‘Baghjan’, an Assamese and Moran language film by Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia, has been selected for the work-in-progress (WIP) lab at NFDC Film Bazaar Online.

The work-in-progress lab is open only for fiction features aiming for a theatrical release. A maximum of five films are selected for this lab.

The film, ‘Baghjan’, as the name indicates is based on the Baghjan oil and gas leak accident which killed three people and displaced thousands. The fire caused by the accident in Tinsukia’s Baghjan oil well continued for almost six months.

“It’s a huge boost for a filmmaker like me. Now we will be guided by some of the best in the business from across the globe,” said Dohutia.

“As a filmmaker and a local to the place where the tragic incident took place, I felt it is necessary to tell the story to the world. We had limited resources but all of us did it wholeheartedly.”

The director and editor of the selected film showcase their rough cuts to the panel of mentors and receive in-depth one-on-one feedback in the process. The international editor assigned to the film guides the director and editor of the selected film through two sessions of the editing lab.

The international mentors include a film festival director, film critic, producers and film editors. They provide valuable feedback on the edit with the aim of helping the filmmaker achieve an accomplished final cut of the film.

The film has been shot at the real locations and the victims have acted in it. The film depicts the plight of common villagers who are affected by the blowout at Baghjan. It tells the story of Manab, a fisherman his wife, Janeki and a selfish villager Bimal.

This year’s WIP lab is the second edition to be conducted completely online after the very successful online WIP lab in 2020.

This year’s selection includes films made in six Indian languages – Assamese, Chhattisgarhi, Hindi, Kannada Marathi and Moran.

Since its inception in 2008, the work-in-progress lab has moulded films that have gone on to premiere at top international film festivals and receive critical acclaim.

The other selected projects are ‘Bailadila’ (Hindi and Chhattisgarhi) by Shailendra Sahu, ‘Ek Jagah Apni’ in Hindi (A Space of Our Own) by Ektara Collective, ‘Follower’ (Marathi, Kannada and Hindi) by Harshad Nalawade and ‘Shivamma’ (Kannada) by Jai Shankar.

National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) under the Union ministry of information and broadcasting was established in 1975 with an aim to plan, promote and organise an integrated and efficient development of the Indian film industry and foster excellence in cinema.

About director Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia

Born in Tinsukia, Assam in 1982, Jaicheng Zxai Dohutia is a writer, director, editor and producer. He studied three-year film and video editing in Jyoti Chitraban Film and Television Institute, Guwahati.

His debut feature film ‘Haanduk’ (The Hidden Corner) was a film bazaar recommends film in bagged the grand jury prize at 18th Jio MAMI Mumbai film festival 2016, best regional film at 64th National Film Awards 2016, NETPAC award for best Asian film at All Light International Film Festival 2017, best director at Pick Ur Flick Indie Film Festival, best film and best director at 7th Assam State Awards 2018, among others.

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