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Singer Papon hails Assam govt’s efforts to promote films in the state after representing Central Government’s North-East forum at the Cannes Film Festival

While speaking to the media, Papon said that being on the global platform and being able to represent his state and the nation is a proud opportunity for him.

Singer Papon who has delivered many hits has lauded Assam Government’s efforts in promoting Assam and Asamiya cinema. Papon, who represented the state at the Cannes Film Festival as a cultural ambassador of Assam was one of the luminaries from India who graced the global cinema festival.

Papon, whose original name is Angaraag Mahanta, is a singer, songwriter and music producer from Assam. Apart from being a cultural representative of Assam at Cannes this year, he also participated in the Government of India’s forum on ‘The Gateway to the Northeast’ as a panellist. While speaking to the media, he said that being on the global platform and being able to represent his state and the nation is a proud opportunity for him.

Papon heaped praises on the Himanta Biswa Sarma led BJP-government in Assam for its contribution to promoting Assamese cinema and the state as an ideal location to shoot films. Talking to Firstpost, he said, “I have been sharing my inputs with the Ministry of Culture and the office of our Honourable Chief Minister and it feels good to see their quick response to improvise the film policies and invite people from outside to come to shoot in Assam.”

“The government has also been looking into the requirements of the people for shooting apart from subsidies and incentives. The government in Assam allows you to hire filmmaking equipment, that is four times cheaper than the rest of the states. The connectivity in Assam has also improved. If this continues in the long run, we are on a speedy road to an inclusive and impactful cinema,” the singer added.

Talking about the Central government’s event at the film festival, Papon highlighted that ‘Assam – The Gateway to the North East’, is part of the joint initiative by the Indian Government and Assam State Government for encouraging international filmmakers to visit India to shoot their films and promote Indian cinema. “I have been talking to a lot of producers to understand what they require to make it more inviting for them to come and shoot in Assam,” he noted.

Apart from being a state representative, Papon also attended the event in France as a producer of two independent films. Papon’s films, which were showcased in the film festival, included ‘The Land of the Sacred Beats’ which revolves around the 550 years old traditional classical music of Assam, by Vaishnava Saint Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev and ‘The Mystical Brahmaputra – A Musical Story’ is a tribute to the Brahmaputra and the multicultural co-existence of the music, art and culture of the tribes and communities who have settled at the bank of the river.

Assam’s Government’s push to make regional cinema ‘global’

It is noteworthy, that Biswajeet Bora-directed Assamese movie, Boomba Ride was also part of the five films that were showcased at the Cannes film festival as part of the Indian contingent this year. Produced by Luit Kumar Barman, revolves around the life of a 9-year-old Boomba who wants to study in an English medium school but circumstances force him to study in a government school.

The Assam government decided to help the Boomba Ride director travel to Cannes. Being on the official list of select films to be featured in France, “the Government of India took care of a major part of the expenses with visa processing, holding seminars to promote regional cinema, booking the auditorium, lodging, etc,” informed the director of the film.

Another Assamese and Moran language film ‘Baghjan’ directed by Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia made its cut in the ‘Goes to Cannes’ section at the festival. Upon the selection, the state government decided that it will help the film in its post-production.

Assam minister of cultural affairs Bimal Borah congratulated the filmmaker on Twitter, when he wrote “This year, two movies from Assam will be screened and pitched in two different sections organized alongside Cannes Film Festival. We congratulate both the directors. I would like to inform you that we are extending support by providing travel expenditure of Biswajit Bora along with another person related to the film while the Government of India is facilitating their accommodation.”

Baghjan’s filmmaker Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia thanked the government for its gesture saying, “I’m thankful to Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and cultural affairs minister Bimal Borah and the Assam government for their interest in completing my film. I’m also thankful to the people and the media for the unconditional love and support.” He also expressed his hope that in the days to come Assamese films will see better days.

With a boost to the cultural representation of Assam on a global level and support from the local government, Assamese Cinema hopes to revive its glory in the coming days.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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