The Films Division under the I&B Ministry has announced that Mizoram capital Aizawl, which has no permanent theatre screening movies or any film-making infrastructure to speak of, will be a permanent venue for the bi-annual Mumbai International Film Festival.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the week-long “MIFF in Mizoram” at Aizawl on Monday, Films Division Director General V S Kundu said, “There will be two permanent venues for the MIFF. Every year we will take the MIFF to four venues where we will also conduct workshops for local film-makers. Two among these will be permanent venues. Aizawl will be one such permanent venue.”
“Mizo people have a natural tendency for audio-visual arts, especially in music and aesthetics. The MIFF will seek to help build a vibrant Mizo film industry. We need to start cultivating the skill-set of Mizo youth… to make the right films,” Kundu said.
The Films Division has in the last few weeks been screening award-winning MIFF films in various states including Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. In Aizawl, the “MIFF in Mizoram” is scheduled to screen 25 films, including four made abroad, over six days and conduct daily workshops for film-makers.
“The state should develop infrastructural support for films, such as a film library where film-makers can watch films. The challenge is that Mizoram does not have a permanent commercial theatre, so in that regard perhaps informal cinema screening places can be built,” Kundu added.
Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who inaugurated the film festival, said, “I must admit that we have no infrastructure whatsoever for films. Equally I must admit our youths have also not received any encouragement. But the credit goes to them that many have made some good films on their own, and without any training.”
“I am very grateful to Union I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar for helping organize this program,” Lal Thanhawla said of the “MIFF in Mizoram”.
Two feature films from Mizoram had featured in the MIFF earlier this year. Both were made by local independent film-makers.
While “Khawnglung Run” gained popularity in the state through screenings at community halls, “Chengrang Lanu” was helped along by the state’s Information and Public Relations Department, which has asked the Finance Commission for funds to set up a film-city in the state.