A film screening of Joymoti, the first Assamese feature film with discussion by Professor Aparna Sharma, Department of World Arts and Cultures.
'Joymoti' is considered by many film historians as the first Assamese feature film. The film was lost for many years after its release in 1935. A few years back, filmmaker, historian and critic Altaf Mazid found some reels and undertook restoration of the film. This screening presents this restored version. Joymoti was made by prominent Assamese cultural nationalist, Jyotiprasad Aggarwala and focuses on the 17th century Assamese princess, Joymoti who lost her life in order to secure the future of the Assamese kingdom that was in throes of turmoil.
The film was shot entirely in Assam and is striking in its use of outdoor locations and set design that uses principles of vernacular architecture and folk material culture. Joymoti arose in the context of regional cinema and is distinct in its mode of production and aesthetic from the popular mythological films at that time being developed in the Mumbai film studios. It innaugurated Assamese cinema and offered a powerful alternative focussing on a woman figure as opposed to the popular mythological films of that time that largely centered on male figures.
The screening will be accompanied by a talk by Professor Aparna Sharma discussing the historical relevance of 'Joymoti.' Audience is advised the version of the film being screened does not include all reels of the film and its full soundtrack.
Professor Aparna Sharma is a filmmaker and film theorist. Her research is practice-based and focuses on issues surrounding the representation of cultures. Professor Sharma make films on communities displaced within the mainstream national imagination of India such as the Indian diaspora and the widows of Vrindavan. Recently she has commenced a new documentary project examining the cultural landscapes and folklore of India’s north-eastern state, Assam. At the Department of World Arts and Cultures, she teaches video production combining practical training with specific theoretical inputs.
Refreshments served in Rainbow Lounge.
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