I am near the Indo-Bhutan border in a village called Dimakuchi in the Udalguri district of Assam in Northeast India. There are hundreds of people around me and we are in a large field where temporary tents are pitched. Lightning flashes in the sky as people huddle together under a slight drizzle. The faces of the crowd are all turned to one direction, captivated by the spectacle of dance, song and entertainment on the makeshift stage as though they are under a spell. As the compere monotonously calls for the next performer in line for the Master of Dance competition, I wonder if this is the Bodo Film Festival I was invited to, and how I am supposed to make sense of it.
Author: Ankush Bhuyan
Ankush Bhuyan is presently pursuing a PhD in Cinema Studies from the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He has completed his Masters in Arts and Aesthetics and an MPhil in Cinema Studies from JNU. His MPhil dissertation was on Bodo digital films, music videos from Assam and its presence on social media. He was one of the recipients of the Social Media Research Grant for 2016 from The Sarai Programme, Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies (Sarai-CSDS), New Delhi. He has presented papers in national and international conferences previously at JNU, Sarai-CSDS, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, University of Oxford, etc. He also has pursued film appreciation courses and art appreciation courses at FTII, Pune, and at the National Museum, Delhi. His research interests are popular film forms, film history, music videos, social media, contemporary visual and performative art, to name a few.