The shooting of a mega TV series on an adventure reality game show is now in progress at the city’s landmark location of Ranibagan in Beltola Tinali, Guwahati. Produced by Hawksbill Productions, the project ‘Mountain Warriors’ has been sanctioned by Doordarshan, New Delhi, under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and will be telecast by the newly-launched satellite channel Arunprabha. The reality-based show, which saw the participation of contestants hailing from different parts of the North-East, has been produced and directed by Vikeyeno Zao, who has earned a name for herself as an acclaimed documentary filmmaker.
Born and raised in the hilly town of Kohima, belonging to the Angami tribe of Nagaland, Zao has acquired Diploma in direction and cinematography from the Asian Film and Television Institute, Noida. As a filmmaker, she has produced and directed numerous documentaries, telefilms and serials on Nature as well as on the social and anthropological aspects of the various tribes of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Her 15-minute long documentary – ‘Last of the Tattooed Head Hunters’, which was an attempt to capture the various rituals and customs associated with the glorious head-hunting tradition of the Konyak Nagas, became the first film from the North-East to be screened at the Short Film Corner of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, in 2010. The following year, Zao’s joint directorial venture with her husband, the well-known cinematographer-filmmaker Indrajit Narayan Dev – ‘This Land We Call Our Home’, revolving around the increasing man-elephant conflict in Assam, was once again selected to the Cannes Film Festival in the same category, which was a rare feat. Vikeyeno Zao, incidentally, is the daughter-in-law of Suprabha Devi, the State’s first woman film director.
A first of its kind in Northeastern India, the basic idea of this 26-episode reality game show is to promote adventure, physical fitness, develop a positive attitude and discipline among the new generation of the region. The competition, involving a series of challenges, also injects novelty and an element of surprise, and it takes place in two phases in a minimum time frame. The winner among the contestants shortlisted for the Grand Finale is entitled to a cash prize of Rs 25,000 with a citation and a trophy. The contestants finishing as 1st and 2nd runners-up will be awarded Rs 15,000 and 10,000 each, along with trophies and citations.
The team of experienced technicians in this show hail from various parts of the North-East. Indrajit Narayan Dev is involved as the executive producer, Amiya Ranjan Das as the director of photography, Tiainla Jamir and Raju Gogoi as the editors, while the serial’s art direction is by Deep Ahmed, music is by Alobo Naga, VFX and animation works are by Anjan Sarma, and the anchoring has been done y Hansraj Barpatrogohain.