Haanduk is an Assamese Feature Film Based on True Story. It’s a story of Heramoni, mother of untraced extremist Mukti, who had performed his last rites receives intimation that his death cannot be confirmed by the outfit and knows not how to respond while Biplob, who had left the outfit and is alone, unable to be part of the mainstream surrendered rebels, has his own problems of existence.
Here’s is a small description about the film from the director
What was your inspiration for the film?
From my childhood, I witnessed our people who used to face insurgency-related problems frequently. This film is a reflection of it.
How long the film get off the ground? What was the process of getting the film made?
8 years of starts and stops. I distinctly remember the article published in a local weekly news paper “Sadin” date of 1st June 2007 about an unfortunate mother who witnessed her son dead twice due to a fake unidentified dead body as her son by police once. This incident triggered me to make a film on it.
I met the mother with the help of the article writer Haran Sonowal and Reporter Hindhujyoti Gogoi of Sibsagar.
Officially I started to write the first draft in 2012. My friend Biswajeet Changmai was the all time listener of my drafts. Then I meet Suraj Duwarah my Script Supervisor, He encouraged me a lot to keep continuing the script.
In 2013 I met my co-writer, well wisher; Bhaskar Jyoti Das, together we started to write. We discussed alot, changeed the structure many times and at last in 2015 we agreed in a point. My father Srikumar Dohutia, Executive Producer he also guided me a lot.
As an Independent film; the budget is always issue and it gives limitations. But I took the challenge. My friends Manash Protim Dutta, Chida Bora, Debajit Gayan also stood by me. And I started my production.
How long was the shoot? Where did you shot?
19 days. We shot in Tongana Maag Gaon, Tinsukia, Digboi, Mergerita and in Ledu.
What is your favorite scene in the film?
The beginning scene of the film. It was a single of shot around 5 minutes duratiuon. As our all cast were new comer and the first time in front of camera; so I was not sure how our lead character BANDOI CHETIA will perform this bamboo cutting scene. But she did in such a natural way. I was quite happy with her performance.
What is the meaning of the word “Haanduk” ?
Haanduk is a Moran word. It means very remote interior place or the dark corner of a house.
Your all artist are new and first time in front of the camera. How it became possible ? Describe the casting process?
From the very beginning, I always said that I wanted this film to be realistic and to feature with real people and real location, rather than actors, whenever possible.
Our main challenging character was Mukti’s Morther. The female lead. I needed such a real character where trauma could be seen automatically in her face. It was really tough for me, it took two years to find out BANDOI CHETIA. I met her while I was visiting locations with our location manger RASENDRA BORAH. One day I saw a village woman talking with Rasendra’s mother, in his house. She was the one whom I was looking for and immediately took an audition in my mobile itself. At first she was shy, but I saw determination and dedication within her and within a week I finalized her cast.
As an independent filmmaker; this is your first film. You worked with new and small crew. What’s your experience?
Hard Cash is the major challenge, but if we are confident and determined, I think everything is possible. I am always blessed with my parents as well as Executive Producer SRIKUMAR DOHUTIA & IRAWOTI GOHAIN DOHUTIA. Then my Associate Producer MANASH PROTIM DUTTA encouraged and always stood by me.
Before doing this film I was involve as a Chief assistant director with an another independent film “Orong” directed by SURAJ DOWARAH and this experience helped me a lot while making this film. I did a very meticulous production plan which helped me a lot during principal photography.
Our team was small but well experienced and equipped. And one good thing was that they all are hardworking and honest with their work. We did sync sound and always tried to give time as it required.
What format did you shoot the film on?
We shot the film with Cannon EOS 5D Mark-III.
Digital camera has revolutionized independent filmmaking, but we should keep in mind the quality rather than quantity.