Borderland Narratives, the three-day festival of films from contemporary Northeast was on Saturday inaugurated at the Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) campus here through invocation of chants and blessings by the monks of Itanagar’s Thuntan Gatselling Monastery.
In all 19 filmmakers representing the eight states of the Northeast are participating in the festival to share their films and to have extended interactions with the audience.
Speaking on the occasion, chief patron of the festival and RGU vice-chancellor Professor Saket Kushwaha said that “films have the real potential for bringing out the ‘post-truth’”.
“On the one hand, cinemas bring out the practices and the truth from the past and from the existing cultures, and on the other, they also bring out trends to the people and we learn a lot from that,” Kushwaha said.
Citing example of the cartoon character ‘Popeye the Sailor’, he narrated how a film can be convincing just like the cartoon convinced and encouraged children to eat spinach instead of fast food.
Richa Negi, Regional Director, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (INGCA), Guwahati expressed pleasure and gratitude to be a part of the important event. “This is a landmark in itself,” she said.
Informing that INGCA has established several regional centers all over the country like the one in Guwahati, she said, that the center concentrates on the tradition and cultural practices in the region by which it can conduct research, surveys and publications of films and documentation.
Earlier, Simon John of Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies (AITS) and festival director, while welcoming the filmmakers and other dignitaries said the aim of this festival is to bring filmmakers from the region together under one platform.
“We are currently focusing on the filmmakers and directors of North-East India who are making films of different communities and are engaging in new ways. While “scholars are not filmmakers but we are very interested in audio-visual documentation as we need such documents as a supplement for our research,” John said.
Welcoming the filmmakers and introducing “Borderland Narratives-2019”, festival director Moji Riba said, “Art has a responsibility to shape the way society evolves.”
As a part of the programme, Professor Kushwaha and AITS founding director Professor Tamo Mibang released the newsletter of the Centre for Endangered Languages as well as the Festival Booklet.
The opening day saw films like Those Songs and Lullabies I Used to Sing by Kombong Darang (CFEL, RGU), Loktak Lairembee by Haobam Paban Kumar (Manipur), Nana by Tiemsumuk Aier (Nagaland), Songs of the Blue Hills by Utpal Borpujari (Assam) and Ralang Road by Karma Takapa (Sikkim) being screened.
Borderland Narratives is organized by the Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies in collaboration with the IGNCA,Guwahati.