Assam born Dipannita Sharma, a supermodel-turned-actress has acted in movies such as 16 December, Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar, My Brother Nikhil, Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, Jodi Breakers was in Goa for the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) for her debut Assamese film ‘Xhoixobote Dhemalite (Rainbow Fields)’. The movie made it to the final list of 26 feature films selected for the Indian Panorama 2017. NT BUZZ finds more
ramandeep kaur | NT BUZZ
- Tell us about your first Assamese film ‘Xhoixobote Dhemalite’?
This is my first Assamese movie and since it is my mother tongue it is very special. The movie directed by Bidyut Kotoky, is set against the backdrop of the insurgency and the agitation in Assam and children growing up amidst violence and how it could affect them. Children look at everything with lots of innocence and they do not realise how serious the situation is, for them it is all fun and games so you see this film through the innocence of a child.
- Why did you choose to do this film?
I have been willing to work on Assamese films for a while and people used to keep asking me why I have not done a film in my mother tongue and I was waiting for the right subject and also wanted to work with a good set of people. Bidyut and I were talking about working together for a very long time so eventually this subject came up. My role in the film is very different from what I have ever done before. I am playing a housewife, there is absolutely no glamour. She is a strong woman but at the same time is helpless. It is also a sort of period film because it is set in a certain era – 80s in Assam. Women in Assam are highly educated. But earlier you did not really have a career, you would marry and then you had children and your home was your world. So this character was like that. I also modelled it on a lot of ladies from my home that I knew who were so talented, educated but they were confined to their home. There was a lot of work on the body language and everything and when you say no makeup there is literally no makeup. In the 80s you did not have access to anything like that and eventually when a lot of people saw me, they did not recognise me and as an actor it is a very good thing. I feel good about the fact that I got into the character.
- Did you hesitate to play this de-glam role?
Not at all! In fact I was looking forward to playing it because I have done glamorous roles also, I have done not so glamorous ones but usually I come from a fashion background and people associate glamour with me. Therefore, it was nice to disassociate from that and do something completely different as an actor.
- Any challenges you faced while working in the film?
Bidyut helped me a lot to understand the character. The challenge was that I live in a certain era and going back in time to a different era that was probably the only challenge but thankfully I had enough intelligence to model the character on people I had met while growing up and observing people, my aunts, grandmother so this kind of things helped.
- You have worked in Bollywood movies. So how different are those films from regional movies?
It is all about the economics; the differences are because of the economics, so setting and production and everything is different in the two. Other than that I think cinema is cinema and I feel either there is a happy set or there is an unhappy set and thankfully I have always been on a happy set and this Assamese film was one of the happiest sets I have been on because we were a small crew, very personal and we shot it in a beautiful location in Assam. Everything was so personalised and it was a beautiful experience.
- Can you share your experience at IFFI?
I have been to Goa many times but not for IFFI. Here there is access to different kinds of cinema which you may not watch otherwise, or might not even release in India and theaters so it is a great experience.
- What do you look for while choosing any film?
My role should be good, and then the film and people who are making it should know what they are doing.
- Tell us something about the film scenario in Assam?
Recently, there is one commercial film and I think in terms of collections it was probably the first Assamese film that has crossed some two crores so that is huge so I think if you can balance out the economic and the content there is great future. Earlier they used to make great films; there were a lot of commercial films but in between it went through a really rough patch because of the disturbances in Assam and things like that. So we are hoping and making better content because there is a lot of talent. And also it is a great time for regional cinema. So it is all improving.
- What are your future plans?
I like to not plan too much; it is better. Of course you should continue to dream big and work hard and continue working towards something that you are really passionate about. But let’s see how things pan out. We did not know how ‘Xhoixobote Dhemalite’ is going to be received and where it will go. But the film got selected and won the best Foreign Feature Film Award at festivals abroad. Now it has come here. I have just finished shooting for a Hindi film which is scheduled to release soon.