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Priest's film features in Goa festival

By C.M. Paul
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Guwahati, Nov. 25.  PANAJI - For the first time in 44 year history of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), 18 films made in local dialects from Northeast India are being show cased with a special six-day event (22-27 Nov) called 'Focus: North East.'

Award winning Kokborok film YARWNG (Roots) by Sampari Pictures from Tripura was screened today (25 Nov, 9.30 am) at the 44th IFFI Goa at MAQUINEZ PALACE - I auditorium in the Focus North East Cinema section of the festival.
The film's leading lady Miss Meena Debbarma and National Film Award (Best Regional Film 2010) winner director of the film Salesian Fr Joseph Pulinthanath of Shillong province were special invitees at the festival.

The feature film YARWNG in Tripura's indigenous tribal dialect was earlier honoured as the opening film at the IFFI Goa 2009.

''It is a matter of great pride for Yarwng family and Kokborok people to be honoured twice at the IFFI Goa and a third time at the National Film Awards in the last four years,'' Fr Pulinthantah told

Made in Kokborok, a tribal language of Tripura, the 95-minute film highlights the sense of alienation of the displaced and their heroism and endurance even when the ground beneath their feet is swept away by the winds of change.

Scripted and directed by Fr Pulinthanath, 'Yarwng,' a love story, is set against the construction of a dam that submerges fertile land inhabited by the tribals.

Well-etched characters in the film, all taken from the tribe, throw light on how the loss of their land impact upon the cultural, social and economic structures that shape their lives.

Produced by Fr. Joseph Kizhakkechendu, a member of the Don Bosco Society, and filmed by a crew from Kerala and West Bengal, ''the film's selection has come as a shot in the arm for activists of the Kokborok language.''

The Northeast section, which has been curated by National Award-winning film critic Utpal Borpujari, started on 22 November will culminate on November 27. Eminent Assamese artist and filmmaker Pulak Gogoi is the overall art director of the festival.

The section also screened ''Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Aru Joymoti'' (directed by Bhupen Hazarika), a documentary on the making of ''Joymoti,'' the first film in the North East made in 1935 by Jyotiprasad Agarwalla, and ''Matamgi Manipur,'' Haobam Paban Kumar's documentary ''The First Leap,'' ''Sonam'' (directed by Ahsan Majid, Monpa language), ''Ishanou'', ''Kathaa'' (directed by Prashant Rasailly), and ''Ka Lad'' (directed by Dondor Lyngdoh and Gautam Syiem).

Other films are: ''Songs of Mashangva'' (directed by Oinam Doren), ''Going the Distance'' (Directed by Tianla Jamir) from Nagaland, ''Panoi Jongki'' (directed by Dilip Doley and Narayan Seal, language Mising) from Assam, ''Papori'' (directed by Jahnu Barua) from Assam, ''Hagramayo Jinahari'' (directed by Jwngdao Bodosa, language Bodo) from Assam, ''Agnisnaan'' (directed by Dr Bhabendra Nath Saikia) from Assam, ''Baibhav - A Scam in Verse'' (directed by Manju Borah) from Assam, and ''Wosobipo'' (directed by Gautam Bora, language Karbi) from Assam.
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