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Assam’s IPS Filmmakers Whose First Film Wins International Award

DGP G P Singh and DIG Dr. Parthasarathi Mahanta are the two IPS officers whose film has won an international award Their film ‘Fehujali’ clinched the ‘Best Short Documentary Award’ at the Jaipur International Film Festival 2024 The film, produced by the DGP and directed by the DIG, carries a strong social message for the youth
Indian Masterminds Stories

Quite often, we get to read about bureaucrats managing to follow their passion while discharging their duties diligently. They take time out of their hectic work schedules to indulge in their passion, be it painting, acting, dancing, or writing. It is their private zone that they turn to, to relax, unwind, and take a breather. However, very rarely would one find a working DGP of a state taking to making film, not as a past time, but in the line of duty.

Assam DGP G P Singh is doing just that. He has produced a film in his official capacity as the head of the state police force, and this short documentary has won an award at the Jaipur International Film Festival. It seems like a home production of the Assam Police as the film has been written and directed by DIG and STF Chief Dr. Parthasarathi Mahanta, who has a long dalliance with the movie world.

Shooting of the film

That Mr. G P Singh has not produced this documentary in his personal capacity has been made clear by the line “produced by DGP Assam” in the credits. This is what arouses one’s curiosity – as to what the DGP, who is often in news for his unflinching stand on zero tolerance towards crimes, has made, and why.

THE FILM

The name of the film is ‘Fehujali’ and it has clinched the ‘Best Short Documentary Award’ at the Jaipur International Film Festival 2024. Out of 2971 films submitted from 82 countries, 326 films from 67 countries were nominated, and 71 films from 19 countries were selected for JIFF 24, which is a world record.

DGP Assam, G P Singh, IPS

Produced by the DGP Assam and directed by DIG Dr. Parthasarathi Mahanta, the documentary delves into the plight of underprivileged youths in the state, targeted by extremist groups as potential recruits through various coercive tactics, including the lure of money.

Once inducted, these youths quickly discern the futility of their so-called mission to liberate Assam from India. They realize they are pawns manipulated by certain foreign powers exploiting misplaced patriotism, leading them to return home disillusioned with the initially promised dreams.

The documentary employs cinematic treatment to portray authentic stories, serving as an eye-opener for disgruntled youth, urging them to stay on the right path in life.

THE PRODUCER

The producer of the film is DGP Assam, 1991 batch IPS officer G P Singh. Is this another way of targeting the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), as the film subtitle ‘A New Dawn’ matches the ULFA symbol of ‘a rising sun’?

In reply, without naming any group, Mr. Singh told Indian Masterminds, “We have seen some young boys and girls joining camps of terrorist groups falling for various gimmicks being peddled. We decided to bring to public domain true life stories of disillusionment amongst those who had fallen prey to such propaganda campaign and joined terrorist organisations. They wanted to share their ordeal with other similarly places youths to prevent them from making the same mistake that they had made. It is our effort to awaken our youths to the reality.”

Director of the film, DIG Dr. Parthasarathi Mahanta, IPS (second from left), on the sets

THE DIRECTOR

The director of the award winning documentary is DIG and STF Chief, Dr. Parthasarathi Mahanta. This IPS officer, however, has a long association with the world of films. A film directed by him, ‘Lachit The Warrior’, had won an award in the same festival last year. So, this is the second consecutive award for the IPS film director.

An actor himself, he has acted in many films and music videos. Hence, he knows the nuances of the art of acting quite well. He told Indian Masterminds, “Yes, the fact that I am well versed with acting gives me an edge when I am directing. I still have lot to learn but I am very happy that two films directed by me have won international awards within a span of two years. When your work gets recognised, it spurs you on to do more and work harder.”

DGP G P Singh addressing a gathering dressed in traditional attire

Now that his ‘chief’ has also entered the world of film making, and both of them make a strong team, both as police officers and film makers, can we expect more films with strong social messages in the days to come? Dr. Mahanta replied, “Let’s see. Right now we are busy promoting our first venture, and we hope the message the film carries reaches the target audience. Speaking for myself, movies are a passion. So, definitely, I would love to continue on this path and win more laurels for our state.”

It is an encouraging sign that the two top police officers of the state have teamed up to fight for social causes and guide the vulnerable youth towards positive directions. And, the fact that the IPS film makers’ documentary has won a prestigious award is the cherry on the cake, as it heralds good cheer across their fraternity and will no doubt encourage more police officers to make film a combat tool to fight all kinds of social ills, and ‘shoot’ films to achieve targets.

DIG and STF Chief Dr. Parthasarathi Mahanta (left) behind the camera

Indian Masterminds Stories

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