Director Jahnu Barua’s Ajeyo (Invincible, 2014) is not for the faint hearted. Adapted from contemporary playwright Arun Sarma’s award-winning novel, Ashirbadar Rong (The Hues of Blessing), the film translates into a fiery tale of an honest revolutionary youth’s fight against social evils in rural Assam in 1946. It went on to win the Best Feature Film in Assamese in the 61st National Film Awards.
Barua’s modern classic will be one of the films to be screened at the three-day Northeast film festival, titled “Fragrances from the North East”, that celebrates the best of contemporary cinema from the region, starting on August 22 at Siri Fort Auditorium.
Organised by Directorate of Film Festival and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the festival has been curated by film critic and filmmaker Utpal Borpujari. “There have been times when the Northeast has been in the news and coming from that perspective, the festival is a platform for Delhi to explore the region,” says Borpujari, “There are films which have won awards and those made by young filmmakers or old, as well.The idea is to have a compact festival over the weekend that creates a dialogue.”
Kickstarting the line-up will be Mapuia Chawngthu’s epic love story Khawnglung Run (The Raid of Khawnlung), in the Dulian dialect, the lingua franca of the Mizos, and is the first Mizo film to be screened outside Mizoram. Concluding the festival will be Pradip Kurbah’s RI: Homeland of Uncertainty, which won the National Award for Best Khasi film last year, the first from the region to have won a National Award in 30 years. The filmmakers and some of the cast will be at the venue to interact with the audience after the screenings.
The screenings will be accompanied by performances by popular musician Angaraag Papon Mahanta, Naga pianist Nise Meruno and choir group Nagaland Singing Ambassadors. There will also be exhibition-cum-sale of traditional handicrafts, a painting exhibition, and special food stalls representing cuisines from the eight states.
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The film festival is at Siri Fort Auditorium. Entry is free. Carry an ID card.