A 71-minute documentary film on a Guwahati home that gave Assam many of its cinematic, cultural, and sports icons took a step toward its world premiere with the release of its trailer and poster on Saturday, November 11.
Baruar Xongxar (‘The House of Baruas’) is based on a landmark Assam-type house near the Gauhati High Court at Latasil, one of the oldest localities of Guwahati. The film has been included in the Indian Panorama section of the forthcoming 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.
An Assam-type house is a cottage which has wooden-framed walls made of a reed called ikora plastered on either side.
The poster and trailer were released on the verandah of the legendary century-old house, parked on the eastern flank of the Latasil Field area, by renowned musician Ramen Barua and popular singer Dwipen Barua, along with other members of the extended Barua family.
The film is directed by national award-winning filmmaker Utpal Borpujari and produced by Nayan Prasad, Jemini Phukan, and Dibyajyoti Saharia under the banner of socio-cultural organisation Surjya and Jemini Phukan Production.
“We are happy that this film has been made at a time when our historic house has completed its centenary,” Mr. Ramen Barua said.
“The film is a tribute to this iconic family that has given Assam so much happiness through cinema, music, sports, and much more,” Mr. Prasad, also an eminent theatre personality, said.
“The Baruas are surely the only family in Assam, and perhaps in entire India, that has produced so many noted personalities in fields as diverse as cinema, music, sports, and politics. The idea behind the film is to showcase the family’s contributions before the world,” the Delhi-based Mr. Borpujari said.
Constructed by engineer Chandranath Barua of Bihdiya village about 30 km north of Guwahati, the Baruas’ house has been home to filmmaker-actor-musician Brajen Barua, filmmaker-footballer-flautist-painter Nip Barua, filmmaker Dibon Barua, cricketer-pilot-entrepreneur-politician Girin Barua, and radio broadcaster Niren Barua, apart from singer-turned-composer Ramen Barua and cricketer-turned-singer Dwipen Barua.
The house was built in 1923 with a mix of materials imported from the U.K. and sourced locally.
Starting with Smritir Parax (1955) directed by Nip Barua, members of the family made 30 feature films in Assamese, Bengali, and Hindi, including Ronga Police, Dr. Bezbarua, Lalita, Mukuta, Ajoli Nabow, Kokadeuta Nati Aru Hati, Shakuntala Aru Shankar Joseph Ali, Jog Biyog, Toramai and Ajala Kokai.
In the sporting arena, Girin Barua shone as a cricketer and represented Assam in the Ranji Trophy for 15 years, including as captain, while Dwipen Barua played in the Ranji Trophy and captained the junior East Zone team before the songs of Dr. Bezbarua made him an overnight sensation in 1969, leading to a shift to a singing career.
On the other hand, Nip Barua played football and captained Assam in the Santosh Trophy while making films.
Bhaskar Jyoti Das is the chief assistant director of the film, Rituraj Shivam is the cinematographer, Jhulan Krishna Mahanta is the editor, Debajit Gayan is the sound designer and mixing engineer, Manaswinee Mahanta is the researcher and assistant director, and Nayan Jyoti Bhuyan and Manjit Nath are the production sound mixers.
Renowned musician Rupam Talukdar recreated some of the immortal compositions of Ramen Barua on accordion specially for the film.