Agarwala’s film was shot on a temporary studio created on his family’s tea estate in Bholaguri. “Jyotiprasad designed the set using bamboo hats and mats, deer and buffalo horns, Naga spears, and other traditional materials,” writes Assamese filmmaker Altaf Mazid, who has partly restored one print version of the movie. “For developing [the] film, ice was brought from Calcutta by steamer, train and automobile.”
Agarwala paid the pioneer’s price for his efforts: Joymoti’s commercial failure drove him into debt, while his lead actress, Adieu Handique, endured social censure and ostracism for years for portraying a married woman on the screen. Agarwala’s far-thinking vision, however, has ensured that Joymoti endures as a visionary piece of cinema, one that heralded the beginning of a film industry.
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