The first Itanagar International Film Festival (IIFF), which begins from February 22, will showcase the best of cinema of the Northeast, and from far-east Asian countries. The three-day festival will take place at the Dorjee Khandu convention centre in the state capital Itanagar.

‘Bulbul Can Sing’ by Rima Das, which won the Special Jury Mention at Berlin International Film Festival recently, will be the opening film while another film from Assam ‘III Smoking Barrels’ will be the closing film.

“The IIFF is a celebration of the best of far eastern Asian cinema and cinema of Northeast India. The festival, through its carefully curated programmes and workshops, aims at engaging all audience groups that express an interest towards films,” said an organizer.

The ‘Cine NE competition’, for feature films only, is open to the filmmakers of the eight Northeast states.

“We envision a world where creativity, knowledge and the power of cinema are accessible to all, creating the opportunity to blend the culture and heritage of the region. The festival will also put Arunachal Pradesh on the map of world cinema,” the organizer added.

The festival shall see a total of 35 to 40 films which include Indian Panorama, World Cinema, and Far East Asian Films, Children’s Films, documentary films, Competition Section Films and outdoor screenings of critically acclaimed films of Indian Cinema.

Apart from that there will be interactive sessions – master class on cinematography by Aseem Bajaj, master class on photography by Shantanu Sheorey and workshop on screenplay writing and filmmaking by Kamal Swaroop.

The Indian Panorama section includes films like Walking with the Wind by Praveen Morchhale, Village Rockstars by Rima Das, Crossing Bridges by Sange Dorjee where mountaineer Anshu Jamsenpa has played an important role, Loktak Lairembee by Haobam Paban Kumar and The Head Hunter by Nilaanjan in Wancho language of Arunachal Pradesh and Yarwng by Joseph Pulinthanath in Kokborok language of Tripura among others.

The IIFF also has a unique segment called Popular Cinema under which Bollywood films like Uri: The Surgical Strike, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi will be screened.

There shall be no festival registration fee; however, in order to attend the festival, all cine enthusiasts shall have to register themselves online on the official festival website.

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About Abdul Gani


Abdul Gani is a Guwahati-based journalist