Northeast Film Festival: The Route To Connect


Being a native of Manipur, where local films are doing well, I have been wondering if some of the films produced could be screened in other parts of India as well, as they deserve to be seen by more people outside the state. I have been observing that films from the north-eastern part of India hardly make an entry into the mainstream cinematic domain in the country. So when I heard that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) is hosting the fiHYPERLINK “″rst north-east film festival in Delhi, I didn’t find any reason to give it a miss.

At the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa last year, they had a different section on north-east showcasing several films. This paves the way for north-east as a place to be explored and its filmmakers to get an exposure to the outside world. Such initiatives give platforms to filmmakers to carry forward their passion and the film fraternity gets an opportunity to invest in the region. Usually film producers and directors face financial crunch, and without a strong support they become discouraged and fail to continue with their work.

Films have become one of the most effective means of communication. In today’s world, where many things are happening around us, the convergence of sound and visuals can carry across the intended message. It is through films that we know about a society’s culture and traditions.

India’s northeast is diverse in itself and there is great scope for exploring its rich cultural and geographical diversity. The region also serves as a hub for excellence in sports and music. In this regard, if the talents are well tapped and the rich diversity is acknowledged, northeast has the potential of becoming the face of India to the world. In fact, its contribution to the tourism sector has been remarkable. So in all these potentialities, films can play a huge role.

The festival titled “Fragrances of the Northeast” is showcasing nine films including seven feature films. The Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of I&B, who is hosting the three-day festival were doubtful about the footfall. Somewhat of a surprise, the seats at the venue were filled on the first day itself.

It was amazing to see youngsters clapping, singing and even dancing to the performance of PapHYPERLINK “”on and his band, East India Company. The band was invited to grace the opening ceremony. It is the first time I saw them perform live, and without a doubt I could say they truly lived up to the title of the festival “fragrances”. I was captivated by their soulful fusion of tribal folk music with Punjabi and Sufi music. They indeed were showcasing the north-eastern talents.

The I&B minister, Prakash JavadHYPERLINK “”eHYPERLINK “”kar , who was the chief guest at the fest expressed  his government’s willingness to acknowledge more, the talents  and creativities of the North-eastern people. He said that India’s 2014 budget is northeast centric and with much pride, he highlighted how the then NDA government had taken huge initiatives for the region and the measures the present government is undertaking to carry forward those initiatives.

Giving us hope that the fest would be held in the coming years, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have been invited and next year he must be made to grace the occasion. We have already seen the Prime Minister happily wearing all the tribal headgears in all his visits to the north-eastern states, indicating his love for the rich culture that the region has. Our expectations are high that the present government will leave no stone unturned to come up with initiatives and build the infrastructure for the budding talents of the northeast.

I’m hopeful that through this film festival, north-east will become more connected with rest of the country. Feelings of alienation among its people from the mainland India will fade away gradually with such kind of initiatives and the Centre will become “a thing of the past” in the comings days.

To know about the event schedule, click the link below:–film-festival/id–1393.html

Valentina Telien Kom

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