Assamese music video ‘Goru Bihu Song’, directed by Axl Hazarika, has been selected to be officially screened at one of the largest international film festivals in Europe – 47th Sehsüchte, which took place from 25th to 29th of April 2018 at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF housed at Babelsberg Film Studio, the oldest large-scale film studio in the world, producing films since 1912.
Hundreds of Hollywood blockbuster films, including Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel were filmed there. More recent productions include V for Vendetta, The Pianist, Captain America Civil War, Æon Flux, The Bourne Ultimatum, Valkyrie, Inglourious Basterds, Cloud Atlas, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Hunger Games, etc.
The video was screened on Saturday, 28th of April, in the slot 9 pm to 11 pm at Cinema 1 in the presence of Axl Hazarika followed by felicitation program on 29th April.
What’s more interesting for Assam is that Babelsberg Film Studio houses the UFA studio where Assam’s legend Jyoti Prasad Agarwala learned filmmaking in 1930 and eventually made the first Assamese movie – Joymoti. It is indeed a great feat for Assam and Jyoti Chitraban Film Studio that after 88 years, a video made at its studio is selected for official screening at the place where Jyoti Prasad Agarwala learnt filmmaking, after whom the Jyoti Chitraban Film Studio is named.
Goru Bihu Song is an experimental music video directed by Axl Hazarika that captures the essence of Assamese folk Bihu dance and celebration of the spirit of Goru Bihu with cow face paint. The video is based on the futuristic imagination of Goru Bihu celebrations, away from the homeland, and in the absence of cows amidst a generation of technology-based live music performance.
The music video has made a tremendous impact in the global arena with official selection at more than 20 International Film festivals across countries like Russia, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Africa, and the United States. This is the first time that a music video from Assam about bihu has received such a massive global response. It has amassed more than a whopping million views on YouTube since its release.
Axl, currently the technical head of Jyoti Chitraban, is also involved in a lead role in developing northeast India’s largest government-run digital archive – Jyoti Chitraban Digital Archive that aims to store and preserve for posterity archival materials of all kinds including music, videos, films, documentaries, texts, and photographs.