"Fragrances of the Northeast" festival promotes region's films, food and craft in Delhi
Themthingchon YR and Ipsita Panda, New Delhi, Aug. 30
The three-day-long film festival was held at the Siri Fort Auditorium complex in Delhi and attracted a large crowd.
Inaugurated by Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, the festival showcased eight films from the Northeast. They included Jhanu Barua's Assamese film Ajeyo and Pradip Kurbah's Khasi film Ri: A Homeland of Uncertainty.
Several film personalities from the northeastern states were felicitated during the event.
"Northeast has a very rich cultural diversity. We want the region to contribute in a larger way towards arts, culture, education, science and sports. This was just an attempt to bring the region into the mainstream and bridge the gap," said Javadekar.
"This is a brilliant opportunity. I always say if you are not able to visit these beautiful places, these lush green regions, then we will bring it to you," added the Director of the Film Festival, Shankar Mohan.
On the opening day, Assamese singer and composer Papon along with his band 'The East India Company' enthralled the audience. He sang a number of his hits in Assamese, Punjabi and Bollywood songs as well.
Internationally-acclaimed Naga pianist and singer Nise Meruno and the choir group "Nagaland Singing Ambassadors" also mesmerized the audience with a dazzling performance.
"It's important for us to push alternate music, folk music or any other stream of cinema. So, this kind of festivals will open up many more doors and windows for the young ones to get encouraged to make films and represent them, at least there will be an audience, there will be a platform to showcase different stories that come from different corners of India," said singer Papon.
"It's a very good event in fact a very good platform for the northeastern artists, not only film makers but actors, musicians, painters as well. The enthusiasm that we have seen today, I think that we can really reach out to people," added Assamese film director Manju Baruah.
The festival also showcased an exhibition of handicrafts from the northeastern states. A painting exhibition organized by the Lalit Kala Akademi was also a part of the event.
"We had never come to Delhi before to showcase our products. This is the first time we have come here from Arunachal. We feel really happy for this opportunity," an exhibitor from Arunachal Pradesh, Tayum, said.
Visitors also sampled the mouth-watering cuisines of the northeast.
"If local people come out here, they don't only experience the music and culture of northeast, but also the food that we eat in the northeast which is a bit similar to the food eaten here, but there are some differences," said a visitor, Neel Utpal.
Such festivals are essential to bridge the gap between the Northeast region and rest of the country.
(Posted on 30-08-2014)