Assamese filmmaker Joor Baruah’s documentary film Voice of Siang has been selected for screening at the Mumbai International Film Festival 2020. Organized by Films Division, #MIFF is the oldest and the largest festival for documentary films in South Asia. This year’s showcase will include a special section on Satyajit Ray and select films from Northeast. #MIFF 2020 will be inaugurated on January 28 at the Nehru Centre Auditorium, Worli and will conclude with an award ceremony on February 3. Voice of Siang will be screened on February 2 at 2.30 PM (Audi-I).
Voice of Siang has been screened at the Open Frame Film Festival 2019 in IIC, New Delhi and the Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival 2019 in Guwahati. It has also been selected for screening at other festivals in India like the Diorama International Film Festival 2020 and New Delhi International Film Festival 2020.
The documentary Voice of Siang is about the indigenous Adi people in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas The Adi culture is unique with mythological chants and animistic rituals around nature. With memories of 1962 Indo-China war still fresh, China continues to reassert its territorial claim of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, the land of the Adis. The elegant Siang that originates in Tibet and flows down through the Adi villages- is now, the new battleground for power. A series of encounters with the Adis, near the old town of Pasighat, this tale portrays their inspiring resilience and hope.
This 57-minute feature-length documentary film was commissioned to Joor Baruah as a part of a prestigious fellowship by Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), Prasar Bharati and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India.
The direction and cinematography of the film have been done by Joor Baruah; the editing by Samujjal Kashyap, Gautam Mazumdar, and David Rosberg, the original background score by Chandan Das and production has been managed by Pallab Doimary as a part of Ethos Productions in collaboration with prime producer PSBT.
Joor Baruah, who shares his time between the United States and India, is interested in using music and films for social change. He has an M.A. in Documentary Filmmaking from the University of California, Santa Cruz and served as an Associate Filmmaker 2017 at IRP (Investigative Reporting Program), School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley.
His 20-minute short film on the same subject Adi | At The Confluence has shown in over 40 film festivals worldwide, in 10 countries, in 4 languages, nominated for 18 awards, won 10 Best Documentary awards. It has also been screened in Visible Evidence, US; SOAS and Cambridge, UK. Adi was also one of the 7 projects for PBS POV Digital Lab 2017 in San Francisco, United States.
Baruah is inspired by the folk songs of his mother Kavita Baruah (Rose), the spirit of his father Late. Upendra Kumar Baruah, who was a part of the civil rights movement in Chicago alongside Martin Luther King and his revolutionary uncle Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.
#MIFF This 16th edition of the biennial Mumbai International Film Festival 2020 has reported the submission of over 800 films from 24 countries. The details of the festival can be accessed on the #MIFF2020 mobile app, which also encourages the audience to vote for their favorite films.
Watch the trailer of Voice of Siang