Assamese docu ‘Veerangana’ wins best documentary at Cochin short film awards

Assamese documentary film on the country’s first female commando unit ­– ‘Veerangana’ – was adjudged the Best Documentary at the Cochin International Short Film Awards, 2021.

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Kaziranga University

The awards results were announced on February 8.

Produced and directed by Kishore Kalita, an advocate at Gauhati High Court, the documentary portrays the all-encompassing role of Veerangana in effectively and efficiently dealing with crime against women in Guwahati.

The critically acclaimed ‘Veerangana’ has participated and bagged a number of awards at various prestigious film festivals in India and abroad – most notably the Cine Making International Film Award 2020 at Dhaka; Special Festival Mention at the Indian Cine Film Festival; declared as finalist by Lift-Off Global Network, London Film Festival; official selection to Jaipur International Film Festival; Tamil Nadu Independent Film Festival, etc.

The 21-minute documentary portrays various activities of the female commando unit of Assam Police and their role in effectively dealing with crime against women in Guwahati.

For years, the police force has virtually been in a perpetual war against the rising crimes committed against women that urgently necessitated drastic measures. It was high time that criminal offences against women are very severely and seriously dealt with.

The documentary features the formation of the Veerangana unit of the Assam Police, country’s first female commando unit. It depicts the story of women police personnel sent to Tamil Nadu to receive training in the silent arms drill and accordingly the setting up of the Assam Police unit.

The Veeranganas are characterised by their belief in a strong, aggressive pursuit of crime and disorder in the society. With their keen understanding of the environment that they work in and the challenges that go with it, the Veeranganas have provided women that much more confidence to go out anywhere and anytime they want. The young commandos were trained in martial arts, silent drill, weapon use, motorcycle riding, horse riding, etc., at the Batallion Training Camp in Dergaon, Assam.

The documentary film ‘Veerangana’ portrays various activities of the female commando unit, complemented by interviews, still photos and clips, which should serve as an eye-opener for the public.

‘Veerangana’ is written by Utpal Datta, camerawork executed by Nagen Baishya, editing is by Diganta Borah, music and sound designing is by Abhijit Barman, while Ambarish Barkataky is its colourist and subtitles are written by Prantik Deka. The title song in the documentary is rendered by popular singer Zublee Baruah.


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About Prantik Deka

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A Post-Graduate in English Literature from Gauhati University, Prantik Deka writes regularly on culture for leading English dailies - The Sentinel and The Assam Tribune. Prantik has produced a number of serials and documentaries under his banner of Roopkar Cine Enterprise. His most important works include a documentary series titled ’70 Years of Assamese Film Industry’.

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