Career Counseling Session on Film Making-Responses by Panelist

July 2, 2020 Leave a comment

Response by Monita Borgohain

1. Why there are not many specific institutes in-country for filmmaking? As on the output end, there are huge things regarding workforce and money (there are many industrial production companies, distribution market, etc I.e many institutes at output end) but at the input level, only a few good institutions working? Or is it not really so?

This is an important question, but I have a completely different understanding and observation of the premise on which the question is based.

Getting an opportunity to head a premier institution on film art in this region, I have seen that there are so many private institutions offering courses in camera-, editing, sound recording, acting etc. etc….but there is a huge crisis of workforce and quality persons who can deliver a product having an International standard (both technically and aesthetically) or a product that would be considered as a classic in the coming years…only the premier Govt aided Institutions like FTII, SRFTI can be credited to achieve this and fortunately our institute DBHRGFTI is also slowly making it’s presence in the natonal and International scenario.

I think film education has a complex structure as it is a peculiar blend of technology and aesthetics. It is very hard to explain what goes into the design of the syllabus for such a course, but let me say that a syllabus in an Institute like FTII, SRFTI or DBHRGFTI is designed in such a way that apart from having a profound knowledge of the technical side of the subject a student can have the deepest understanding of the aesthetics of film in general and art as a whole.

During his journey as a student, the institute provides him the perfect atmosphere to flourish as an artist. This, I think, is a very delicate and complex process and you need a huge infra to make this happen. When I say ‘huge’ I am measuring my word… You need a mechanism that will make sure the availability of the latest state of the art technology to the students and teacher, you need people having a profound understanding of art, aesthetics and above all life- who will bear the responsibilities of constantly growing in his area of technology and aesthetics like a University Professor would do…so that he can attain the responsibilities and capacities of nurturing future artists.

If you do not get your education from an Institute having the above features you end up learning only the technicalities of the trade or the software. But the software changes rapidly in this trade. Equipment becomes obsolete every six months to one year and you have a new set of machinery. What is the use of learning software which itself has a life span of only six months … think how far this Short term course will Stay you in your career path.

So, I think that is why only the institutions like FTII, SRFTI or DBHRGFTI makes us feel their presence. They are visible in this way … otherwise we have numerous courses everywhere in the country offering courses in the areas of film making…We donot see them because we donot see their products…

2. What changes can we expect to the world of filmmaking in the next decade

As all the answers will be based on speculations We can go on giving endless possibilities…but the first thing I would like to see is the solution to this COVID19 issue. Depending on that we will see numerous changes.

OTT platforms will emerge as major players.

Special effects and post production will have a major role to play.

Film festivals and film societies will have to play a sensible role in propagating the film culture to the remotest areas.

Local stories will gain more appeal as compared to Hollywood gimmicks like Marvel Series, etc.

3.Is there any kind of scholarships to study theatre and filmmaking or any subject related to filmmaking?

Every institute has different scholarship criteria and I think it is better to approach the Institute directly. Moreover apart from the scholarships offered by the institutions’ students can always avail of the general scholarships offered by the Government to the special category students… Institute provides all the help while applying for them.

4. Is there any internship opportunity in film making in Assam?

Even after finishing a course from an Institute students prefer to assist a senior person to learn the tricks of the trade on the field, which is termed as ‘assisting’. Even while in the Institute junior students assist their senior in projects.

In the literary sense of the words Apprenticeship, Jyoti Chitrban offers it to a limited number of students every year. Students of Made Media can also approach private channels for doing Apprenticeship in electronic media courses.

5. Can a revival of Film societies be a pathway for educating an audience of our film heritage for positive and better reception? Are there any more possibilities?

Film societies play a significant role in creating a healthy film culture in any society. Anybody who knows the history of film in India knows very well the role played by the film society movement in India in creating a healthy atmosphere for the Indian new wave in the 50s. This is the period when classics like Pather Pachali was created. Pure cinema is not something which you see by paying a fee for the ticket, enjoy the excitement for 2 hours and forget everything as you come out of the theatre. This is something which you see, you discuss it, argue, agree or disagree with it and expect that at the end of the day this will have a profound impact on people, film societies can create an atmosphere to make these things happen.

6. Is there any guild or association in Assam especially for the screenwriters?

In my knowledge at present, there are no such guilds for screenwriters in Assam. But it’s a good idea and somebody should start it.

Response by Utpal Borpujari

1. Why ‘film’ if that can be done by poems, paintings, music? Keeping the fact that nowadays the factor of ‘reach’ (not ‘influence’ because the influence is somewhat more subjective) has been almost same for all medium of expression due to the digital world.

Answer: What film can do to a person’s audio-visual senses, cannot be done by poems, paintings or music. Cinema is universally accepted as the most-powerful modern art form that has the ability to take the best of every other art form and take it to another level. On the other hand, each of the creative forms mentioned are limited within their own scope despite having their respective unique strengths. It’s highly subjective which art form a person may like or dislike, but the way cinema can appeal to the sensory system, in my opinion, no other medium can. For example, a poem may evoke a certain image within the reader’s mind (as does a story or a novel), but that image will be unique to each reader. Similarly, a painting will evoke certain imageries, but visually, while music will do the same aurally, but not visually. Cinema has the capability to combine all of this and much more – it uses elements of literature (dialogue/spoken word), music (background score), art (the set, the properties in the set) along with the visual (through the eye of the camera) to create a multi-sensory world for the viewer. I can, as a lay person, read a Japanese poem or a story, see a painting or listen to music, but none of them can present me with a complete picture of Japan as cinema can, in my humble view. Having said that, I feel no art form can is replaceable by another and each has its special place in a civilised society.

2. What is your suggestion for people who want to become a film critic?

Answer: Film criticism has several aspects – from a serious reading of a film from all its socio-political, cultural and literary viewpoints to a much lighter weekly review kind of criticism. However, to be a good film critic of academic or popular kind, one needs to learn how to “view” cinema from creative, technical, social, political, cultural and even anthropological angles. The best way to start is to watch as many films (classics or otherwise) from the world over as possible, and read various critiques that have been written on them. That helps a aspiring critic immensely, as it opens the eye towards how to observe various aspects of a film. Reading books/articles written by famous film critics (and also reading the many online resources on film criticism that are widely available) always help in widening one’s knowledge base. One can also watch lectures/online workshops, etc., by critics, filmmakers, academics, etc. It’s a continuous learning process.

3. If I have a good script, can I approach you?

Answer: Definitely.

4. Sir all your movies are based on themes? Did you mix fiction with themes? How rigorous is the research for theme-based films? What would you like to say to persons aspiring to make films.

Answer: I don’t clearly understand the question. I think by “theme” the question means to say “real-life incidents” or real backdrops. From that viewpoint, let me try to answer. While documentary films need to be based on real life because of the very nature of the genre, my only fiction film till now – Ishu – is based on the ‘witch hunting’ problem of Assam. When one creates a fiction film out of a real backdrop, obviously there will be incorporation of fictional elements to create drama. But I believe a filmmaker has the responsibility to not dilute the backdrop when it’s based on reality. Every filmmaker has her of his own style on how to do that. However, whatever is the style of presentation, detailed research and correct representation of the backdrop (while incorporating fictional elements to create drama) remain very important aspects always.

Response by Utpal Datta

1. What is the thing with the process of submitting a script to Film Bazaar, Sundance, and other platforms?

It is so simple. First complete your screenplay (don’t say script, script is common, screenplay is the cinematic term). Keep on on eye on those organisation’s sites and follow the step they instruct.

Along with the screenplay, you can prepare the followings also ( required for some organisations at the time of initial submission ), Title – English translation, (Explanatory note of the title) One line synopsis, Short synopsis, one page (A4) Synopsis,    

2. If I have a good script, can I approach you?

Before sending the script (screenplay) let me know the plot only and write a note why your screenplay is good , don’t let me know the title also if not registered. Now, please don’t ask me where to register- do some homework. We will work together if your screenplay excites me to work with your screenplay.

3. Difference Between director and producer? What are the essential qualities required to be a Film Director?

Producer plans and coordinates various aspects of film production, such as selecting the screenplay; coordinating writing, directing, and editing; and arranging finance.

Director directs the film- completes the film shouldering all creative responsibilities.

4. What are the basic requisites to be an independent filmmaker?

  1. Creative urge
  2. Knowledge of film making
  3. Capacity to mobilize fund
  4. Ability to manage human resources
  5. Good Public relation work
  6. Understanding of society and human values.

5. Main tools for film making? How stories are shaping film making structure?

Brain, Intelligence, IQ, General knowledge, sensitivity and knowledge of classic literature and of course good knowledge of FILM MAKING.

6. Because in Assam films have low budget films, how is it possible for people like us who want to be a part of the process and to learn from it to be a part of it?

You want to be associated with film – there are several ways –

  1. Go to film school and learn film making
  2. Work as an assistant with senior professional
  3. Produce yourself

7. How is it possible to be a part of your team for example?

Send me your bio-data with detailed mark sheets of all examinations you appeared. And send me a list – 1. Books you read, 2. Films you watched, 3. music you listened. No previous experience is needed to work with me.

Response by Bidyut Kotoky

1.      If I have a good script, can I approach you?

At the moment, am working with the existing script bank. Not looking for new scripts.

2. Film director…Is it a job?

It is much more than a job… a passion, to put it mildly.

3. Are creative careers always insecure?.

About the insecurity bit, yes – it doesn’t have a guaranteed pay check in the 1st of the month. But it is rewarding in many other ways… and I don’t mean in the materialistic sense.

4. What are the basics you start off, once you plan film making?

I personally think you really have to be excited with the story you want to tell. If one is not convinced /excited with the story one is planning to narrate, it will be impossible to get the viewers excited with the same.

End of Responses----------------------------------------------------------------

Our next session is on “Writing as a Career”. You can register for the session here:

DUs simplified admission procedure

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Blog contributed by Anshuman Dutta

This year, Delhi University (DU) is all set to simplify the admission process. In fact, some of these changes can turn out to be a breather for students who are aspiring to be part of the university.

To start with, the university has decided to announce their first cut-off list for undergraduate admissions on June 15, which is exactly one week before it came out last year. The next four cut-off lists will be released on June 21, June 27, July 2 and July 8 respectively. With an extra week in hand, aspiring candidates will get more time to choose a college or course of their preference.

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized


February 10, 2011 Leave a comment

We have decided to pack our blog off from here and host it at our own domain. The new URL is:

See you there!!!

Categories: Uncategorized

Articles voicing the Big Dam controversy in North East invited

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Here is a message from Mrinal Talukdar, Nanda Talukdar Foundation (a known name in the field of research based on Assamese literature), Guwahati, to the FASS mailer group that Xomidhan’s Counsellor community might find useful and want to contribute to.Sharing it for the benefit of our readers:

To document for posterity the raging debate over the Lower Subansiri Dam,  we are preparing a volume on the Big Dam controversy in North East.  We would like to accommodate at least two to three articles supporting the big dams.
Language and style are not barrier as our editorial team will take care of the same. But it should be supported with solid arguments. Please send the same by November 15th.
We would like to clarify again that we are lot looking articles opposing dams. There are plenty and all the big guns of Assam are anyway writing on that line for us. We want from these groups, specially the technocrats living away from Assam and who have expressed their sentiments in group mails, to write a long article(1500-2000) words backed by solid arguments.
We would love to hear and record their arguments for posterity. This is a golden opportunity and feel free express your opinion and send the write up to my mail  along with a photograph of you and  60 words about yourself.

Categories: Information Tags:

Have you contributed to Friends yet?

October 24, 2010 Leave a comment

For a magazine that connects the residents of the North East India with its non-residential cousins, I say, the name could not have been more apt! Published by FASS and sponsored by Assam Foundation of North America (AFNA), Friends is a yearly English magazine that is published out of Assam but has a readership across the globe. And if I may, Friends is much awaited amongst the “friends of Assam and the North East” fraternity and that includes yours truly. More so, because Xomidhan has been closely associated with its editorial.   

Friends is ready to roll its next issue and while you are most welcome to contribute inspirational articles, the reason why I bring up Friends today is…this time the magazine plans to showcase few passionate people who want to contribute meaningfully to North East India. And we could think no further than Xomidhan’s gargantuan pool of 100+ counsellors who have continuously proved their alliance to ‘the cause’ by going to great lengths to answer the student queries.

Hereby, I request every Counsellor of Xomidhan to avail this great opportunity and share the following details from your bio data:

1. Your name; place of origin; educational qualification

2. Current place of work and designation; area of expertise

3. Current responsibilities and achievements

4. Turning points in your life

5. Your message to the students and youths of North East

6. Interesting incidents / projects related to your work or education

On behalf of Friends, we would request you to send in your responses by the end of October or earlier to (Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman, a PhD student of JNU is assisting in editing) with a CC to

To know more about Friends, the kind of articles you can write for them, please click here.

Categories: Promotions Tags: , , ,

Charles Wallace Scholarship for Indian nationals

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

British Council announces the applications for the Charles Wallace Scholarship.

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized

Xobdo’s Essay Competition for students

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

‘শব্দ’-ৰচনা প্ৰতিযোগিতা-১

অন্তিম তাৰিখ: ৩০-নবেম্বৰ, ২০১০ চন৷

ভাষা: কেৱল অসমীয়া

  • শ্ৰেণী: পঞ্চম-মানলৈকে

বিষয়: কম্পিউটাৰ আৰু মই

শব্দ সংখ্যা: ১০০-১৫০

  • শ্ৰেণী: ষষ্ঠমানৰ পৰা দশম-মানলৈকে

বিষয়: ২০৫০চনৰ অসম

শব্দ সংখ্যা: ১০০০-১৫০০ শব্দ

  • শ্ৰেণী: একাদশ মানৰ পৰা স্নাতক মহলালৈকে৷

বিষয়: আমাৰ সমাজত তথ্য প্ৰযুক্তিৰ প্ৰভাৱ৷

শব্দ সংখ্যা: ২০০০-২৫০০ শব্দ

ৰচনাসমূহ স্পষ্টকৈ, প্ৰতিশাৰীৰ মাজত অন্ততঃ ১ চে.মি. ব্যৱধান ৰাখি

১) পৰাপক্ষত অসমীয়া ইউনিকোডত (Unicode) লিখি, অথবা

২) হাতে লিখা পৃষ্ঠা স্কেন কৰি, অথবা

৩) ৰামধেনু, শ্ৰীলিপি আদিত লিখা পৃষ্ঠা স্কেন কৰি

ই-পত্ৰ যোগে,, লৈ অথবা তলৰ ঠিকনাত চিঠি হিচাপে পঠিয়ায় যেন-


ঘৰ নং ২০, অশোক পথ

বেলতলা, গুৱাহাটী-২৮



House No-20, Ashok Path

Beltola, Guwahati-28

Assam, India.

Here’s wishing all participants all the best!!!

Categories: Competition Tags: ,

Skill Development and Certification Programs by NECG

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Nasjonale Career Grooming Services and NE Career Guidance (offers end-to-end Career Management services like Career Guidance, Skill Enhancement and e-learning in India) is back with a host of Skill Development and Certification Programs.

As per their site, all Programs come with internationally recognized TUV Certifications, placement assistance and the following:

  • Career Profiling through Psychometric Test to help one choose right Career Path. 
  • Professional Resume Building Services assisting and empowering job-seekers to “Get That Dream Job”. To give you the competitive edge and stand out from the crowd with our sharp, unique, and value-driven Resume.

Please visit to know about the programs and duration. For other details, please call  Sweta Bordoloi – Head-Training and Development @  +91-9706205848 / +91-9954013602 for enrolment queries or mail: or

Disclaimer: This is only information sharing for the benefit of the student community and Xomidhan is NOT advertising or endorsing this or any such courses. 

Categories: Information

MIT’s Technology Review India edition invites Innovative Technology Solutions

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

MIT’s Technology Review India editio n invites Innovative Technology Solutions for The Grand Challenges for Technologists in India.

Massachusetts-Institute-TechnologyTechnology Review India edition has created a core list of technological challenges that India is grappling with in the July 2010 issue so that technologists have enough reason, passion, and single-minded focus in solving the problems. The objective is to generate useful new ideas that could have a widespread impact on India’s technological temper in general.


Paper Submission requirements:

Abstract submissions are to be sent to us before September 15, 2010. The
abstracts are to be submitted to the TRI Grand Challenge editor, Srinivas
Chandan (

For reading The Grand Challenges section and for further details on the criteria and paper evaluation process, please Download the PDF.