“The Forlorn”, a psychological thriller directed by Saptaswa Basu opened the first Imphal International Film Festival at the Rupmahal Theatre in Manipur capital Sunday. The festival will continue for four days.
“The Forlorn”, a Bengali film, features iconic actor from Bengal and Dadasaheb Phalke award winner Soumitra Chatterjee in a lead role.
“A total of 61 short films have participated in the film festival. There are a total of 45 short films made by Indian filmmakers and 16 films by filmmakers outside the country,” Mohen Naorem, festival director while talking told IANS Sunday.
“Our main objective is to promote quality film making in Manipur. Insurgents outfits here have banned the Hindi films since last several years. The filmmakers in this part of the country only make Manipuri films. However, off late we have seen filmmakers here bagging national and international awards. So, by organising the international film festival we wanted the filmmakers to be exposed to the various concepts and themes of international filmmaking,” he said.
There are over 30 militant outfits in Manipur, who till few years back banned screening of Hindi movies about ten years ago. While the move had affected the industry in the state, it had led to growth of more regional cinema, particularly short films.
While many renowned short filmmakers of the country participated in the festival, the festival will showcase four Spanish films, four Bangladeshi films and four films from Poland. Besides, there are films from Iran, Pakistan, Italy and Argentina.
“In Manipur, there are many stories which needed to be told to outside world. We want to promote the art of film making through this film festival so that more young people take up filmmakers in the state, to tell the stories of this insurgency ravaged state of the northeast to the outside world,” Naorem said.
“Exposure like this to the local filmmakers will benefit in terms of choosing themes, photography and overall production of the films,” he said.
Naorem said that they had also tied up with the organisers of other international film festivals like festivals in Dhaka and Iran. “We are going to send more Manipuri films to the international film festivals across the globe,” he said.
He also hoped that such festivals will explore the hidden talents of the region and the participating filmmakers will enjoy the regional theme and issues, which would be shared for a better future.
“The region needs one platform to showcase the rich cultural heritage, the local issues and unending crisis which the outside world never bothers to listen,” said another organiser of the festival.
With 16 films by foreign filmmakers, the Imphal International Film Festival is also dubbed as one of the biggest event in the northeastern region of India.