Guwahati: Akanshya Bhagabati’s Assamese short film “Son of the Soil” has been awarded the Best Film prize at the second edition of the Kelvin Cinema Festival, held in Shillong from November 9 to November 11, 2023.
The film, which had its Northeast premiere at the festival, was praised by the jury as “a courageous film on the intricacies of land and minority issues explored through the power of silence.”
“Son of the Soil” delves into the complexities of land ownership and cultural identity in Assam. The film follows Haren, a native Assamese man who returns to his village after working in Bangalore for a decade. Upon his return, he finds himself entangled in a conflict with Ali, a Bengali-Muslim laborer who has been working on Haren’s land for many years.
The film explores the tensions between natives and immigrants, as well as the broader themes of identity and belonging. It is a powerful and moving story that has been praised for its sensitive handling of complex issues.
Bhagabati is an up-and-coming filmmaker who has already made a name for herself with her debut short film “Kumu: The Song of a Wingless Bird”. That film won the John Abraham National Award for Best Short Feature at the 15th edition of the SIGNS Film Festival in Kerala.
“Son of the Soil” is a testament to Bhagabati’s talent and her ability to tell important stories in a compelling way. The film’s win at the Kelvin Cinema Festival is a major achievement for her and for Assamese cinema.
The Kelvin Cinema Festival is an annual film festival held in Shillong, India. The festival aims to promote independent cinema from India and around the world.
The second edition of the festival featured a diverse selection of films from India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.