Cinema Writer Utpal Mena’s “Asomiya Cinema” and the Long Tradition of Assamese Film

utpal mena books

Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla, the celebrated Assamese playwright, freedom fighter and the tea planter, made the first Assamese film, Joymoti. The film, made and released in 1935, portrays the extreme sacrifice and extraordinary patriotism of the 16th-century Ahom princess, Joymoti. Thus, the Assamese film has a long glorious past. Rupkonwar Agarwalla learned the skill of film-making in the UFA Studio, Germany. His “Joymoti” was first exhibited in the Rounak Cinema hall, Calcutta (Kolkata) on March 10, 1935. Later on March 20 that year, the film’s first show took place in Assam at the Uzanbazzar Theatre hall. It was the beginning of a new era, following which lots of Assamese films have been made by different producers as well as directors in different course of time. 

Utpal Mena, a cinema writer and senior cultural journalist, has penned a book on the Assamese films, dealing with its history, characteristics, among others. The recently published book, named as “Asomiya Cinema( book), discusses the topics and other relevant things of around 220 Assamese films, starting from Rupkonwar’s “Joymoti”. One of the striking features of this cine-book is that it also portrays something about the side-actors and the other people associated with these films. The readers could also find the release-dates of these films in the book.

The book also highlights the cinematic works of a large number of Assamese filmmakers, starting from Rupkonwar to today’s filmmakers like Prodyut Kumar Deka, Prashanta Saikia, among others. The book points out that the Assamese films, overcoming various obstacles, could keep its head high. 

Journalist Mena’s this book can be considered as a precious work on the Assamese film. It helps the readers to know many things about the Assamse films till 2017.
Active since 1994-95 in the field of cultural journalism, Mena has also some valuable books on Indian cinema to his credit that includes “ Chityanatya Etyadi”, “ Jatin Bora Chityanatya Eityadi”, “ Prabhati Sur, “ Rough Cut”, etc

Written by: Raktim Baruah. Guwahati, Assam.

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