Tete-e-Tete With Assam’s First Superhero Creator

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By Adnan Ashraf

The VFX team is from Assam. Assam has enough talents: Arindam Sharma

Have you ever thought how it would be like if a movie based on a superhero with Assamese roots ever hits the silver screen? Or have ever wondered how it would look like watching fight scenes between a superhero and a super villain on the Guwahati skies?

If you ever thought about it then ‘Advitya’ is here for you! The first Assamese superhero movie, directed by debutant Arindam Sharma, will be releasing on 2020. However, the teaser released on YouTube is already getting positive responses and the director has been lauded for this initiative.

Sharma’s debut movie is a sci-fi superhero film instead of a common love story, only because he wants the Assamese audience to experience something new. The film stars Chiranjib Dutta in the lead along with eminent actor Nipon Goswami, Ajay Barman, Bikash Borah, Gitashree Borah and Niha Rani Das.

VFX and superhero movies go hand in hand and you will be amazed to know that the entire VFX team of the film is from Assam.

“Assam has enough talents,” says the director, adding, “I am happy that my entire VFX team is from Assam.”

Produced by Brojen Sharma under Krrishnakraft Productions, ‘Advitya’ is the first sci-fi superhero Assamese film.

Director Arindam Sharma

About the director: Arindam Sharma is an Assamese filmmaker based in Jorhat. He pursued filmmaking course from Mumbai. He has three short films in his kitty and ‘Advitya’ is his first feature film.

In an exclusive interview with Pratidin Time, the director speaks at length about the movie and beyond.

  • Why do you prefer a superhero movie?

Initially, I wrote a love story film. Then I actually felt there’s nothing new about it. Already so many love story films are there. I thought of a sci-fi superhero film because there was never a superhero film ever made in Assamese Cinema. It’ll be something very fresh for the people of Assam.

  • Why would anybody want to watch Advitya?

I believe, people will watch Advitya, because firstly this film has a very good script. There is love-romance, lots of emotions, actions of type never seen before in Assamese Cinema, high addition of VFX. Apart from that, all the actors have done a really great job. Indeed their performance is superb. Advitya is a complete package of what audiences want. That is entertainment! Also, there is a very good message in the film.

  • What do you expect about the collection? Will it be able to earn a profit?

Collections, I can’t say anything as of now. But I believe it will surely be a super hit if God wants, then maybe definitely a blockbuster.

  • Tell us about the VFX that you have used in the film. Where is your VFX team from?

I can only say that it is something much more than I ever thought could possibly happen in Assam. I am really happy to see such VFX and the team member’s efforts. For the first time in the history of Assamese Film Industry, this much VFX is used in a film. I am so happy that I am doing all the VFX stuffs in Assam only. The VFX team is from Assam. Assam has enough talents.

Advitya Teaser
  • What are the challenges that you have faced while using VFX in the movie?

I remember the moment when I got really excited while I was writing the script. The fact was really fantastic to feel that my film will be having this and that scenes. But, when I was supposed to shoot those sequences, I was like what’s happening and how will I do these things. I got blank for a couple of days. Things got messed in my mind. It’s not just like putting a chroma setup and just shoot. It’s actually more than that. So I called my VFX team to Jorhat. We have discussed the scenes, believe me, these guys are ultra smart. And after discussions for some days, I have also got to know about some of the technicalities and we began. It is really exciting to shoot in chroma, also its fun. Because behind the actors only there is either a green screen or a blue screen. We need to imagine so many things. So it all happened in that way. Some of the VFX shots are yet to be shot. We are going to finish this soon.

  • Do you think that Assamese movies will be able to cross the benchmark set by ‘Bahubali’ in terms of VFX?

Well, being optimistic is a good sign and we should be optimistic in our lives. Talking about Bahubali, it had a budget of hundreds of crores of rupees, while in Assam, film productions cost in lakhs only. See, the main thing is the money factor only, if someone invests 300-400 Crore in an Assamese film, then for surely, it will become a Hollywood standard film even. But who will do that? We don’t have that much market reach for Assamese Cinema as of now, nor do we have someone to invest such a huge amount. But yes, Rome was not built in a day. So, we should keep doing good works, we should keep producing good movies, then definitely a day will come when our Jollywood will become one of the strongest film industries in terms of business, VFX, actions etc. etc. And I want that day to come as soon as possible.

  • Can you tell us about your process of filmmaking? How do you develop a storyline?

In 2017, I got an idea to make an Assamese superhero film. But as soon as I told about this concept to some of the people, they said “Son this is not possible in Assam”. I took that thing very otherwise actually. If Hollywood can produce superhero film, if Bollywood can, if South Indian Films can, then why not Assam? So after Advitya’s screenplay got completed, I got my actors and I suddenly started the shooting, without thinking anything about the budget factor or any other technical difficulties that could come in my journey. I never had an initial set budget for this film. I knew only one thing, and it is that I will finish this film at any cost, anyhow. And it’s actually happening. Although it is not a very good idea to not set a budget while planning for a film. I recommend no one to do this. I had the financial thing; that’s a different thing. But sometimes, you need to do some crazy stuff to make something different. Coming to how I develop a storyline, it’s really simple. Firstly I think of a genre. I think about what I want to present in the film. Once this thing is clear, slowly I start creating the required elements for the screenplay. Then build some relations among these elements or say characters. Put some incidents in the story or the screenplay. Put some emotions. Put some conflicts. Then get a solution. This way I do the things. But most importantly, I made sure one thing in Advitya’s story and the screenplay that, people will not get bored at all. Every happening in the film has been presented in a decent manner.

Actors Chiranjib Dutta and Niha Rani Das preparing their scripts
  • Expected release date?

The release date is yet to be finalised. But we are looking forward for an early 2020 release.

  • Can you tell us something about your earlier works or projects?

I made 3 short films earlier (One in 2016 in Assam and the rests are in Mumbai as my film projects during the Filmmaking course I did), Advitya is my first feature film.

  • What do you think about Assamese movies and its audience? Why do you think people aren’t willing to watch Assamese movies?

Since my father, Brojen Sarma is the producer of Advitya. So I am looking from the producers’ point of view. Although filmmaking is an art, it’s a business after all. Actually, I thought a lot about Assamese movies and their audiences. I can’t say why they reject so many films. Because I am technically or non technically not related to their rejected films. But there must be something which people did not like. Things are changed now. Some recently released Assamese movies also got its screening till the 4th week, while some could not survive its first week even. See there is a genre in every film, the screenplay and the presentation of the film should be purely based on that. Also, the makers should think of what the audiences are looking for. Assamese cinema had a good past. Now it’s time to make a better tomorrow. Answering to why people are not willing to watch Assamese movies, actually we should not use the term Assamese Cinema here, instead, we should rather call it some films made in Assamese language are rejected by the cine-goers that too very badly. In every industry it happens, lots of flop Bollywood films are there. We must not forget that in Assamese Film Industry, there are massive blockbusters too. For example Mission China. A film with a good story always works. Filmmaking although an art but is a serious business. You have to make your product really good to sell it in the market. Additionally, there is the film promotional thing comes. It is the responsibility of each and every single individual associated with the film to help the producers in marketing the film. From the actors to the spot boys’ everyone should show their support. Many a time, people do not even get to know about a film’s release which is a very bad thing. Thus I believe, in order to make a film successful at the box office, the makers should first have to have very good content or a story, and the film should have a decent presentation and requires a much promotions before its release.

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