Assam is home to some of the most talented and versatile actors, singers and filmmakers of India. Maestros like late Dr. Bhupen Hazarika and Director Jahnu Barua have contributed immensely to development of cinema in Assam over the decades. Among the cotemporary filmmakers in Assam who have helped uplift Assamese cinema and gained acclaim for their movies, Munin Barua deserves a special mention. He is credited with reviving movie industry in Assam in the 1990s when it was going through a lean phase. His films have set cash registers ringing and they have also garnered huge critical acclaim.
Foray into Movies and rise
Born in Assam’s Golaghat district in 1947, Munin Barua made foray into the movie industry as a scriptwriter in the 1970s. He also worked as an assistant director in those days. He was guided by eminent theatre personality and national award-winning filmmaker Shiva Prasad Thakur. In fact, Barua worked as the assistant director in several acclaimed films of his mentor including ‘Son Moina’ and ‘Ghar Sansar’. Barua said, “Working with Thakur polished my skills as a director and scriptwriter and in 1985 I went on to direct my first film ‘Pratima’, along with Nipon Goswami”.
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Memorable films of Munin Barua
After making his directorial debut with ‘Pratima’, Barua made a number of movies that were well received by the audience. Both ‘Pita Putra’ and ‘Pahari Kanya’ helped him make his mark as a contemporary director in Assamese movie industry.
Hiya Diya Niya
While the earlier films were successful and got positive critical response, it was with ‘Hiya Diya Niya’ Barua arrived in the Assamese film industry. It was a blockbuster and helped revive the industry that went into a slump. The romantic drama, released in 2000 has music composed by Zubeen Garg and he also sang the songs. It has ace actors Jatin Bora and Nipon Goswami in cast.
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Kanyadaan is a family drama movie directed by Barua that won the mass. Starring ace actor Jatin Bora it deals with life of a man who falls in love with a girl belonging to a wealthy family. Released in 2002, the movie has music by Zubeen Garg.
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While Barua became popular with viewers by the late 1990s, critics wondered why the awards eluded him. However, with ‘Dinabandhu‘, Barua got the recognition he deserved. It is based on a short story by ace director and writer late Dr. Bhabendranath Saikia. The film, released in 2005 got the coveted National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Assamese. It has stars like Zubeen Garg, Nishita Goswami and Tapan Das in major roles.
Released in 2011, this romantic drama film is deemed to be one of the best works of Munin Barua. Starring ace actors like Nishita Goswami, Bishnu Kharghoria, and Jatin Bora, the films has enchanting music by Jatin Sharma. Its songs, sung by singers like Zubeen Garg, Sunidhi Chauhan and Angaraag Mahanta turned out to be extremely popular. This movie was also declared a blockbuster.