit for screening for kids and the movie got ‘U’ Certification with no cuts from the Central Board of film Certification (CBFC).
The matter has compelled the Assam state administration to formulate an exceptional statutory law “The Assam Witch-Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act, 2015” to deal with the threat, but unluckily, it is still mounting day by day.
Director Utpal Borpujari and his team interacted with almost 300 kids across Assam, and they chose Master Kapil Garo, a 10 year old kid who played the lead role in the movie.
Rima Das’s Village Rockstar won awards at 65th National Film Awards, 2018 –
- Best feature film, Sworno Kamal Award;
- Best child actor – Bhanita Das;
- Best editing – Rima Das;
- Best Location Sound Recordist, Mallika Das;