Bidyut Chakravarty - a great cultural activist

Bidyut Chakravarty (1960-2015)

Bidyut Chakravarty (1960-2015) - was a national award winning Assamese filmmaker and actor. He was known for his films like Raag-Birag, Dwaar, Nishiddha Nodi, Goon Goon Ganey Ganey, etc. He bagged the Indira Gandhi award for Best First Film of a Director in 1996 for his film "Rag-Birag.

Born in Guwahati on January 1, 1960, Chakravarty began his career as a child actor in the film Mukuta. Later, he appeared in a small role in Bhabendra Nath Saikia’s “Anirban” in 1981. Chakravarty’s maiden directorial venture was a tele-film, titled Kukurnechia Manuh – based on a stage play by eminent playwright Arun Sarma – produced by Guwahati Doordarshan Kendra in 1985.

In 1996, he made his debut as a feature film director with Raag-Birag, which was also the inaugural film in Indian Panorama Section at the International Film Festival of India in 1997. The film was based on a novel written by Jnanpith award-winner Mamoni Raisom Goswami. Considered as a milestone in Assamese cinema, Raag-Birag brought Chakraborty the Indira Gandhi Award (Golden Lotus Award for Best Film) (Swarna Kamal) at the National Film Festival in 1996. The film went on to bag national awards in three other categories, including the Indira Gandhi National Award for Best First Film of a Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editor. Besides, the movie earned rave reviews when it was screened at the Cairo Film Festival as an official entry. It also won as many as nine Assam State Film Awards instituted for the first time by the State government in 1998.

Some of his other acclaimed movies are Nishiddha Nodi, Goon Goon Ganey Ganey, Anurag and 30 October based on the serial bomb blasts that took place in Assam in 2008.

Dwaar, a film directed by Chakravarty bagged four awards in Assam State Film Awards in 2012 as well as six awards in Prag Cine Awards 2013. The film also won the Filmfare Award for Best Film as well as Best Actor Male and Best Actor Female in 2013. The film is based on a shot story by Swarnakamal winning film critic Apurba Sharma.

Misti Cheler Dustu Buddhi is one of the Bengali films produced by Chakravarty.

Besides direction, Chakravarty also carved a niche for himself in the field of acting. He acted in a number of movies, including Grahan, Prabhati Pakhir Gaan, Haladhar, Ramdhenu and TRP, besides putting up a commendable performance in stage plays like Mritunjoy, Antaranga Alap and Bhoy among others.

A founder member of Surjya Club, a socio-cultural organisation set up in 1985, he actively participated in initiatives to bail out the ailing Assamese film industry. He also served as a jury member of the National Awards.

Chakravarty passed away at 7 AM on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at Nemcare Hospital in Bhangagarh, Guwahati, after suffering a cerebral strok. He left behind his wife and mother.
"Apart from being an actor and director both on stage and films, the dynamism and the vision he had was a little different from his era (the eighties). This uniqueness reflects in his films and personality." - Satyakee D'Com Bhuyan, founder-director of theatre group D'Passion Collective and a member of Surjya Club.