Chow Partha Borgohain, the only child of Chow Subhitya Borgohain and Nang Sengpem Borgohain, was born in a small town called Along, in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. In the year 2005 he headed out to Madras to pursue his studies on engineering. However as destiny leads, he landed to be a student of Visual Arts (Film and Photography).
Your journey to Film making and Cinematography
Being brought up in the rustic air of North Eastern India, the very idea of cinema and its intricacies were all Greek to me. I never imagined in my wildest dreams of making a film and be well known for it.
I left for Madras in 2005 to study engineering, however out of the blue, I appeared for an entrance test and joined as a student of Visual Arts (Film and Photography) in the Madras Christian College. Later joined the Mindscreen Film School, where I did specialisation in Cinematography and Films. I was awarded as the third best cinematography student of the 7th batch.
After completing the studies, I worked as an assistant in development of TV Commercials and Feature films under the honourable guidance of the renowned cinematographer and director Mr. Rajiv Menon. Engaged in the Indian Film industry, I worked extensively in Bombay and Madras on a number of TV Advertisement. Being a keen learner, I also grasped knowledge from abroad and worked for AD Films in countries like Switzerland and France. I also worked as a Freelance Filmmaker in countries like Singapore and Indonesia on international projects for renowned corporate like Gastech and Gas Indonesia.
As of now, I am doing freelancing work in filmmaking, cinematography and photography. I completed directing and shooting of an English feature film, ‘1962 My Country Land’. The film got premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival on 18th May 2016.
In the year 2017, I got the privilege to shoot a documentary, A FOREIGNER IN MY OWN LAND that was directed by Miss. Nishajyoti Sharma and a feature film, FIREFLIES – JUNAKI PORUA directed by Mr. Prakish Deka in 2018.
The year 2019 had been a good year for me because I shot a feature film as a cinematographer for debutant director Mr. Manabendra Adhikary in the month of March and from May onward I shot a twenty six episode series named KAZIRANGA that was directed by award winning director Mr. Bidyut Kotoky. And in between all these, I had done lot of small job like shooting of music videos including a music video for Natalie Di Luccio which was shot in Khonama village of Nagaland.
I am also working as a line producer. Primarily I did the line production for Mr. Rajiv Menon Film SARVAM THALA MAYAM. The film’s title track song composed by Mr. AR Rahman was partly shot here in North East India. I did the same for Madras Talkies and helped Mr. Mani Ratnam’s team for a recce all across North East India when they were looking for location for the film CHEKKA CHIVANTHA VAANAM. Currently there has been an initial talks and have shared our location catalogue of North East India with AKP FILMS for a project that is planned for next year. As of now, I am writing a new script (adapted from a short story) and is planning to shoot it this winter.
Your movie “1962: My country land” was premiered at the 69th Cannes film festival on 18th may 2016, what was the movie about?
In the film Luitya (Lead Male) has been given the responsibility of surveying the India-China LAC [line of actual control] at NEFA [Arunachal Pradesh]. While surveying, he and his porter Gyatso lost way in the rough terrain and ends up finding a patch of land which is neither in India nor China. They encounter a Chinese, Wang (Second Lead Male) who is trying to take over the land. Fierce conspiracy and conflict starts between Luitya and Wang to take over the patch of the land as an integral part of their nation. Being aware that if he could marry the village chief’s daughter Sonam (Lead Female), the land will automatically belong to him, Wang tries to get Sonam. Luitya while resisting Wang on his plan falls in love with Sonam, a grave dark forces (Rebellion Terrorists) shadows the village who also are trying to take over the village. Luitya and Wang fight the dark forces to protect village and the people. Luitya, Sonam and Wang become good friends. Sonam and Luitya confess their love to each other and become inseparable lovers. India-China war breaks out. Wang and Luitya are forced to return. Luitya promises to return to Sonam once the war is over. Wang sacrifices the land for Luitya’s love by not submitting his reports to his official. War gets over Luitya returns to Sonam’s village but the whole village is missing. So this is the whole story in brief. But the main aspect is that the village people and the chief never wanted to be with China or India. They wanted to stay independent and happy. However the war between these two giant military kills the people of whose only fault was that they wanted to remain independent.
As a cinematographer and director
One thing I cherish most in my life is of acting. I am an admirer of actors because they have a quality that has the perfection of playing with people’s emotion. People are like matter and emotions as anti-matter in the setting of film world. Actors are like a bridge between the matter and the anti-matter world. We all know we have physical exercise which allows us to play and build our physique. We also have mental exercise to make our brains sharper and smarter and then turning us into intellectuals. But Actors are the only people in this world which does emotional exercise and can control their emotion in such a way that they can even make you cry, laugh, angry, feel dirty or disgusted, seduce you or can play with your emotion in so many ways.
Most of us are affected by emotional scenario than physical and mental aspect in our day to day life. Each and every day we come across many emotional scenarios like being angry because we had an argument with somebody or we might be happy because we have achieved something and so forth. But an actor brings out all these emotions within a second they mesmerize everyone in that emotion. This is easy to say but very hard to achieve because even an actor could also accomplish this after years of practice with dedication. There are countless of actors but very few could master the art of this emotional exercise. And for me this mastering is important, more important than good looks and also essential to have good six pack abs body which is quite trending these days LOL.
Acting seems to be a very easy course however it not that simple. You have tons of study and research to do, understanding the nature of emotions of human being. Until and unless you understand the nature of emotions on human being, you will not be able to control the emotions. Also there are several other techniques to master because if you exhibit less people will not understand and if you overdo or make longer they will get bored.
Do you think our regional movies will make it big in the cinema?
There is nothing like regional movies. In filmmaking world there is just cinema. So as a filmmaker we never coin the word regional cinema or something like that. It is just cinema for us. The marketing guys actually coin these terms as a marketing gimmick. But anyways for a cinema to succeed we need good directors. A good director can twist a bad script to an excellent film. Nevertheless a bad director may twirl the best given screenplay to a worst of the films. Nonetheless we need good directors. Good script is important but good directors will always transform a script to an amazing screenplay. Consequently a good director is needed regionally to make great cinema. A great cinema will definitely will make it big.
Since all Northeastern states have their own film-making and production houses, it is very important to have a common platform because cinema world is a collaborative work.
Essential keys while making a movie
The most important thing is good a director. A good director will definitely make a great film. The film industry will survive when great films are made. Great film will generate revenue for everybody in the industry.
Do you think Bollywood is inclusive to our Northeast talents?
Yes certainly, however don’t ever expect from the Bollywood to come knocking at the talents here in North East India. All the talents need to go to Bombay. Face the struggle and obstacle in Bombay Industry and try to survive because there will be thousands of struggles of different nature and it can be abusive to racial too. But no matter what challenges, you have to endure that. Once you are in Bombay film industry, talent is secondary but surviving the struggle and building contacts is most important.
Message to our readers and the youths of our Northeast
I want to tell the readers and the youth of the North East India that never to give up on their dreams and keep chasing it no matter what.
(They tried to bury us; they didn’t know we were seed)
And be mad, be crazy and live the life to the fullest.