GUWAHATI: Assam’s Majuli’s celebrated Vaishnavaite monasteries and traditional mask-making heritage is set to enthral cinephiles at the upcoming Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival in Guwahati, on December 16.
Crafted by National Award-winning filmmaker Utpal Borpujari, Mask Art of Majuli, the 55-minute Assamese film, with English subtitles, delves into the fading tradition of mask-making in Assam.
The documentary was recently honoured with the Bronze Award in the best documentary category at the Northeast Film Festival in Mumbai in March.
Director Utpal Borpujari, known for his commitment to portraying Northeast’s diverse stories, said that the documentary details the essence of the mask art, an integral yet diminishing facet of Assamese culture, with spotlights on the efforts of two families at the Natun Chamaguri Xatra.
The film showcases the exceptional work of Hem Chandra Goswami, an award-winning mask-maker, and pays homage to the late Kosha Kanta Deva Goswami, another Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee master mask-maker.
Both families, connected through the Chamaguri Xatra established by Sankardeva’s son Chakrapani Aata, embody the rich legacy of Assamese mask art.
Produced by North East Regional Centre (NERC) and IGNCA, the documentary aims to contribute to the visibility of mask art beyond Assam’s borders.
It has also earned selections at esteemed film festivals, including the 29th Festival International Cinemas d’Asie in Vesoul, France, the 11th Chennai International Documentary and Short Film Festival, the 6th International Folklore Film Festival in Thrissur, and the 2nd Indie8 Documentary Film Festival in Shillong.
As Majuli continues to preserve its cultural tapestry, “Mask Art of Majuli” offers a poignant narrative, urging audiences to appreciate and safeguard the cultural treasures embedded in the art of mask-making in Assam.