Tuesday, May 28, 2024

A Conversation with Ghanashyam Kalita – Film Colourist and Assistant Director

Robin Bhuyan (Editor)

Making a film is not an easy process. When a film is released, it is usually the director and the producers who receive most of the credit. However, there are many people involved in the filmmaking process, who don’t receive the due credit they deserve. In Assamese cinema, one such figure is Ghanashyam Kalita, who had worked as the Chief Assistant Director as well as Colourist in the recently released film Anur. Let us have a chat with Mr Kalita, regarding his experience in the film industry, and his views regarding cinema as a whole.

EH: How did you get influenced into the world of filmmaking?
GK: While I was studying HS, I began reading the Competition Success magazine. I began reading interviews of IAS toppers. When I read their interviews, I realized that many of these successful people had also a wish to pursue filmmaking as an alternate career. Thus, I decided that I would enter the world of filmmaking myself, and pursue a career.

EH: So how did your filmmaking career begin?
GK: I finished my graduation in Goalpara college. After some time, I began doing various kinds of odd jobs to support myself. Soon, I heard about Phatik Baruah, who was art director of the film Gun Gun Gane Gane, directed by Vidyut Chakravarty. As I already had an interest in filmmaking, I made up my mind to take up filmmaking as a career. However, I could not enrol because there was an age limit.

EH: So how did you decide to continue?
GK: I began looking for opportunities to work in a film set. I eventually began working as a set boy, and it took me several years to eventually begin working as an assistant director. During these days, I had worked in several movies such as Tyag, Jibon Nodir Duti Par, Prem Geet and Junak Bihin Jivan.

EH: So how was your career as an assistant director?
GK: Initially, I began working as an assistant director in TV serials. Some of the films that I had worked in include Manju Borah’s Joymoti, Jahnu Baruah’s Ajeyo and Bhoga Khiriki, Manjul Baruah’s Antareen, Kaneen and Anur and Dilip Toley’s Anurwad, where I had worked as an associate director, editor and colourist.

EH: Have you ever worked in any Bollywood movies?
GK: I had worked in a Bollywood movie named Butterfly Chase, starring Yashpal Sharma and Gauri Karnik. It was directed by Jahnu Baruah, but the film remained unreleased.

EH: You have worked under various directors. By whom have you been influenced the most?
GK: Director Ranjit Das can be considered my Guru. Jahnu Baruah is another person who has influenced me hugely. I consider him an entire institute by himself.

EH: Do you think that Assamese cinema can ever reach international level of success?
GK: Yes, the film Village Rockstars directed by Rima Das, proved that we can reach international success. Ameesh directed by Bhaskar Hazarika had also earned international acclaim.

EH: Why do you think that Assamese cinema is lacking in films of various genres, such as horror, science fiction, etc?
GK: Such films require a lot of investment. Investors are scared to invest because our industry is not that big, but if someone can prove that such films can become a success, then we can get sufficient funding.

EH: You have been active in the industry for a very long time. Do you think that you have not received as much popularity as you deserve?
GK: I prefer to focus on my duties as a colourist, and I don’t really care much for popularity. I want people to be influenced by my work, and not by me.

EH: What changes do you think are required in the Assamese as well as Indian film industry as a whole?
GK: Films should be based on reality. They need to remind us of our duties as well as our responsibilities. They should not be made only for entertainment. If filmmakers keep this in mind, then we can definitely bring a positive change to society through cinema.

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