‘Goru Bihu Song’ selected for official screening at Germany film festival

Assamese music video ‘Goru Bihu Song’, directed by Axl Hazarika, has been selected to be officially screened at one of the largest international film festivals in Europe – 47th Sehsüchte, which will take place from April 25-29 at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf housed at Babelsberg Film Studio, the oldest large-scale film studio in the world, producing films since 1912.

Hundreds of Hollywood blockbuster films, including Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel were filmed there. More recent productions include V for Vendetta, The Pianist, Captain America Civil War, Æon Flux, The Bourne Ultimatum, Valkyrie, Inglourious Basterds, Cloud Atlas, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Hunger Games, etc.

The Assamese electro-music video will be screened on Saturday, April 28, at Cinema 1.

Interestingly, Babelsberg Film Studio houses the UFA studio where Assam’s legend Jyoti Prasad Agarwala learned filmmaking in 1930. “It is indeed a great feat for Assam and Jyoti Chitraban Film Studio that after 88 years, a video made at its studio is selected for official screening at the place where Jyoti Prasad Agarwala learnt filmmaking, after whom the Jyoti Chitraban Film Studio is named,” a statement released by the Guwahati-based studio said.

Goru Bihu Song is an experimental music video directed by Axl Hazarika that captures the essence of Assamese folk Bihu dance and celebration of the spirit of Goru Bihu with cow face paint. Goru Bihu is a festival celebrated on the eve of first day of Assamese calendar month of Bohag (mid-April during the start of spring), a day before Bohag Bihu, the harvest festival of Assam. The video is based on the futuristic imagination of Goru Bihu celebrations, away from the homeland, and in the absence of cows amidst a generation of technology-based live music performance.

“The music video has made an impact in the global arena with official selection at more than 20 international film festivals across countries like Russia, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Africa, and the United States. This is the first time that a music video from Assam, about Bihu, has received such a massive global response. It has amassed more than a million views on YouTube since its release,” the statement further said.

The entire video is made with a very small crew and minimal budget at Jyoti Chitraban Film Studio. The direction, editing, post production and music is done by Axl Hazarika with Amrita Sonowal on the vocals. Cinematography is done by Krishna Shah while Ryan Hazarika was the assistant director of the video. Folk dancers include Rishna Hazarika on the lead with Sailen Gogoi’s Bihu team.

“This is perhaps the best gift we could get this Goru Bihu! We are extremely delighted about our music video’s official selection at the prestigious International Film Festival – 47th Sehsuchte in Germany. It’s an honour for us to have the video be screened at the Babelsberg Film Studio, world’s oldest film studio, where our iconic Jyoti Prasad Agarwala learnt filmmaking,” says director Axl Hazarika.

Hazarika is an experimental music artist from Guwahati. Axl recently became the first and only Indian artist to rank in SoundCloud Top 10 Global Trance music charts & Billboard music charts.

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