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Delhi hosts festival to promote north east films, culture and craft

New Delhi, Aug.29 : A three-day long film festival held under the theme of “Fragrances from the Northeast” at the Siri Fort Auditorium complex in Delhi gave locals a chance to sample the best of talent from the Northeast.

Organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals under the Information and Broadcasting ministry, the festival was inaugurated by Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore in the presence of Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

The festival showcased 15 documentaries, feature and short films from the Northeast. They included Pallepfam, the debut film of young Manipuri director Wanglen Khundongban, and ‘Crossing Bridges’ by Sanga Dorjee Thongdok from Arunachal Pradesh.

Several film personalities from the region including famous Manipuri director Aribam Syam Sharma, Assamese director Manju Borah, and actor Adil Hussain were felicitated during the event.

Rathore said, “The gap can be bridged only when we connect the Northeast and the rest of the country through sports, culture, and films. This is the second edition of the Northeast film festival in Delhi and it is an attempt in the direction of bridging the gap.”

Dominic Sangma, a film director from Meghalaya, said, “I think this is really important and I am thankful to the government for organizing this kind of festival especially for the Northeast. We do not get much exposure so it’s good for us to showcase our work not only to the people from Northeast but the others who come here as well.”

While a cultural troupe from Tripura mesmerized the audience by a Hojagiri Dance performance, artists from Manipur presented Dhol Pung Cholam and Raas Leela dances that were widely appreciated.

The festival also showcased an exhibition of handicrafts and food stalls from the northeastern states.

Adil Hussain, an actor from Assam, said, “Northeast has been neglected all these years and is slowly now coming to focus. The bunch of talent that we have in Northeast should come out and should be helped and sponsored by the government. Art has to be sponsored by the government, not commercial, but art films.”

Ahan, an artisan from Manipur, said, “Northeast people are very talented in the field of crafts. We make these bags and stone pottery ourselves. We were asked to exhibit here. It is a very good opportunity and we are thankful.”

Popular hard rock band from Sikkim, Girish and the Chronicles had the crowd grooving to their songs.

The four-member band sang a number of their original numbers as well as some popular English songs.

Yogesh Pradhan, Bass Guitarist, Girish and the Chronicles, said, “I think it’s a very good opportunity for any artist. It’s a great platform and this kind of event should happen more happen so that people recognize their work and they get appreciated for what they do.

Heena Dixit, a local, “I think it is a very important task to organize such events and get everybody to attend such festivals in order to inform and educate people about the different varieties of dance forms & cultures that India has to offer. We talk about the multiple states that we have but hardly anyone knows the kind of rich culture that it has to offer. Today we saw the dance forms of Radha and Govind. I had never seen such thing in my life. I was amazed by all of it.”

Such festivals have an important role to play in promoting a greater understanding about the north eastern region and highlighting the richness of its culture.