‘Guns and Guitars – a musical travelogue’ won the ‘best music category’ award at the prestigious Finisterra Arrabida Film Art and Tourism Festival in Portugal recently.

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The 98-minute musical documentary, made by Bidyut Kotoky, brings into focus the anguish and alienation of the people of Northeast India.

“It’s interesting to be recognized for best music, considering the film does not have an official music composer. We used the live music of different bands that features in the film. In a way, it is a recognition given to the entire Northeast music scenario,” director Bidyut Kotoky told The News Mill from Mumbai.

Prior to this, the film was featured at the Indian Panorama in the prestigious International Film Fest of India (IFFI)-2016. It was also selected as one of the top 100 documentaries of 2016 by Color Tape International Film Festival – considered the largest festival of the southern hemisphere.

The eight Northeast states connect with the rest of the country with a mere corridor of 21 km, but shares more than 4500 km of international borders with five different countries. Filmed as a travelogue, this musical quest brings to light the positive influence of music emanating from the youth living in this region, which is crippled by state and non-state violence for the last half a century, Kotoky added.

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The journey finally culminates on the celebratory night of May 24 with Bob Dylan’s birthday concert, organized by the legendary Northeast musician Lou Majaw, where all the eight rock bands, with whom the director interacted earlier, participate.

“With guitar in their hands and songs of life and hope on their lips, these youngsters are truly instrumental in changing the Northeast canvas of despair and anguish into one of hope and peace, much like how Bob Dylan operated in the America of 60s, torn by civil rights movements and Vietnam War,” said the director.

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About TNM NewsDesk


The News Mill is a Guwahati-based digital media with focus on content from across Northeast India and beyond. We can be reached through [email protected]


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