Making of ‘AEI MAATITE’over Directed by Sitanath Lahkar
Angeekar Films is happy to inform the movie lovers that its first Assamese feature film AEI MAATITE received clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) without any cut or modification and is ready to hit the screen soon.
AEI MAATITE is directed by independent filmmaker and eminent theatre personality Dr Sitanath Lahkar and it is an adaptation of his famous stage play TAMASAA on the burning problem of witch hunting. The Story, Screenplay, Dialogues and Lyrics have also been penned by Dr Lahkar, retired Principal of Cotton College. This is his first feature film.
Commenting on the development, Dr Lahkar said: “It was very nice to see the Censor Board’s reaction to the film during screening for its committee members. Their response was overwhelming. They truly appreciated the effort in making a film on such an important problem of the society.”
After reviewing the film for certification, the Censor Board members lauded the making of the film as well, saying it would surely attract movie lovers, he added.
Angeekar Films feels it privileged to be associated with a host of towering personalities of Indian Cinema during making of AEI MAATITE, especially in the post-production stage. The list of crew members includes the likes of Alok De, two-times winner of the National Award for Best Sound Mixing, who supervised the sound editing of AEI MAATITE. The winner of the prestigious Award, once for the iconic film Gangs of Wasseypur, was also associated with some of the biggest films of Bollywood like Teen, NH-10, Neerja, Wazir, Kahaani, Jab We Met, Koi… Mil Gaya, Apaharan, Mr. And Mrs. Iyer, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, Border and many more.
AEI MAATITE’s sound is designed and mixed by Devabrot Chaliha. He was assisted by Bulganin Baruah. For over two months, the duo did intensive research and added attractive sound flavours to the film. The entire sound design and re-recording mixing were done in Mumbai.
A veteran in Bollywood and known for National Award winning film Fandry, DI Colourist Sujit Borah was responsible for AEI MAATITE’s overall visual treatment. He has put in extra effort to create a special colour tone for the film.
The audiography of the film has been done by Bijoy Kumar Nath, who worked with many award winning Assamese films.
AEI MAATITE has been edited by Dr A Nagraj, an Assistant Professor of English and Foreign Languages University. Hailing from Hyderabad, Dr Nagraj has edited many films over a long span of his association with the cinema industry.
After completion of the video editing, the visual effects were done by Abhijit Handique. The posters of the film have been designed by Sourav Paban Dutta, while the title was designed by Kiron Sankar.
The shooting of AEI MAATITE was done in five locations – Jaipur village in Rani, Guwahati, Dimoria, Tezpur and Panikhaiti. The major part of the film was shot at Jaipur, where the unit received overwhelming help and support from the villagers.
Kamrup District Administration, Assam Police, Fire Services Department, Tezpur University, Dimoria College and Cotton College provided crucial support in making of the film.
The ‘action-drama’ film has some very critical scenes, shooting of which were done with utmost care and precision. Such type of rustic action scenes are hardly seen in Assamese films. The film cinematically showcases some of the inhuman killings in the name of witch hunting. The entire shooting unit worked tirelessly to get those sequences done, which, it is hoped, will surely mesmerise the movie lovers.
AEI MAATITE is a full-length Assamese feature film on the burning issue of witch hunting. Witch hunting or witchcraft is a serious social menace riding on superstition, coupled with greed for wealth and personal grudge of certain criminal gangs. It is prevalent in many states like Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Thousands of innocent people have lost their lives due to this evil practice, where villagers took part en-mass under the influence of superstition. AEI MAATITE has a very strong message against witchcraft, upholding the value of scientific temperament and human life.
The film AEI MAATITE mainly talks about the witch hunting problem in Assam and how a section of people are using witchcraft for their own interest. Witchcraft has no reason at all and is shrouded with darkness of superstition, which is to be overcome by the society – this is the say of the film.
Dr Lahkar himself essayed a pivotal role in AEI MAATITE. The lead male character is portrayed by Rupam Chetia. The lead female role of the film is played by newcomer Monisha Goswami, while Khwrwmdao Narzary acted in the lead negative role in his first Assamese film. Other prominent senior actors and actresses in the film are Anil Das, Chetana Das, Bimal Jyoti Choudhury, Dr Rajeev Doley and Lalit Sarma. Also, Rajib Kro, Meena Ingti, Jina Rajkumari, Sasanka Samir, Dilip Phukan, Smita Lahkar, Bhupesh Sharma, Satyajit Gogoi, Trideep Lahkar, Raj Kumar Roy, Kumar Jyoti Sarma, Rajib Bayan, Manabendra Bhattacharya, Thomas Tumung, Utpal Das, Kamal Lochan Deka, Reena Teron, Dr Bijoya Goswami, Rajdeep Rahang, Tapashya Barua, Nayan Prasad, Kritima Das, Abani Sutradhar, Kiron Sankar, Debashis Saikia, Biju Buragohain, Abhinav Hazarika, Jubeel Kashyap, Deepak Malakar, Rupeswari Rahang, Apurba Malakar, Aman Rahang, Nabajyoti Das, Tarun Oja, Anuja Singha, Nitul Kumar Medhi, Garga Barman, Dhan Bishaya, Dhruba Jyoti Sarma, Achyut Malakar, Rituparna Saikia, Tehruddin Ahmed, Bhudhar Barman, Layanu Das, Rubee Das, Bhaskar Sharma, Chitra Barma, Anil Haloi, Surajit Nath, Binod Saikia, Tilottama Sharma, SBL Boro, Rita Devi and Sabdi Bharadwaj acted in some important roles.
A few other important characters of the film are enacted by former Tezpur University Pro-VC and well-known lyricist-poet Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury, former Inspector General of Police S P Kar and Thengal-Kachari Autonomous Council former CEM Kumud Kachari. AASU leader Lurinjyoti Gogoi, ABSU leader Pramod Boro, SFI leader Nirangkush Nath and Satra Mukti leader Bittu Sonowal are also in the film in their real names and roles. In total, the film has over 100 characters and most of them are played by newcomers.
The Assistant Directors of AEI MAATITE are Anupam Baishya, Trideep Lahkar, Raj Kumar Roy and Dipjyoti Deka. Music Direction is by Bibhuranjan Choudhury, while Art Director is Golok Saha. The film’s songs were Choreographed by Smita Lahkar. The Director of Cinematography is Pradip Daimary and Make-Up is by Aku Bothra. Still Photography is by Shelly Das. Manoj Mishra was the Production Manager during the shooting of the film.