One of the biggest grouse that filmmakers and cine-buffs from Northeast India and specifically Assam have is that the local films always get sidelined when big Bollywood films releases. This has been seen many times in the past when a ‘Local Kungfu 2’ which was doing well was pulled off from the theatres after the release of ‘Baahubali 2’ or the same happened with ‘Shakira Ahibo Bokultolor Bihuloi’ when ‘Raees’ and ‘Kaabil’ released. Noted filmmaker from Bollywood, Tigmanshu Dhulia known for films like ‘Haasil’, ‘Saaheb, Biwi and Gangster’ franchise, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ and ‘Raag Desh’, who participated in an interaction with audience at the open forum of the 1st Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF), said that if cine-lovers from Northeast need to save their films, they need to fight with the establishment.
Dhulia said, ‘Most governments don’t give any importance to the film industry. Filmmakers and cine-buffs will have to fight to get the local films their rightful place in the industry. Marathi filmmakers agitated and ensured that multiplexes in Maharashtra screen Marathi films. You need to do the same here.’
He also said films in traditional form are dying and filmmakers from Northeast would do well to embrace the digital platform. ‘Nowadays, with the advent of smartphones and laptops, anybody can become a filmmaker. Filmmakers from Northeast should not get disheartened if they are not getting theatres to screen their movies. They should make full use of the digital platform. Anyway, the traditional format of filmmaking is dying. Very soon, we will go to the theatres only to watch big screen spectacles or VFX laden movies like ‘Baahubali’ or ‘The Avengers.’ Rest of the content will find their place in laptops and phones.’
Dhulia, who is visiting Assam for the first time said he has always been fascinated with this part of the world. ‘ I never got the chance to come to Assam. When I was studying in National School of Drama (NSD), people from Assam like Baharul Islam and Anup Hazarika were my juniors. Some day, I will like to shoot a film here.’
Incidentally, Dhulia’s last film ‘Raag Desh’ starred Assamese actor and filmmaker Kenny Basumatary in the role of Subhas Chandra Bose.
On work front, Dhulia is currently shooting the third part of the ‘Saaheb, Biwi Aur Gangster’ franchise with Jimmy Shergill and Sanjay Dutt. As an actor, he will be portraying the role of Shah Rukh Khan’s father in Aanand L Rai’s upcoming film where Khan plays a dwarf.