The North East section of IFFI, 2015 ‘New Horizons from North East’ was inaugurated by Director, Directorate of Film festival, Shri C. Senthil Rajan and CEO, Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) Shri Ameya Abhyankar yesterday. The ‘New Horizons from North East’ opened with an Assamese film Xondhikyon directed by the budding director M. Maniram.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri C Senthil Rajan, the Festival Director said that North East has a special place in our country. This festival provides a platform for exposure of Indian directors to International delegates. We plan to take this festival to different parts of the country, he added. He also said that this section will showcase a special retrospective on the eminent film director Aribam Shyam Sharma. The Festival Director also said that this section is important for the young directors from the North East.

The performance by Laihui group from Manipur during the inaugural enthralled the audience present at the event.

The ‘New Horizons from North East’ will have two sections. The first section will be ‘A special retrospective on ace filmmaker Aribam Shyam Sharma’. Aribam Syam Sharma is an eminent film director, actor, and music composer from Manipur. He has received15 National Film Awards, Padma Shri and Dr. V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award. His films, Imagi Ningthem (My Son, My Precious) received the ‘Grand Prix’ at the Festival des Trios Continents in 1982; Ishanou (The Chosen One) was the Official Selection (Un Certain Regard) for the Cannes Film Festival, 1991; and the British Film Institute declared his film Sangai – the Dancing Deer of Manipur as the Outstanding Film of the Year 1989.  The films to be screened in the retrospective section include Orchids of Manipur, Imagi Ningthem, Matamgi Manipur, Yelhou Jagoi, Ishanou(Cannes selection), Olangthagee Wangmadasoo, Paari, Manipuri Pony, Koro Koshii – the Gate,  The Deer on the Lake,  The Monpas of Arunachal Pradesh, Meitei Pung, Lai Haraoba and The Marams.

The second section will showcase the work of new generation filmmakers from the North-East including films by Sange Dorjee Thongdok, Napolean RZ Thang, Kivini Shohe, Wanglen Khundongbam, Dominic Meham Sangma, Tiainla Jamir and Sanjib Das.

After the inaugural, directors Aribam Shyam Sharma, M. Maniram, Manju Bora and Jadumani Dutta at IFFI Media Centre at the Festival venue addressed a press conference.  The legendary filmmaker from Manipur, Aribam Shyam Sharma said that cost is a crucial factor in production of North East films and financial help is required in this regard for the sustainability of the North East cinema. Government can play and should play a big role in giving financial support to the directors from the North East. Aribam recollected that Doordarshan financially supported some of his best works.

Maniram said that awards should be given to encourage the filmmakers. He also highlighted the limited availability of avenues and theatres for screening of films in the North East and the inability of directors to even recover their costs. Emphasizing upon the promotion of regional films, recipient of National Film Award, Manju Borah said that that North East has many cultural, social and political avenues that are best suited for any creative person to make films on various themes.