Even before it’s release, Assamese film ‘Khobh’ has been able to draw the attention of country’s top critics and film enthusiasts. National Award-winning director of ‘Basundhara – The Earth’ in 2009, Hiren Bora’s new film has already been screened to critical applauses at the prestigious Kolkata International Film Festival and Karnataka International Children Film Festival, providing a much-needed breather to the Assamese film industry. Infact, in a rare feat, ‘Khobh’ was exhibited in 102 cinema halls across the state of Karnataka under the initiative of its Govt. It was a moment of much pride and honor for our film industry, that too at a time when it’s passing its days in so much obscurity with commercial profit margins decreasing by the day. ‘Khobh’ rewarded its viewers with a thought-provoking story and subject, something that everyone in the audiences could relate to and sympathize with. Director Bora is deeply indebted to the Govt. of Karnataka, the exhibitors and the public for embracing his film ‘Khobh’ so passionately.
The Karnataka Govt. also offered a good sum to producer Shankar Lal Goenka. Goenka’s last film ‘Ajeyo’ directed by Jahnu Barua clinched the Rajat Kamal Award for best Assamese film in the regional category at the National Film Awards. Besides distributing Hindi and English films, Shankar Lal Goenka has distributed several Assamese films over the years like ‘Joymati’, ‘Basundhara’, ‘Ramdhenu’, ‘Jaanmoni’ and ‘Rowd’. For his long contribution and service towards film distribution, he was conferred with the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Academy Award in 2009.
It’s heartening to know that after Kolkata International Film Festival and Karnataka International Children Film Festival, ‘Khobh’ has been selected to participate at the Kolhapur International Film Festival, which is scheduled to be held from December 21 to 27. ”It is quite inspiring to know that the film has been selected for such prestigious film festivals. It augurs well for the industry and the filmmakers,” said director Hiren Bora.
Made on a budget of Rs 55 lakh, ‘Khobh’ brings out the alienation of two young siblings who are brought into an urban space, away from the sylvan and rural realm of their childhood.
Nostalgia for nature is Bora’s forte. His last venture, ‘Basundhara – The Earth’ depicted the man-elephant conflict in Assam. It was screened as an official entry at the festival circuits in London, Nottingham, Canada and in Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi and Goa.
Though the industry is fast losing its popularity, aspiring directors are striving to achieve critical acclaim for their films and ‘Khobh’ is one such venture. It is yet to released in theatres across the state.
‘Khobh’s dialogues are written by noted dramatist, actor Ranjit Sutradhar and Hiren Bora from a story and script by Bora. ‘Khobh’s editing is done by Dipak Mandal at Kolkata. Tarali Sarma has composed the music and the background score. The lyrics are written by Birinchi Kumar Medhi and Tarali Sarma who makes her debut as a lyricist in movies. Songs are rendered by Rupam Bhuyan, Tarali Sarma, Pragyan Barua, Rahul and Gautam Sarma. The mixing and recording is done by Jintu Bordoloi.
There are some fantasy scenes too, with DFX by Kolkata based technician Anupam Gupta Roy. DI is done by Manas Bhattacharya. The chief assistant director is Moloy Roy. Art direction is by Gulok Saha and Jyotirmoy Bhuyan. The film’s production controller is Sudarshan Chakravorty (Raju) and Dhiren Kalita. The film’s assistant director is Jayanta Sarma. Makeup is done by Nibha Saha, Ratul Das and Uday Mandal.
Child artistes Abhilash and Harshita have really put their hearts into their roles. Others in the cast include artistes like Bibhuti Bhusan Hazarika, Aparna Dutta Choudhury, Bishnu Khargharia, Rita Bora, Nishita Goswami, Nipon Goswami, Sumitra Goswami, Dr Iftikaar Ahmed, Rag Oinitom, child artiste Arunav, Nandita Barua, Simashree Bora, Satyen Deka, Manorama Bora, Manomoy Deka and foreign artiste from Colombia, Dr Leonardo Kerilu.