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Though its offerings are very different from those of Tollywood as a whole, the Assamese film industry is considered one of the most successful film industries in India. Besides, the contribution of the Assamese film industry has been unique in its own way. Amongst the personalities who have made very substantial contributions, Jyotiprasad Agarwala occupies pride of place. Thanks to the new perspectives he brought to his portrayals, he received many accolades during his time. Phani Sharma is another personality who has a special place in the history of Assamese cinema. There were other gifted directors with several noteworthy achievements to their credits such as Parbati Prasad Baruah, Kamal Narayan Choudhury, Nip Baruah and Brajen Baruah. Some of the notable films which gained a lot of popularity included Piyoli Phukan, Dr. Bezbaruah, Joymati, Aparoopa, Papori, Rupahi.
Gifted and highly motivated actors chipped in as well to enrich the Assamese film industry over the decades. Nipon Goswami, Indra Bania, Dr. Bhabendra Nath Saikia, Bishu Khagaria, Moloya Goswami were amongst the reputed actors who imparted a special touch to Assamese cinema. Their performances in films are very fresh in the minds of the people even today. The Assamese film industry can also boast of some of the most talented and prolific music directors. The names include Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Jayanta Kazarika, Khagen Mahanta, Hemen Hazarika and of course the duo of Jitu Tapan. Supported admirably by singers like Nilima Khatoon, Jayanta Hazarika, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Dipali Borthakur, Dilip Sharma, Sudakshina Sharma, they created heady new experiences for the viewers.
New challenges before Assamese cinema call for new sensitivity. Manju Borah, Bidyut Chakraborty, Jahnu Barua, Sanjeev Hazarika are a few notable directors who have been instrumental in keeping alive the distinctive flavour of Assamese cinema. Will Assamese cinema be able to mirror the changing times in a manner that acts as a catalyst of change? Or will it confine itself to being an ‘escape’ for viewers into a make believe world ?
The new generation who constitute the Assamese film industry today have new challenges, especially of social relevance, before them. These challenges call for new sensitivity. Manju Borah, Bidyut Chakraborty, Jahnu Barua, Sanjeev Hazarika are a few notable directors who have been instrumental in keeping alive the distinctive flavour of Assamese cinema. Amongst the actors, Jatin Bora, Ravi Sharma, Luna Lohkar, Gayatri Mahanta, Nishita Goswami have given some brilliant performances in their films. And when it comes to music which has been a strong base of the industry, music directors like Zubeen Garg, Angaraag Mahanta, Tarali Sharma, Jim Ankan Deka are a few names who have brought a new richness to Assamese music. Singers like Zubeen Garg, Angaraag Mahanta, Debojit Saha, Anindita Paul have produced some haunting songs.
But the time are changing, and the social fabric of the Assam of today is riven with problems. Will Assamese cinema be able to mirror the changing times in a manner that acts as a catalyst of change ? Will it be able to impart new relevance and a new genre to its repertoire and still retain all the appealing facets from the past ? Or will it confine itself to being an ‘escape’ for viewers into a make believe world ? Obviously, a lot rests on the shoulders of all those who form a part of the Assamese film industry today.