Maiden northeast film festival begins in capital

New Delhi: The first edition of the northeast film festival got off to a glittering start in presence of popular artistes from the region including famed director Manju Borah and National award-winning actress Geetanjali Thapa.

Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the three-day fest titled `Fragrance of Northeast` along with Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Shankar Mohan, Director, Directorate of Film Festivals.

Several film personalities from the northeastern states including Borah and Thapa were also felicitated by the Union minister.

"The Northeast section at IFFI last year was a huge success and after that we decided to organise an independent film festival that will focus on films of that region. Our aim through this is to give a wholesome northeast experience," Mohan said.

Mapuia Chawngthu-directed Mizo film `Khawnglung Run` (The Raid of Khawnglung), which stars Alex Lalchhuankima, Zoremsangi Hnamte, Malsawmdawngliani and Joseph, opened the festival.

The movie was also the opening film of the `Focus on NE Cinema` Section at the 44th International Film Festival of India in Goa last year.

Bollywood singer Angaraag Papon Mahanta and his band East India Company kept the audience on their toes as they belted out hit Assamese, Punjabi and Bollywood numbers like `Fagun`, `Kyon`, `Mast Kalandar` among others. The festival curated by Utpal Borpujari, will culminate on August 24.

Pradip Kurbah`s `RI: Homeland of Uncertainty`, which won the National Award this year for Best Khasi film, will be the closing movie of the festival.

The other movies to be screened at the festival are `Yarwng` (a Kokborok film directed by Joseph Pulinthanath which opened the Indian Panorama in IFFI 2008), `Phijigee Mani` (directed by Oinam Gautam Singh and won the National Award for Best Manipuri Film), `Sonam` (In Monpa dialect of Arunachal Pradesh and directed by Ahsan Muzid), Jahnu Barua`s `Ajeyo` (Assamese which won the National Award this year for Best Assamese Film), Nagamese films `Going the Distance` (Tiainla Jamir) and `Bamboo Shoots` (Steven Ao) and Gorkhali film `Kathaa` (Prashant Rasaily).

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