Award winning film critic Utpal Borpujari’s latest documentary titled “Mayong: Myth/Reality”, which is based on Mayong, a small village situated in Marigaon district of Assam also known the land of Black Magic, has been selected for screening at the Silent River Film Festival in California (USA) to be held from 17th to 20th October 2013.
It’s a very good sign for us that a film from the Northeast region is traveling to the United States with the story of Mayong’s legendary magic. This documentary has also been archived by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Britain and Ireland for cultural ethnography studies.
Synopsis of the Documentary
On July 15, 2011, the day Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 got released in India, the team carried out an informal survey among about 200 young (and not so young) people in Guwahati, Assam, India, about whether they had heard about Mayong. Many had not heard about it, and most of those who had, did not know where it was located. Most of them knew everything about the fictional world of magic in Harry Potter, but were largely unaware that in Mayong, just 40 km off Guwahati, practice of magic — Tantra-Mantra as the locals call it — has been a way of life since ages. The irony is that most of those surveyed, like many locals, have traveled to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, famed for its thick one-horned rhino population, more than once, without knowing that they have travelled through Mayong! This prompted us to explore Mayong visually — to explore whether all those myths about black magic in Mayong were just myths or otherwise, why despite its legendary status in Assamese folklore, the place remains largely unknown, and what locals think about their magical heritage. The result: a cinematic journey to a place believed to be the land of sorcerers!
About Director Utpal Borpujari
An award-winning film critic-turned-filmmaker, Utpal Borpujari has extensively written on cinema, politics, society, literature and culture, among other things, before turning a scriptwriter and filmmaker. He has worked as the Chief Assistant Director to Nila Madhab Panda in the Hindi feature film “Jalpari – The Desert Mermaid”, and been a script consultant to the bilingual feature film “As the River Flows” (Hindi) / “Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipaare” (Assamese) produced by India’s National Film Development Corporation. He has written scripts for several documentaries. Borpujari is a member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), and has served as a jury member in several leading international film festivals.
Contact Utpal Borpujari : [email protected]
About Silent River Film Festival ( 17th October to 20th October 2013 )
Silent River Film Festival was founded by filmmaker, actor and poet Kalpna Singh-Chitnis to promote art of cinema and share experiences of creativity. Founded in 2011 on the 40th anniversary of Irvine, Silent River Film Festival is City’s first international film festival in its third year.