The style was reintroduced in 1992 with the Belgian black comedy crime mockumentary Man Bites Dog.
However, neither of these two films succeeded in leaving an impression on the audiences' minds. It was 7 years later, in 1999, with the release of The Blair Witch Project, this style of filmmaking began getting recognition, and audiences also started to pay more attention to it.
One of the most famous and iconic scenes from The Blair Witch Project was that of a young woman staring into the camera, crying, hyperventilating, and talking directly to her audience.
Apart from being arguably the most famous scene, it is also the most parodied image of found footage in horror cinema in general.
Many film aficionados even claim that this scene is perhaps one of the defining images of world cinema in the 1990s.
Today, found footage is one of the most preferred techniques while shooting horror movies or scenes.
However, the technique comes with several challenges, and it also tests the patience of the filmmakers. Only a handful of filmmakers dare to go ahead with this technique.
Among the few found footage movies made in India include LSD: Love Sex Aur Dhokha, 6-5=2, Case No. 666/2013, etc.
Story Behind The Chirag Project: Kahinir Aror Kahini is the latest on the list. The movie also happens to be the first found footage movie in Assamese.
The story is set in Mayong, a village in the Morigaon district of Assam, approximately 40 km from Guwahati. The movie narrates the events of a day, which take place in the lives of four budding filmmakers when they go location hunting for their film, The Chirag Project.
It is the story of how these filmmakers are strangled by paranormal sequences and what ultimately happens to them.
It stars Himangshu Gogoi, Suprabhat Gope, Kaushik Nath, and Pompi Borah in the leads.
The 1:38 hour-long film is directed by Sourav Baishya. He has also written the story and the screenplay apart from handling the camera and editing.
It is an honestly made movie with every actor essaying their roles with ease and comfort, and when you watch the film, you won’t feel even for a minute that they were acting.
The dialogue and delivery style are natural, and everything appears to be impromptu and unscripted.
As the language used is youth-centric, one can easily connect to it with ease.
The use of ambient light and sound makes the movie watching time engrossing and you are not bored, even for a split second.
Mayong was once considered the cradle of black magic in India. The director subtly highlights this fact. He takes the help of folklore and myths to establish the horror element in the story. This is a commendable approach.
Even though there was room for improvements, the VFX and editing of the film were praiseworthy.
The movie is not loud, and we don’t see any exaggeration whatsoever, nor is there any unnecessary use of background music, which makes the movie even more engaging.
Like most found footage films, this film was also popularised as a real story when it was made in 2019. The social media accounts of the actors were also deactivated for a few months, and news of their deaths was also carried in some newspapers.
Had the movie got a proper theatrical release, I am sure it would have gone on to become one of the pioneering films of the Assamese film industry.
The digital release of the film was also halted, and it is available now on YouTube. If you wish to watch this engrossing horror tale, then click here.
This is an honest and sincere effort from a young team and we should appreciate it.
The movie is successful in making the right impact. Read the comments and you will know what I mean. Some of the comments are- "Till last, I thought it was a true Story, really it scared me. Good work Sourav dada"; "I can’t imagine that this film is in Assamese. You guys are awesome. Keep it up, bros. Our blessings are always with you."; "The film ended with the disclaimer that it is all fictitious, that’s when I realised it wasn’t the real footage. This is by far the best Assamese movie I've come across. Keep up the good work!"
Story Behind The Chirag Project: Kahinir Aror Kahini is certainly a horror film not to be missed if you are a fan of the genre.
We can bring home a lot of positives from this first found footage Assamese horror film.
ALSO READ | Bhoi: An Assamese Web Series Worth Watching
Partha Prawal (Goswami) is a Guwahati-based journalist who loves to write about entertainment, sports, and social and civic issues among others. He is also a published author.