6 competition films from the North East India have selected in the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF 2014) 3-9 February. These films are showing in Tata Theatre from 5-8 February.
1. ‘Rahashyar Bitchaku (Assam) by Altaf Mazid
This film is on popular and prolific writer Ranju Hazarika, writing since the 1970s onwards, regaling readers with characters from his work from the time of their childhood. His themes range from detective /horror stories to social romance on subject as varied as alien creatures invading our earth, explorers dying mysteriously in deep Amazon forests, on death silently hitting those who hear mystical musical tune, or an impossible love between two people of diverse social status. His close to 700 published books are nearly all best sellers.
2. Resonance of mother’s melody (Assam) by Dip Bhuyan
Kongthong, a remote Khasi village in Meghalaya of the Indian sub-continent is characterised by a unique age-old practice of communication through whistling. It is perhaps the only place in India where people communicate among themselves through whistling and using different tunes to call each other. After knowing this, a young researcher went to the place with a group to explore the things. She observed it and had interactions with the villagers, headman and others and finally came out with some interesting facts. The researcher could discover that every child has his/her own special tune given at the time of birth by the mother and at a later stage of growth, a shorter version of that tune is used for communication. The documentary film starts with the journey of the researcher and goes on with the things of the place and finally ends with various findings of her research.
3 Lady Musket’ (Mizoram) by Malsawmkima Chhangte
This film depicts an unusual event in the life of the of a young Mizo girl. It attempts to illustrate a different aspect of the role of women in early Mizo life from the stereotypical girl who either stays at home, works in the field or is basically unable to fend for herself. It starts with a brief narration of the old way of life of the Mizo with visual imagery (sketches) depicting the narration. Emphasis laid on the danger of the life of the people who are always at war with each other. The Scene then dissolves into a scene where the protagonist is being stalked by two warriors from a neighbouring tribe, is abducted and carried back to the enemy village. The ambush party stops for a rest at a thlam (hut) where the girl somehow manages to escape and take revenge on her captors
4. Snake under the bed’ (Manipur) by Romi Meitei
Ningthou who is from a far village, bought a boot for his personal use from a market. He thought his newly purchased boot would be very helpful for agricultural activities. But his fate disheartens him. There was an order issued from State home ministry that no one is allow to use army military accessories. Everyone who posses such items were burning to ash so that they can be safe. But Ningthou doesn’t want to loose his new boot so easily as he didn’t use for a once. He hides his boot one place to another and keeps shifting/changing the places. He has no place to hide, he is really afraid. Finally he throws away his precious boot into a big canal in the middle of the night. The next early morning Army founds his boot.
5. My Grandpa's Home (Manipur) by Alexander Leo Pou
This film captrues the intimate dying moments of the Poumais tradition and culture.
6. The Skiff (Manipur) by Kh. Biswamittra Singh
He is poor. He is in his teens. He is from a rural area closed to Imphal. He has the National characters –hard working, sincerity, punctuality, discipline, firm determination, sacrificial spirit and observes Brahmacharya by controlling his semen. He is Tomcha. In India, people are eagerly looking forward for “Vision 2020”. It is the National ethos and dream of the country. But many plan-periods could not go through the frozen layers of poverty. “Below Poverty Line” is reddish in colour and still found very clear. None of the National Lenders moulds National Pillars of the future. But Tomcha is as poor as the lonely skiff in the stormy ocean of life.
The two other films in the information section of the festival is ‘NH39’ by Waribam Dorendra and ‘Manipuri Pony’ by Aribam Syam Sharma.