Utpal Borpujari

All About UB

A National Award-winning film critic & journalist-turned-filmmaker and alumni of IIT-Roorkee, Utpal Borpujari has extensively written on cinema, politics, society, literature and culture, among other things, before turning a scriptwriter and filmmaker. As a professional journalist since 1993, he covered leading political parties, Parliament proceedings, Central government ministries, Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, Northeast India, international film festivals, et al.

As a filmmaker, he made his first documentary film “Mayong: Myth/Reality” in 2012, which was screened in several film festivals (details below) and released nationally on DVD by Junglee Home Video, a unit of Times Music. His next documentary “Songs of the Blue Hills” (2013) was invited to nearly 20 international film festivals and also screened as part of world music course at the famous Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China (details below).

His feature-length documentary “Memories of a Forgotten War”, which focuses on World War II’s famous battles in Northeastern India, got its world premiere at the Indian Panorama section of the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, 2016, and since then has been widely appreciated. His other documentaries, “For a Durbar of the People” (2013, made for Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj) and “Soccer Queens of Rani” (2014, made for Rajya Sabha Television) have also been well appreciated.

His fiction debut, a Assamese children’s feature film titled “Ishu” produced by Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI), had its World Premiere in the Indian Languages Competition Section at the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival, 2017, and won the National Award in 2018, in addition to several other awards, nominations and festival participations (see below).

He has written scripts for several documentaries. As a member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), he has served on several prestigious film juries. Borpujari has also directed and scripted several public service documentaries and ad films for leading multilateral and government agencies and NGOs, such as UNESCO, Population Services International, Smile Foundation, Ministry of External Affairs and Films Division, Government of India. He is also active as a film festival organizer and curator.

Educational Qualification:

  1. Tech (Applied Geology) – IIT (Roorkee), 1993
  2. Sc (Geology – Honours) –Gauhati University, 1989 (from Cotton College, Guwahati)

Professional Qualification:

As a Filmmaker/ Proprietor: 92X26 Films

As director-scriptwriter:

  1. Mayong: Myth/Reality (2012) – documentary, produced by Darpan Cine Productions – 6th IDSFFK (Kerala, 2013); Silent River Film Festival (California, 2013); Cinema Verite International Documentary Film Festival (Iran, 2103); 5th CineASA Guwahati International Film Festival (Assam, 2013); Indie8 Shillong, 2013; Special screenings at IIM-Bangalore, India International Centre-New Delhi, Jamia Milia Islamia University-New Delhi. DVD released internationally by Junglee Home Video.
  2. For a Dorbar of the People (2013) – documentary on the traditional village assembly system in Meghalaya, produced by Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India. Telecast on Doordarshan and Lok Sabha Television channels. Screened at National Tribal Festival organised by Ministry of Tribal Affairs, New Delhi (2015).
  3. Songs of the Blue Hills (2013) – documentary on contemporary Naga folk Music practices, produced by Centre for Cultural Resources & Training (CCRT), Government of India. – 11th Eyes & Lenses Ethnographic Film Festival, (Warsaw, Poland, 2014); New York Indian Film Festival (2014); Gothenberg Indie Film Festival (In Competition, Sweden, 2014); Visions du Reel, International Doc Market section (Nyon, Switzerland, 2014); World Music & Independent Film Festival, (In Competition, Washington, 2014); Signs 2014 (In Competition, Kochi, 2014); Ischia International Film Festival (Ischia, Italy, 2014); Ladakh International Film Festival (In Competition, Leh, 2014); International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram, 2014); 21STArtXXI (Bucharest, Romania, 2014); 8th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (In Competition, 2014); 2nd Parma International Music Film Festival (In Competition, Parma, Italy, 2014); Guanzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (2014); 2nd Silk Road International Film Festival, Xi’an city, Shaanxi province, China, October 2014; 9th Seattle South Asian Film Festival, November, 2014; Tura Film Festival (Meghalaya, 2014); Rajasthan International Folk Festival, Jodhpur (Special of Screening, 2014); 18 Degrees Festival, Shillong, Meghalaya (Special Screening, 2014); Samvaad: All India Tribal Conclave, Jamshedpur (Special Screening, 2014); Indian Panorama, 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa (2014); North Carolina Global Film Festival (USA, 2015); screened as part of World Music course at Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China (April, 2016).
  4. Soccer Queens of Rani (2014) – documentary on a Football coach’s effort to train a bunch of economically-underprivileged tribal girls in a remote Assam village, produced by and telecast on Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV).
  5. Memories of a Forgotten War (2016), produced by Subimal Bhattacharjee (Jookto) – feature-length documentary on the battles of World War II fought in Northeastern India – World Premiere in the Indian Panorama section of 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, 2016; Fragrances of the Northeast Film Festival, Pune, January 2017; Normandie-World WarII International Film Festival, France, June 2017; 5th Woodpecker International Film Festival, New Delhi, November 2017 (Winner: Best Film on North East India Award); 15th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF), January, 2018; Special Screening at IIM Shillong, 2018; Lonavala International Film Festival 2018.
  6. Ishu (2017)– Children’s feature film (Assamese), produced by Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) – World Premiere in the Indian Languages Competition Section of the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival, November, 2017 (Best Director and Best Film Nominations); Canada Kids Film Festival, Toronto, 2017; 3rd Smile International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFFCY), New Delhi, 2017; 16th 3rd Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai, 2017; 10th International Guwahati Film Festival, 2017; 1st Assam International Rural Film Festival, Meleng Phesual, 2017; International Children Film Festival Bangladesh (International Competition) 2018; 7th Kolkata International Children’s Film Festival, 2018; 10th Bengaluru International Film Festival, 2018 (Special Jury Award in Indian Competition); 2nd CHRI Matter of Right(s) Film Festival, New Delhi, 2018; Toulouse Indian Film Festival, France, 2018; New York Indian Film Festival, 2018 (Nomination for Best Child Actor to Kapil Garo); National Award for Best Assamese Film, 65th National Film Awards, 2018; 1st International Children’s Film Festival of Kerala (ICFFK), 2018; Chitra Bharati Indian Film Festival, Mumbai, 2018; Prag Cine Awards, Assam 2018 (Best Director, Special Jury Mention for lead actor Kapil Garo and Best Costume Design Awards); Assam State Film Awards 2018 (Best Children’s Film, Best Child Actor, Best Music, Best Sound Design, Best Actor in a Negative Role, Best Art Direction); Asia Pacific Film Awards (APSA) In Competition, 2018; Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Australia, 2018; Regional Film Festival, Goethe Institute, New Delhi, 2018; 13th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, Seattle (USA) 2018; Habitat Film Festival, New Delhi, 2018; India International Centre Festival of the Arts, New Delhi, 2018; ; Bangla & Axomiya Film Festival, New Delhi, 2019; 3rd Sailadhar Baruah Film Awards, Assam, 2019 (Best Film); 1st Guwahati International Children’s Film Festival, 2019 (Closing film)

 As scriptwriter:

  1. A Real Cultural Revolution (2011), produced by Films Division – documentary
  2. Documentary on Odia culture (2011), produced by Govt of Odisha
  3. Resurgent Manas (2006), produced by Ministry of External Affairs – documentary
  4. Several CSR documentaries for Save the Children, Population Services International, Smile Foundation, etc.


  1. Chief Assistant Director: Jalpari – The Desert Mermaid (Feature Film, Hindi, 2012)
  2. Script Consultant: Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare / …as the River flows (Feature Film, Assamese/Hindi, 2012).

As Film Critic/Journalist/Festival Curator:

  1. Winner, Swarna Kamal for Best Film Criticism, 50th National Film Awards, 2003.
  2. Part of 177 worldwide film critics who were invited by BBC Culture to poll individual Top 10 films of the 21st Century (2016).
  3. Part of 209 worldwide film critics who were invited by BBC Culture to poll the Top 100 world cinema of all time (2018).
  4. Former Member, International Film Critics Federation (FIPRESCI) – has served on FIPRESCI juries at Montreal World Film Festival (2010), MAMI Mumbai Film Festival (2006), 11th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival (NETPAC-FIPRESCI Jury, 2009), MIFF (organized by Films Division, 2012 and 2008).
  5. Panel of 10 critics 10 directors whose selection of 20 films each led to the Top 20 of Indian cinema ‘Master List’ for the ‘T20 of Indian Cinema’ event at 40th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, 2009 (www.t20ofindiancinema.com)
  6. Member, National Film Awards Jury, 51st National Film Awards, 2004.
  7. Member, selection jury for World Cinema, IFFI, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008.
  8. Curator/Consultant: Focus Section on Northeast Cinemas, 44th International Film Festival of India, Goa (2013); “Fragrances from the North East” Film Festivals organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Govt of India, New Delhi (2014, 2015) and Pune (2017); “Tales of Women: North East Cinema”, 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa (2014); “Camera Along the Brahmaputra” Film Festival, commemorating 80 years of Cinema in Assam, at India International Centre, New Delhi (2015); “Young Directors From Northeast India”, 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa (2015); South Asian Film Festival, the Maldives (2007); 70 years of Assamese Cinema), 3rd Eye Asian Film Festival, Mumbai (2005); Guwahati International Film Festival (2005)
  9. Artistic Director, Guwahati CineASA International Film Festival since 2009.
  10. Director, Guwahati International Short Film Festival, 2011 & 2012.
  11. Creative Advisor, Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival, Guwahati, 2014.
  12. Jury to select scripts at the The Indian Children’s Film Lab (International screen writing lab for Indian children’s cinema 2009), organized by Eleeanora Images (India) and Performing Arts Labs (PAL), UK
  13. Short Film Competition Jury at the 1st Pravasi Film Festival, New Delhi, 2010
  14. Jury member of WeCare Film Festival, New Delhi, 2011
  15. Drishti Creative Contest Jury, 2012 (for films, posters and creative works on themes related to blindness)
  16. Member of Jury, 9th CMS Vatavaran Environment & Wildlife Film Festival, New Delhi, 2017.
  17. Member of Jury, the SunChild 7th International Environmental Festival, organized by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), Armenia, 2017.
  18. Member of Jury, “Award Scheme for Short Films on Human Rights Issues”, National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, 2017.
  19. Member of pre-selection Jury, National Science Film Festival, 2018.
  20. Columnist for dearcinema.com (Mumbai) and Eastern Chronicle (Guwahati).
  21. Have Worked as a Journalist/Film Critic for The Sentinel (Guwahati), Press Trust of India (PTI, New Delhi), indiatimes.com (New Delhi), Deccan Herald (New Delhi)
  22. Journalistic/Film Criticism work carried in The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Times of India, Assam Tribune, North East Times, Deep Focus Cinema, Seven Sisters Post, Outlook, India Today, Firstpost.com, The Assam Tribune, The North East Times, Raijor Batori, Prantik, etc.
  23. Member, Film Selection Committee, Centre for Cultural Resources & Training (CCRT), Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
  24. Member, Preview Committee, DD Urdu Channel, 2013.
  25. As a critic and journalist, has covered Cannes, Nantes, Montreal, IFFI, MAMI, 3rd Eye Asian Film Fest, MIFF and Osian’s Cinefan film festivals over the years.
  26. Editor, official catalogue of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 & 2008.
  27. Member, Executive Committee, Dr Bhabendranath Saikia Institute of Mass Communication, Guwahati.
  28. Trustee, Film Trust India, New Delhi.
  29. Trustee, Le France, Guwahati
  30. Member, Advisory Panel (Assamese), National Book Trust, India (2014-17 )
  31. Member, Indian Panorama (Feature Films), 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, 2014.
  32. Advisor, PickurFlick.com, PickurFlick Indie Film Festival, Pondicherry International Film Festival 2018 onwards.
  33. Member, Evaluation Committee, Short Film Contest of Union Ministry of Cuture on MyGov platform to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, 2018

As author:

  1. Co-Author, “Secret Killings of Assam” (published by Nanda Talukdar Foundation, Guwahati, Assam).
  2. Editor-Co-Author, “Assam”, A coffee table book (published by Nanda Talukdar Foundation, Guwahati, Assam)
  3. Contributed to Coffee Table Book on Assamese Cinema (published by Bhabani Printers, Assam)


  1. I have read your article since I was in school, and thanks to blogs and the internet, I came to know a bit more about you and your work. I’m quite inspired and I really like reading your articles especially on the North East.

    Comment by asma — May 1, 2009 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

  2. Hi Utpal,

    Nice blog with very well written articles. Let us meet up someday. I stay pretty near to ur place in Mayur Vihar Phase 1 extension.


    Comment by geoux — August 8, 2009 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

  3. utpal,
    aap ke blog par aaka achchha laga.achchha likh rahe hain aap.keep in touch.

    Comment by ajay brahmatmaj — December 15, 2009 @ 8:45 am | Reply

    • bahut bahut dhanyabaad ajay bhai

      Comment by utpalb21 — December 18, 2009 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  4. Hope to also see Assam-centric stories here. You have always been my teacher-friend-colleague. Please continue with the role by enlightening me (and your readers) about Assam and neighboring areas. Best.

    Comment by Neeraj Bhushan — February 14, 2010 @ 11:00 am | Reply

  5. Though i heard ur name earlier, never got the chance to go through your blog. Today after reading your blogs and also about you, I am very happy to see people like you doing well in national journalism. Specially i liked your background and now i’m finally convinced that science people excel everywhere. i am a student of delhi university doing physics honors in Kirori mal College originally hailing from guwahati. i also have a keen interest in writing. Hope to be in touch.

    Comment by Tanmoy Sharma — June 28, 2010 @ 7:31 pm | Reply

  6. never knew you blogged. Hope to read you online.

    Comment by rahconteur — November 16, 2010 @ 8:57 am | Reply

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