An interview with the writer & director of Kothanodi – Bhaskar Hazarika
When the 63rd National Film Awards was held, when so many talented artists were on the edge of making it happen and where both big Bollywood blockbusters and regional films makers also winning laurels in their respective categories. Among the winners was our own Assam’s star pride Bhaskar Hazarika, whose directorial debut Kothanodi won the award for Best Assamese Feature Film. The filmmaker, who has shot many of his documentaries and short films, he talks about Bollywood dominating the National Awards, and crowdfunding as an option for independent filmmakers. He has so many things to share; he carries such a cool attitude and some great sense of humor, a great team leader.
Here is an exclusive interview with the man behind the making of dark ode folklore ‘Kothanodi‘ – Mr. Bhaskar Hazarika.
Hi Bhaskar, Creativica welcomes you.
So, Bhaskar first of all congratulations for Kothanodi, which got immense support from the audience since 2015, please share your experience.
Thank you and yes, it has been a very special journey for Kothanodi. The film was embraced by audience across the world as an odd and dark ode to folklore, and that was most satisfying.
Bhaskar, this was your debut film as a writer and director, how did you come up with the plot for Kothanodi?
The idea for Kothanodi rose from a short film I was planning on the folk story of Tejimola.
How did you put together the cast for the movie, as we understand that it must be a challenging part of your project.
Kopil Bora, who also starred in Kothanodi, deserves a big share of the credit for putting the cast together. An equally important role was played by Seema Biswas, who led the acting workshop prior to filming, and it elevated the performance of the cast.
Bhaskar, tracing back to your days in Delhi; we’d love to hear about your journey.
I started my journey in film after I graduated from college and commenced on my MA in Film and Drama. Over the years I have worked with the medium in various capacities.
What are your future projects? Do you have anything new up your sleeves for the audience?
I am working on many projects presently in my capacity as a writer and director. But I am most excited about my next Assamese film, for which we hope to start pre-production early this year.
What is the basic objective, in your opinion, when it comes to filmmaking?
No comments (laughs), you rather ask that question to some faculties of Jyotee Chitraa Baan.
We have come to know that you’ve been conducting talks before the official release of Kothanodi. How do you view those as promotional activities for a movie? Your opinion on this.
We realized that the youth of Assam had lost all interest in watching Assamese films in cinemas. We therefore directly engaged with students in colleges across Assam, where I and members of my cast told them why they should come and give Kothanodi a chance. Our outreach campaign was supported by NFDC, as well as all our local partners.
Bhaskar, will you please tell us the story behind the Elephant Apple?
There’s not much mystery to it. We poured Paataanjaali hair oil on an outenga and it started rolling.
Do you have any other plans excepting film making and directing?
I would like to do many things. Let us see if we have the time.
Kothanodi gave you many things, you have been traveling around for different movie festivals, and received hands of prestige like Rajat Kamal. What are your feelings after achieving so much of success?
You’re only as good as your last film. While I appreciate the applause and the plaudits and am thankful for it, I would like to put that behind me and work on delivering a good follow-up film.
So far as film writing is concerned, you have been a writer as well. Do you have any plans for literary works?
No, man no such idea, I am focusing on my upcoming movie that’s it. Can predict the future my friend (laughs).
So my last question, Bhaskar do you’ve any plan to try your hands on Bollywood as a director?
None at all.
Thank you Bhaskar for giving us your valuable time. We wish you all the best for your upcoming days.
Thank you. My pleasure.