Saturday, 26 December 2015

Moviemaker Jayaraj’s Tribute to the Assam Child


There was an article about a child in Assam taking the precious belongings of its family to safety using a bamboo-made raft and a bamboo stick. This snap was taken during the great Assam floods that ravaged the region. This had moved the minds of people across the country, forcing the Mollywood director Jayaraj to take cognizance of this event and make a film on it to highlight the plights of the flood-ravaged people in our country. Incidentally, the film Ottaal became a huge hit among the audience despite the fact that it had no element of a commercial movie. The Mollywood director dedicated the film to his mother and the child on whom it was based. Moreover, the actor was moved by the courage and dedication shown by the child in the face of the calamity, which is so much lacking in the present-day kids.

assamese child

Malayalam Film Industry

The Malayalam film industry, often called as Mollywood, has seen the emergence of flicks of high value in the past. This is mainly due to the presence of movie directors who think differently. They look for events in the society that are closely watched. Whenever the filmmakers come across one such event, they embark on film making. Moreover, these flicks are made using the shoestring budget. Most often these flicks have either second-rung artists or fresh faces enacting different roles. Despite these constraints, they garner required support from among the audience in good numbers. This happens because the filmmakers are able to find out the true stories that affect the society most. In contrast, directors from other language film industries across the country go by what sells the most in the Box Office.

mollywiood films

Malayalam Film Ottaal

This Malayalam flick is based on the life of an Assamese child Ashidul who dared the odds to safely move the most precious possessions of his family – three Goats – to safety using a locally assembled raft. This dare-devil oaring of the raft across the swollen Brahmaputra River was photographed by an Assamese photographer Ritu Raj Konwar working with the Hindu as a local correspondent. Based on this photograph, an article was written and published a few months ago this year (2015). The boy soon became the embodiment of suffering of the flood victims in the state of Assam. The movie director Jayaraj happened to read this article and see the photograph. He was so moved by the commitment and dare-devil attitude of the child that he decided to make a flick on the commendable deed of the child. The film went on to bag the Golden Peacock for the best environmental film and another award for the best adaptive screenplay in the recently concluded International Film Festival of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram. Before this, this film was screened in other film festivals and received critical appreciations from both the movie lovers and critics alike.

director jayaraj

Film Director’s Gesture

The Assamese child’s dedication to the family, resourcefulness and courage inspired the director Jayaraj to script a movie on him. Moreover, the ace director wanted to highlight the environmental impact the flooding brings through this flick. He also looks at the causes that led to the flooding of the river. The success he got by portraying the plight of the child forced him to think of some ways to reward the child for its exemplary courage and dedication. Hence, he contacted the photographer who took the snap of the child to find its roots. The child Ashidul is from a small village Kuchiani of Morigaon district of Assam. With the local help, the director took pains to travel to this small village to see the child in person and hand over a token amount and the picture frame of the child oaring through the swollen Brahmaputra River. Moreover, the filmmaker has offered to take care of the education of the child as long as he remains in the academic field. Through a Non-governmental Organization (NGO) based in Assam, he has also decided to support the whole village by mobilizing the corpus. The director has shown what the social responsibility is. After reading this story, please feel free to support the deserving people.

 assamese child ashudul
Thuruvananthapuram Morigaon, Assam 782105, India