Film on Assam under new tourism policy

Jahnu Barua during the news conference in Guwahati on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos

Guwahati: The Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC), under its new policy, will provide financial assistance to a film, Unread Pages, by director Jahnu Barua. It will be produced jointly by Hollywood-based Ivanhoe Pictures and Mumbai-based Easterly Entertainment.

The first film under the state tourism policy will also see the first official announcement of an India-US co-production of a story from Assam for an international audience. It will also be Barua’s first international film.

Talking to this correspondent on Saturday, Barua said: “The film will be shot at a few locations of Upper Assam and in some locations in North America. It will be both in Assamese and English. Thirty per cent of the film will be made in Assamese. Its main aim is to give exposure to the scenic beauty of the state on an international platform.”

“The film is about a happy family that is torn apart because of some unfortunate incidents. Following those traumatising events and having been separated from his land and culture, the protagonist returns to Assam to redeem himself. The cast will be from Assam and international cinema,” a statement said.

Chairman of the ATDC Jayanta Malla Baruah said: “It will be the very first film to be made under the recently announced Assam Film Tourism Policy which came into effect on January 1. Implemented by ATDC, this policy will attract film projects and production units to Assam, thereby exposing the land, culture, people and beauty of the state to the world through cinema. It will lead to a greater interest in Assam among tourists, including foreign travellers.”

“The tourism policy has been designed on the lines of those implemented in the European countries, combining the potential of cinema with tourism, for increased tourism activities and inflow,” Malla Baruah said. Shooting will start very soon, though Barua did not say anything about its probable time of release. The ATDC will reimburse a maximum amount of Rs 1 crore of the film’s total expense, depending on fulfilment of various criteria of the policy.