Jnanada: Reflections of Light and Shade – a biographical documentary on veteran Assamese actor Jnanada Kakati, directed by Bobbeeta Sharma was screened at Anuradha Cineplex on March 19.
The screening was done in the presence of Jnanada Kakati and inaugurated by veteran actor Aroti Barua along with distinguished guest, actor Bina Goswami of ‘Srimoti Mahimamayee’ fame.
Jnanada Kakati spoke about her foray into films as an unplanned step and that it was a time when working in films for women was not seen in good light. Her first film was in 1949 titled “Parghat”. Her film ‘Puberun’ directed by ace film-maker Prabhat Mukherjee was selected to be screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in the year 1960 where she was invited as a special guest.
Recollecting the moment when she received the invitation letter Jnanada Kakati said in the documentary: “When I received the letter of invitation to Berlin International Film Festival I was so excited that I ran wearing my Hawaii chappals to my husband’s office to give him the news! I was almost out of breath and my husband had to give me a glass of water to calm me down.”
She continued: “The then chief secretary late Dharmananda Das and finance minister Fakruddin Ali Ahmed said – ‘I don’t know whether the film will go or not but our artiste must surely go!”.
She received immense appreciation in Assam and abroad for her role in Puberun.
Jnanada Kakati was the first Assamese actor to receive the Presidents Silver Medal from President of India late Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan in recognition for her work in the film “Puberun” in the year 1960.
She was also the first announcer of All India Radio Shillong/Guwahati in 1948. She was also an accredited singer of All India Radio having sung many popular songs. She was once asked by someone why she has not asked to be recommended for Sangeet Natak Academy Award?
Jnanada Kakati responded that she would not like to get an award by asking for it.
Bobbeeta Sharma had interviewed Jnanada Kakati for her book ‘The Moving Image & Assamese Culture – Joymoti, Jyotiprasad Agarwala and Assamese Culture’ in 2012 but it was on audio only and not on video format. As Assamese cinema is close on the heels of turning 90 (it is in its 88th year) she felt veterans like 90-year-old Jnanada Kakati’s reflections and rich experience need to be documented for posterity. It is also interesting that the documentary has featured Atanoo Baruwa in interaction with Jnanada Kakati.
Atanoo Baruwa had enacted the role of Jnanada Kakati’s son in the popular film ‘ Puberun’.
Similarly, Ruma Sarma popularly known as Baby Ruma who had acted with Jnanada Kakati in three of her films, Saknoiya, Puberun and Sorapat also interacted with her.
The documentary also featured an interaction with ace film actor Pranjal Saikia with whom Jnanada Kakati had acted in Priyajon and Raag Biraag.
The screening was attended by a host of personalities from the cultural world of Assam like Santwana Bordoloi, Mridula Baruah, Paran Borbora, Ahsan Muzid, Archana Bhattacharjee, Prabin Hazarika, Kopil Bora, Malobika Bora, Utpal Dutta, Mridula Das, Maini Mahanta, Swapnanil Baruah and former minister. Hemoprova Saikia, and many others. young and upcoming actor Lima Das felicitated Aroti Barua and Bina Goswami.
The documentary has been produced under the banner of Sangita Advertising. Executive producers are Chinmoy Sharma and Bobbeeta Sharma. Creative director and editor is Ravindra Badgaiyan. Script is by Jimoni Choudhury. Camera is by Sharad Kumar Verma and edit packaging is by Bhabesh Baishya.