Noted film producer Sailadhar Baruah dead

GUWAHATI, Jan 10 – Eminent film producer Sailadhar Baruah passed away at the International Hospital around 3-20 pm today. He was 69, and had been suffering from diabetes and heart ailments. He was hospitalised on January 1.

Producer of a host of popular as well as critically-acclaimed films, Baruah had a long and memorable association with eminent director Jahnu Baruah. The duo gave the Assamese film industry gems such as 'Papori', 'Halodhia Choraye Bao Dhan Khay', 'Firingoti', 'Kanikar Ramdhenu', 'Kukhal Konwar', 'Pokhi' and 'Tora'.

Born in one of Assam’s oldest business houses at North Guwahati in December 1941, Baruah did his schooling from Cotton Collegiate Higher Secondary School and graduated in Science from Pragjyotish College.

Baruah’s inclination towards films began at an early stage. He was also a keen sportsman and cultural activist. He along with a few friends founded the Kristhi Vikas Sangha, a socio-cultural club, in 1958 – which to its credit organized the State’s first inter-college magazine competition. He was also the founder chairman and current director of the Assam Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research at Uzanbazar.

Baruah’s films reflect his passion of representing his land, people and their cultural ethos before a global audience. Several of his films won national as well as international acclaims. 'Halodhia Choraye Bao Dhan Khay' won the national award for the best film (Golden Lotus), the Grand Prix Leopard and World Ecumenical Award at the Locarno International Film Festival, and Best of Asia at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Indra Bania, the protagonist in the role of a struggling villager, went on to win the best actor award at the Locarno Film Festival.

'Hkhagoroloi Bohu Door', which deals with the story of a poor boatman whose only means of survival comes under threat with the construction of a bridge, was screened in 33 international film festivals. The film fetched Jahnu Baruah the national award for bestdirector. Bishnu Khargoria, actor in the role of the protagonist, received the best actor jury award.

Baruah also did a commissioned programme for Doordarshan titled 'Shruti Madhur' in 2005.

A bachelor, Baruah leaves behind two brothers and a sister.

His last rites will be performed at the Navagraha crematorium tomorrow. Before that, his body will be taken to his Panbazar office (Baruah Medicos), Assam Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research, Uzanbazar, and Ravindra Bhavan.