A still from Rima Das’s film ‘Tora’s Husband’.

In 2022, a number of filmmakers from the Northeast, especially from Assam, managed to make a mark in the national and international milieu with their critically acclaimed films. These filmmakers have made the region proud with their phenomenal achievements. Here is a list of eight films–six from Assam and two from Manipur–which brought laurels to the Northeast in 2022.

Semkhor

Dimasa-language movie Semkhor, which landed in a major controversy for allegedly ‘misrepresenting’ Dimasa culture, won multiple awards including the Best Actress category at Toronto International Women Film Festival and the Special Audience award in the 20th Dhaka International Film Festival Award (2022). The film, directed by Aimee Baruah also bagged National Film Awards under two categories: Special Jury mention and Best Feature Film in Dimasa. Based on the traditions and livelihood of the ‘Semsas’, a Dimasa community living in the remote area of the Semkhor region in Assam’s  Dima Hasao district, the film drawn the ire of the Dimasa community for a ‘stereotypical representation’ of the Dimasas. Semkhor was the first-ever Dimasa language film screened as the opening feature film of the Indian Panorama in 2021.

Bridge

Kripal Kalita’s Assamese film Bridge, which depicts the story of loss, despair, disappointment, and grief centred around a bridge, won the Best Assamese Film (Rajat Kamal) award in the feature film category of the 68th National Film Awards. The 125-minute-long film grabbed the limelight when Shiva Rani Kalita, playing the lead character Jonaki, won the best debutant actor at the recent Ottawa India Film Festival.

Manas aru Manuh

Manas aru Manuh: Documentary tells revival story of Assams militancy-hit national park

Manas aru Manuh (Manas and People), a documentary film directed by Dip Bhuyan won the Rajat Kamal award for the Best Environment Film in the non-feature film category of the 68 National Film Awards. The film, produced by the Assam Forest Department, Directorate of the BTC, and biodiversity organization ‘Aaranyak’, tells the conservation success story of Assam’s Manas National Park. The 26-minute film narrates the story of how the Park is crucial for maintaining the cultural significance of the indigenous Bodo and other communities.

Pabung Syam

Pabung Syam, a Manipuri language documentary film, directed by filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar, won the Best Biographical Film award at the 68th National Film Awards. The movie, produced by the Film Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, is based on the life and works of renowned Manipuri filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma.

Kachichinithu

Karbi language film Kachichinithu (A Boy with a Gun), directed by Khanjan Kishore Nath, won the Best Short Fiction Film award at 68th National Film Awards in 2022. The short film, tells the story of a school boy, who lives in a hilly village with his parent.

Tora’s Husband

Still From Tora's Husband

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Rima Das’s Assamese film Tora’s Husband made it to the world premiere at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the 27th Busan International Film Festival and received a heartwarming response from cinephiles. The film was also screened at the 28th Kolkata International Film Festival. Tora’s Husband narrates the story of a loving father and a kind neighbour, who struggles to keep his small-town business afloat while his relationships deteriorate, amidst loss and lockdowns. Shot during the lockdown, the film depicts life in a small town during the pandemic. 

Hati Bondhu

Kripal Kalita’s documentary film Hati Bondhu (Friends of Elephants) was selected in the Indian Panorama section of the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Goa. The 51-minute film documents the human-elephant conflicts in Assam and the efforts being made to help them co-exist. It shows the efforts of Hati Bondhu, an environmental NGO, to save elephants and help the farmers’ rice harvest prosper, stopping the conflict between the two.

Beyond Blast

Beyond Blast, a Manipuri documentary film on a bomb blast victim was selected for the Indian Panorama’s non-feature film segment of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Goa. The film, made by journalist and filmmaker Saikhom Ratan is based on the life of Konthoujam Maikel Meitei, a painter who lost his both legs in a bomb blast. The film bagged the best Indian documentary film at the Filmshore International Film Festival (FIFF).

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