BVFF 2023 | Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival returns to celebrate cinema from the Northeast

The festival began with a special screening of the Hindi crime drama ‘Kooki’, directed by Pranab Deka

Updated - December 14, 2023 10:59 pm IST

Published - December 14, 2023 10:58 pm IST

(L-R) Amrit Pritam, Leena Yadav, Aimee Baruah, Ronni Lahiri, Sanjay Bhutiani, Ranjit Barthakur, Dr Hitesh Baruah and Tanushree Hazarika at the opening ceremony of the 8th Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival in Guwahati, Assam.

(L-R) Amrit Pritam, Leena Yadav, Aimee Baruah, Ronni Lahiri, Sanjay Bhutiani, Ranjit Barthakur, Dr Hitesh Baruah and Tanushree Hazarika at the opening ceremony of the 8th Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival in Guwahati, Assam. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The 8th edition of the Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival kick-started on Thursday with a grand opening ceremony at the Jyoti Chitrabon Film Studio in Guwahati, Assam. Organised by Tattva Creations and Brahmaputra Foundation, the festival aims to platform cinema from Northeast India and boost the filmmaking movement in the region.

The festival’s founder and director Tanushree Hazarika, along with her team of organisers, Pallavi Chumki Barua, Samujjal Kashyap, Karma Paljor and Bjorn Deniese, felicitated the chief guests — producers Leena Yadav, Ronnie Lahiri, Sanjay Bhutiani, actor Aimee Baruah, sound designer Amrit Pritam, music composer Dr Hitesh Baruah and businessman Ranjit Barthakur.

BVFF, which began its journey in 2013, is returning this year after a three-year break due to the pandemic, and Tanushree Hazarika is over the moon. “There was a lot of resistance initially because it takes a lot of work to put together a festival of this scale. However, the kind of support we got from the community in these three years was heartwarming. In fact, many filmmakers, especially from the Northeast, encouraged us to come back and they are all very excited about this edition,” said Hazarika.

Speaking at the event, producer Ronnie Lahiri said that he has been a happy witness to the growth of Northeastern cinema for over 50 years. “This year, I am really glad Tanushree and co. have added feature films as well. I’ve been looking forward to watching a lot of these titles but, unfortunately, most of them don’t get a release in Mumbai.”

Producer Sanjay Bhutiani is hopeful that efforts like these will take cinema from Northeast to newer heights. “The days are not far for when you’ll see a film from Northeast India premiere at the Cannes Film Festival,” he said.

The opening ceremony also featured special performances from dancer Mridusmita Das Bora and music band Bottle Rocket. After the ceremony, the festival began with a special screening of the Hindi crime drama Kooki, directed by Pranab Deka. It will end on December 17 with the screening of Footprints on Water starring Adil Hussain and directed by Nathalia Syam.

The festival is set to feature 30 movies selected from 200 entries as well as panel discussions, masterclasses and a workshop on introduction to filmmaking conducted in association with the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. Notably, the BVFF has collaborated with streaming giant Amazon Prime Video this year, with an aim to allow filmmakers to present their pitches directly to the platform.

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