Cinema reflects our own life and the social structure of a region says Himjyoti, the film enthusiast who attended various film festivals as a student, was inspired to don the director’s hat. The result was ‘Calendar‘, the Assamese Feature film which swept Prag Cine Awards, bagging in 7 Awards.
Himjyoti Talukdar’s Calendar is made under the banner of Enajori talkies. The film stars some of the veterans of the Assamese industry like Malaya Goswami, and Arun Nath. Calendar marks the directorial debut of Himjyoti.
The young director is a self learned filmmaker. A film enthusiastic who after his MBA degree from Delhi went back to his native place in Assam and decided to make his debut film. After watching endless filmmaking videos and tutorials Himjoyoti made a successful film with a meagre budget of INR 10 lakhs. Himjytoi’s Calendar is one of the best Assamese film this year.
About your movie ‘Calendar’
It’s a story about an old age couple, a typical middle-class family, a relationship between the parents and their son. It contains different kinds of emotions and is based on slices of everyone’s life. I wanted to make a story about an old age couple and the loneliness that they face at that age. Their children are in different cities, and how they react to that loneliness. The idea was there from before, so I made a story based on that.
The significance of the title
The calendar plays an important part in the film and signifies how time changes for us through the ages. The whole film is calendar centric, on the year 2017 and how time flies and changes things around us. That’s the reason for the title. It’s apt from the marketing aspect as well.
Obstacles while making the film
‘Calendar’ is my debut feature film. I faced a lot of problems as this is one of the lowest budget Assamese movies. The budget was only Rs 10 lakhs, so we used the minimum equipment required. After the film released on 16th February 2018, the response from the audience was huge. It ran for 4 weeks and even runs outside Assam. The obstacles to making the film go away when you face success.
Film distribution in North East
The film business is difficult in Assam. We barely have 40 theatres in running conditions in Assam. So we definitely need more cinema halls. There has to be a government policy on filmmaking so that the producers can benefit. I think everyone should come forward to solve this problem.
Promotion of ‘Calendar’
90 per cent of promotion for the film was done through social media. We could only manage 1 lakh in order to promote the film for an entire year. We did not have hoardings due to the low budget. Filmmakers should use alternative methods of promotion when they are on a tight budget.
Virtues of Film Festivals
It helps to form a film community. Then we can be in a good position to market the film. That would be beneficial for us filmmakers.
The tangent of Assamese films
From a commercial point of view, Assamese films are not doing well. Independent filmmakers like Rima Das is a pathfinder for us. Her films are received well globally and they are doing good business as well. It’s encouraging for us. We can learn a lot from the ‘Village Rockstar’ concept.
Pros of regional movies
They explore a lot of themes which mainstream movies don’t. For me, I am aware of what is happening in the region of Assam, from a socio-political or another perspective. Regional films explore different and unique themes, which brings in a new flavour to the film as well.
‘Calendar’ is a success story for me. I’m working on a second story, which I may complete in the next two years. So, let’s see.
What does cinema mean to you?
Cinema reflects our own life and the social structure of a region. Movies help us to represent these stories on the silver screen and bring them to the audience.
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