Two documentary films from Arunachal Pradesh, covering the life and traditions of the Galos and the Kaasik sub-tribe of the Noctes, will be screened during the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF)-2022, which began on Sunday.
The documentary on the Kaasik sub-tribe is titled ‘The Songs We Sing, The Drums We Beat’.
The 17th edition of the MIFF encompasses 13 films from the Northeast which capture the lives and traditions of these states. The package contains 10 documentaries and three short fictions.
The documentary film from Assam follows the interesting life of the Assamese Sikhs and reveals how the Sikh community in the state have stepped into the greater Assamese socio-cultural-literary circles by adopting the Assamese language as their own, instead of Punjabi.
‘Forging Future’, another documentary made against the backdrop of a village of blacksmiths in rural Assam depicts the generational change in the village.
Out of the two documentaries from Manipur, one chronicles the history of 50 years of cinema in Manipur. The other one, ‘Manipur Mindscapes’, is an attempt to encompass the resilience of the Manipuri people.
‘Because We Did Not Choose’, the lone film from Meghalaya, is a meticulous documentation that examines the participation of indigenous labourers from the Northeast in World War I.
Shot over four years in Shillong, Guwahati, Kolkata, Chennai and Europe, the film shines light on the unacknowledged and forgotten presence of indigenous labourers in the war.
The state of Mizoram is being represented by two films. While The Uncertain Years unfurls the inside story of the life of the people during the Covid-19 pandemic and handling of it by the society, medical volunteers and common people, This is Mizoram is full of enchanting visuals along with articulate narration of the exotic natural beauty of Mizoram.
The film from Nagaland is based on the life of the Longfuru community, which carries many stories of migration and continues to seek the spirit of the forest and ancestral wisdom to sustain their self-sufficient lifestyle and worldviews.
The documentary from Sikkim, ‘The Endless Note’, is on the folk music instruments of that state. The three short fictions from Assam also carry interesting contents. While the first one, Sanctuary, deals with the difference of the thought process of a dramatist and a militant leader, the second one, Naoka, is about the illusion made by the creations of Franz Kafka, Beethoven and Salvador Dali.
‘A Little Sunshine’, another short film from Assam, revolves around an aged couple and their sick pet dog.
Scriptwriter and journalist Chandan Sarmah curated the films in this special package section.
‘Meiram – The Fireline’, the documentary from Manipur, directed by James Khangenbam, is the opening film in the documentary category. The film, which gently touches upon the embracing colours of wilderness and biodiversity, is included in the ‘National Prism’ package of MIFF-2022.
The international and national jury for the MIFF comprise veteran filmmakers, editors, journalists, theatre artists and historians from India and abroad.
The international jury comprises award-winning wildlife filmmaker Subbiah Nallamuthu, French documentary filmmaker Mina RAD, world-renowned French producer and director Jean Pierre Saire, National Film Award winning journalist Anant Vijay and Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman.
The national jury also brings together eminent personalities like filmmaker/producer Tareq Ahmed, theatre artiste Jayasree Bhattacharya, National Award-winning filmmaker Sanjit Narwekar, journalist and film critic Ashley Ratnavibhushana, and experienced film editor Subhash Sehgal.
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