Filmmaker Kamakhya Narayan Singh’s debut film, Bhor, is winning hearts with its simple narrative
Born and raised in Guwahati, filmmaker Kamakhya Narayan Singh was culturally inclined since a very young age. And having a cinema hall only a few steps away from his home further shaped his artistic bent of mind. “Assam is very rich in culture and you are exposed to music, art and films from a very young age. I used to watch a lot of films at my neighbourhood theatre, especially the ones starring Amitabh Bachchan and Mithun Chakraborty, and like most children, I too wanted to become an actor,” recalls Kamakhya, whose debut feature Bhor is making all the right noises since its release on MX Player this February.
Set in one of the remote Indian villages where development reaches at snail’s pace, this film talks about the importance of sanitation besides touching upon equally pressing issues including education and the caste system. A student of social work, Kamakhya has always been aware of the key role that the media plays in spreading social messages. And later, while studying filmmaking, when he got exposed to the works of Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and Shyam Benegal, he resolved to make a film about rural India, showcasing their plight.
“Initially, when I reached out to corporates for funding, they wanted me to change it into an urban setting to make it marketable. But I didn’t budge,” the young filmmaker tells us. Before its commercial release, Bhor had travelled to more than 30 film festivals, earning Singh the best director award at the Ottawa Indian Film Festival, besides two more awards at the Caleidoscope Indian Film Festival, Boston.
Bhor is getting all the right reactions...
With OTT platforms around, it has become much easier to showcase work to a wider audience. I had always wanted to make a film with a social message and sanitation has been a much-debated topic in the country for over a decade now. This government has turned it into a movement and so I thought it would be interesting to show how a remote village reacts to the same in an entertaining manner.
Were you sceptical that your film’s subject had already been dealt with by Toilet Ek Prem Katha and Mere Pyare Prime Minister?
When I started shooting for the film, I heard announcements about these films and I also watched them. There can be many films touching upon the same subject but the narrative is what makes each of them different. I was confident about my narrative and content.
What are your upcoming projects?
I’m writing a script based on the geopolitical state of Jammu and Kashmir, another talking point for the past 70 years. There have been a lot of changes in the last 10 years there. The script will be ready in another couple of months.
Any actors you want to work with in the future?
I always wanted to work with Om Puri, but sadly that’s not possible now. I find Aditya Roy Kapur and John Abraham very interesting. Kangana Ranaut is one of the finest actors currently besides Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt.