[ Author: Amrit Pitam]
For last six to seven months I have been busy with some different kind of films. Generally we call them parallel or serious films, but in India, people often brand them as ART Films.
I am really happy working with these films as their texture is completely different from the commercial movies. The film ‘Gandhi of the Month’ is based on a relationship of a school principal and a student. Hollywood actor Harvey Keitel has played the lead role in it. ‘Chittagong’, directed by former NASA scientist Bedabrata Pain is another noteworthy project.
Likewise, LIV & Ingmer, a documentary, directed by Dhiraj Akolkar is based on a relationship between the legendary actress of world cinema LIV ULLMAN and master filmmaker Ingmer Bergman. Some others films I have recently worked with are OASS, directed by a new director Anubhab Tewari and then English Vinglish directed by Gauri Shindhe.
As of now I am terribly busy with the sound designing of eminent director Anant Mahadevan’s new film Gaur Hari Dastan, film based on a freedom fighter who fought for forty years to get recognition from the Maharashtra government. In fact I could not spend much time because of the deadline of English Vinglish which has been released on October 5.
September 18, 1.30 pm…I got a call from an unknown landline number while having lunch at my studio Canaries Post sound. Normally I don’t pick up any call from unknown landline numbers, but I don’t know why I picked it up that day…Hellooo???? From other side “Amrit, Moi Deepen dadai Koisu, busy aasa neki ?”
Moi Kalu, “Naai Naai Deepen da Kauk, Mur Lunch break soli aase.” “Ok Ok,” Deepen da started the matter. ( Deepen Rajkonwar is the general secretary of Assam Association Mumbai and for me he is just Deepen da as we are so closed to each other, like my elder brother in Mumbai).
Deepen da started explaining the design and concept of an bilingual e-magazine which is going to cover the Assamese people in Mumbai, who are really working very hard in various fields.
I liked the idea. Yup,, It’s indeed a great idea to recognize our own hardworking people.. But Deepen da gave me a big tension!!!!!! yup, he requested me ( actually a polite humble order from a nice gentleman ha ha ha ) to write about my experience with my IIFA award for the Sound Designing of Shahrukh Khan’s Ra.One.. …….Kot moru etia ???? I just keep quiet for a moment, then replied “Ok Ok Depen da, I will try my best. Kintu moi ketiaau eku likhaa naai engrajit.” Deepen dai kole, “Sinta nokoriba likha likha paaribaa…“
Writing something about my experience with IIFA , that is also in English ??? First of all, neither I am good in English nor I can write grammatically correct English?????? Somehow I managed to speak English, but writing in English like a “WRITER”????????? OH MY GOD !! Manate Bhabilu.. Ji hoi Habo, sesta kora jauk, mantu alop dreeho kari lalu……soooooo finally I am going to write my experience.. so my dear reader…Bhul hole khyama karibo !!!!!!! Jaya Raamo Bula Jaya hari Bula!!!!!!! BES TENTE!!! Kalam hatot tuli luwaar thait mur srimitir xaru laptop tu hatot tuli lalu…
Now I am going to share my experience at the IIFA. For that I must go back to my 1st IIFA Award that I received in 2009 for Amir Khan’s GHAJINI….Before that I just want to tell you something about the history of IIFA.
History of IIFA Awards
The International Indian Film Academy is better known as IIFA. In the year 2002, IIFA was known as Electrolux Kelvinator IIFA and in 2003 to 2005 it was known as Kelvinator IIFA and Samsung IIFA. The main goal of IIFA awards is to promote Indian Cinema worldwide. Asians in international movie world and Indians across the world are honored here.
IIFA awards play a major role in extending its social and economic relations with other nations worldwide. There are three founder directors of IIFA. Andre Timmins the first founder-director started as a disc jockey in a popular nightclub known as Xanadu in Mumbai. The second founder-director, Sabbas Joseph headed from a political science and journalism background and the third founder-director, Viraf Sarkari was from a hotel management background and joined the other two at Xanadu.
IIFA is the first of its kind in the entertainment world in India. The event management, entertainment agency and the Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. India has encouraged IIFA in this field. It is for this reason that every year, awards are given. The IIFA awards are organized in different countries every year so as to honor the Indian film world. The IIFA voting is transparent and done by the IIFA management with Price Waterhouse Coppers Pvt. Ltd.
The two categories are- Technical Awards and Popular Awards. All these award functions include press meeting, business, special events, movie premiers and parties. In the year 2000, IIFA awards were organized in London at the Millennium Dome. Later till 2007 the IIFA awards were held in Sun City (South Africa), Johannesburg (South Africa), Genting Highlands (Malaysia), Singapore, Dubai (UAE), Yorkshire (UK) and Amsterdam (Netherlands)…
2009, May, Andheri west:
We were attending felicitation function of Mr. Resul Pookutty for winning the OSCAR Award by the Sound Association Mumbai at Veera Desai Road. Mr. Amitabh Bachchan was the guest of honor to felicitate Resul on behalf of Sound Association. Since I had also worked in Slumdog Millionaire as Resul’s associate on Location Sound, I was also invited for the same function.
It was during that time when the function was going on in full swing, I received a sms from Wizcraft….first of all I could not believe it…..Yes me and Resul have been the winner of IIFA Award for the best Sound Design for Ghajini ….this is first time ever I am going to receive an Award in sound ??? I did not know how to express my happiness, but I did not tell anyone about the sms as I was thinking that somebody may be kidding with me. So I waited till I receive the formal letter from them. After I received the confirmation letter from IIFA, I was more thrilled about to go to MACAU China to receive the Awards, as I had never been abroad till then. So My first IIFA is indeed a unforgettable moments as it also gave me the first chance to go abroad free of cost with business class ticket!!!
IIFA 2012 Singapore!!!
Almost 4 years, after my 1st IIFA award in Macau in 2009, during 1st week of May’12, again received a beautiful sms from IIFA organization. Yes both myself and Resul have again won the IIFA Award for best Sound Design for Shahrukh Khan’s film RA.One…Honestly this time too I felt very very happy as it came after a gap of 4 years and another special about this time is that, I am not going alone, I am going along with my wife Gopa Bezboruah. Actually the Organization requested to come along with wife. So what can you expect more than this? Going to receive an award in Singapore along with my wife at their expenses!!! Wooow this is going to be my second Honeymoon!!!!!
This IIFA award is really very very special for me. As Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann will attend the upcoming IIFA Weekend in Singapore to showcase her latest film ‘Liv and Ingmar’ that is based on her life story. The film is an affectionate yet truthful account of the 42 years and 12 films long association between Ullman and master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. Ullmann, 73, has contributed in the form of two interviews and readings from her book `Changing`. The film was originally conceived, written and directed by London-based Indian filmmaker Dheeraj Akolkar.
The IIFA Weekend was held from June 7 to 9 and Ullmann`s film was to be screened to a selected audience on June 8. This was also for the first time that an international film will be showcased at the IIFAs. On 7th Jun 2012, me and my wife boarded the Singapore Airlines flight around 1pm. We reached at the Singapore Airport at 7 in the evening.
Two members from IIFA organization were already present there to welcome us. So just after 10 minute, a black Mercedes car arrived at the airport and took us to the Fairmont Hotel. After almost 45 min drive, we reached the hotel and checked in our luggage…..At the lobby we meet Resul and the legendary actress Liv Ulmann. What a moment… Resul introduced me and my wife to Liv Ullmann … she shook my hand with a very beautiful smile, what a beautiful lady !!! I was shocked to see her humbleness and down to earth personality….I just can’t believe it !! I am talking to a beautiful lady at her 70’s who had been Nominated five times for a Best Actress Golden Globe, winning once for The Emigrants, also been nominated for the Palme d’Or, two times for the OSCAR ( Academy Award, ) and two times for a BAFTA Film Award.
8 th June 2012. A busy day : I have to attend a special screening of Liv & Ingmer, then a presas meet and then have to prepare for the Technical Award Show. First we attended the screening of Liv & Ingmer. Just before the screening South Superstar Kamal Hassan presented a special IIFA momento. After screening we proceeded to the press meet related to the screening. My wife also accompanied me everywhere. At the press meet, I was also lucky to share the stage along with director Dhiraj Akolkar, Resul Pookutty and Liv Ullmann and the producer of the film. After spending almost an hour, we came back to the hotel room and got ready for the Award Show.
At around 6 pm in the evening, we all were ready to go to IIFA technical award show. Resul with his wife Shadia, Liv Ulmann, Dheeraj, my wife and myself, we all left from the hotel for the Technical Award Show.
The biggest TSUNAMI Of Life?????????
When I got down from the car after reaching the venue, something very unexpected happened to me. I could not able to walk properly. I bow down to check my right shoe…… Oh My God !!! I was Shocked!!!!!!! It was like 100000 volt pass through my head. The sole had come out from my brand new shoes !!! Oh My God !! Kote Maru Moi !!!! Faat Melaa Baxumoti Patale Lukau !!! Somehow I managed to walk through the green carpet and went to the auditorium. After taking our seats I was wondering what to do now. How do I go to the stage and receive the award in such condition ?? My wife’s condition was worse than me !!! I was completely heartbroken, completely shattered, just could not able to think what to do. I decided not to go to the stage to receive the Award.
Finally my wife came out with an idea. She asked me to exchange my shoes with director of Liv & Ingmer, Mr Dhiraj Akolkar’s shoes. I also agreed with her idea. Since I can’t walk, my wife went out of the auditorium and talked to Dhiraj about my condition and expressed the idea about shoes exchanged. Dhiraj Agreed immediately. Somehow I came out of the auditorium, went to a secluded area and exchanged our shoes. Dhiraj’s help came out as big relief for me, even though my size is 6 and Dhiraj’s 8. Somehow we managed it for the show. I will never forget this incident till the last breath of my life.
The Unforgettable moments…
The show started with a song, followed by bollywood dance and fashion show by various renowned fashion designers. After that they started the award presentation ceremony, one after another award were presented to various technicians for their respective categories like cinematography, production design, visual effects, best fighting, best script writing etc etc.
Finally our name announced as winner for best sound Design. Resul Pookutty and myself went to the stage to receive the IIFA Award and you know who came to the stage to present the Award to us ? Yes it was Liv Ullmann !!! I received my 2nd IIFA Award from the legendary actress of world cinema Liv Ullmann. Two IIFA Awards for the People of Assam.
After receiving the award, we left a little early from award venue. When we reached the hotel it was about 12-30 mid night, now again have to attend “after Award party”, so we went to attend the party and was there till 3 am.
Today was the main IIFA event. Evening at about 5-30, we were ready for the Popular show. The Big event was held at Singapore Indoor Stadium which is about half an hour distant from the Fairmont Hotel. A black Mercedes came to drop us to the main venue which is about half an hour drive.
The Power of Muga Mekhela Chador !!!
Myself and my wife got down from the car, and headed towards the venue. A big crowd and so many cameramen were there in venue. Once we got closer to them, all the cameraman came forward and requested us to stop for a moment and to click photos. It was like raining of flashes from the cameras. I was little shocked and started thinking why the hell this photographer were taken so many photographs of us ?? Specially me ?? A short Chinese type small guy with no TRP value. Neither I am a known face nor I am an actor !!! As technician are always working behind the camera so nobody knows about them and hence no attention for these poor guys here in India, then why they show interest in me ?? Because it didn’t happen during my previous IIFA Award !!! But sadly it did not take much time to get the answer. I realised that it was not because of me, its because of MUGA MEKHELA CHADOR !!! yup my wife was wearing a nice Muga Mekhela Chador on that evening when she was accompanying me !! So once we got down from the car, the golden Muga Mekhela Chador was so shining that that it attracted all the camera persons there at the venue, and hence they have taken so many photographs.
Before the main event snacks and drinks were served for the guests. Few ladies came forward to ask my wife about the SARI that she was wearing , and among them South Superstar Shart Kumar’s wife was also came personally to ask about the SARI, and she proudly replied that this is not sari, it’s a traditional dress of Assam called Mugar Mekhela Chador !!!!
The big event started at 8 pm, I am not going to write about it as this IIFA Award already shown in TV several times and many viewers already have gone through it.
Even though the IIFA Award got over by 10th June, but I stayed till 12th and I returned to India on 13th evening alone !!! Actually I asked my wife to stay back there in Singapore for few more days so that I can directly come to my studio and finish the unfinished mixing of my film OASS. Soon 13th evening, instead of coming directly home in Mumbai, I directly came alone from Singapore to my studio CANARIES POST SOUND. I stayed at my studio till my wife came after one week and in the mean time I finished my final mixing at studio BALAJI by Anup Dev… so back to Mumbai and work has been started again!!!!!!
To know more about Liv Ullman Please check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liv_Ullmann
To know about Ingmer Bergman Please check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingmar_Bergman
To know about Harvey Keitel please check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Keitel
To know about the Film Chittagong Pls check http://www.chittagongthefilm.com/
To know about Gandhi Of the Month Pls Check http://www.gandhiofthemonth.com/home.htm
++++Address: Canaries Post Sound
507, Dilkap Chambers
Off Veera Desai Road
Andheri (w), Mumbai -400053 email id: email@example.com Maharashtra