Northeast Films

We all have memories of going to the cinema halls. The excitement and joy we felt waiting in anticipation for our favourite movie star to appear on the screen is a different kind of feeling. Now that National Cinema day has been declared in India, will such a drive excite movie buffs, who are now reluctant to watch films on the big screen more than ever before?

Earlier, National Cinema day in India was scheduled to be on September 16th, but now it has been postponed to September 23rd. This was followed by a move when the USA held National Cinema day on September 3, allowing moviegoers to watch films at extremely cheap rates. Much like the US, the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) also declared a similar day on September 16.

It is to be noted that this move was a gesture of gratitude to the audience for getting back business for multiplexes following the pandemic.

If you’re looking for the upcoming National Cinema Day to watch some of the best and lesser-known films from Northeast India, you’ve come to the right place.

However, cinema in North East India works as a tool for bringing the ‘seven sisters’ under one roof.

Northeast India is a region that is linguistically and culturally diverse and has so many stories to portray.

Thanks to some creative minds from Northeast India, these amazing stories are now travelling to almost every film festival across the globe. They are the ones who have been showcasing the essence of the originality and uniqueness of the region.

It is safe to say that Northeast India is blooming artistically. One definitive way to move ahead is to bring cinema to you if you can’t go to them.

On National Cinema Day, let’s revive some of the lesser-known films from the Northeast that speak for themselves and give voice to the unique character of the region.

10 must-watch films from North-East India

1. Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the Lake)

Directed by Haobam Paban Kumar, Lokatak Lairembee (Lady of the Lake) released in 2016, is based on Manipur’s Lokatk Lake Phumdi- floating biomass clearance operations by the Manipur Government in cahoots with a dubious corporate body in 2011. This act resulted in several indigenous fisher folks in the region whose lives solely depended on fishing activities.

This movie showcased an ordinary fisherman’s quest for survival.  This drama, delicately emphasizes the role of oppression and fear in the breeding insurgency.

2. Ishanou

Directed by Aribam Syam Sharma, Ishanou was the first film from the northeast to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival, in 1991. This Manipuri film portrays the story of a young housewife named Tampha (Anoubam Kiranmala), who abandons her home to follow her spiritual calling and joins the religious matriarchal sect of the Maibis.

3. Emuthi Puthi

First directorial debut by Kulanandini Mahanta, Emuthi Puthi is an Assamese film led by women be it director, cast, associate director, or co-screenwriter. It is a comedy-drama that shows the adventures and struggles of three generations of women who belong form a single family.

It is the first film from the northeast to be shot on iPhone brilliantly. As the name suggests, the film is all about ‘Puthi’ maas when consumed it takes you to a mystical land.

Photo Credit: kulaalulaa

Also Read: ‘Emuthi Puthi’: Food for thought, sustenance for the Assamese soul

4. Nana: A Tale of Us

An award-winning film by Tiakumzuk, Nana: A Tale of Us (2017) is the first Naga film to make it to an International Film Festival.

The 1h hour 40 minute film is all about the need to change in the state. The plot centers around politics, love, family, and friendship through the story of a family living in rural Nagaland. Through the character of Nana and her family, the film showcases the need for fair elections in the state of Nagaland.

5. Yarwng

Directed by Joseph Pullinthananth, Yarwng won the first national film award for Tripura at the 56th National Film Awards in 2008. The story revolves around the people in Tripura who faces large-scale displacement when a newly-constructed dam submerges large portions of arable land in the once-prosperous Riama valley.

Yarwng narrates a tale of romance between Karmati and Wakhiri who get separated on the eve of their marriage when the dam submerges the entire village.

All the incidents and emotional turmoil depicted in the film are based on true events of displacement and resettlement issues of indigenous Tripuri people caused by the Dumbor Hydel Power Project commissioned in 1976 by the Indian Government.

Through the film, Joseph Pullinthananth also attempts to document the Kokborok language, one of the ancient languages of the Northeast.

Photo Credit: Instagram

6. Pahuna

Directed by Paakhi A Tyrewala , Pahuna follows up the story of three young siblings who separated from their parents while fleeing to Sikkim to escape the Maoist insurgency in their native village in Nepal. The three children had to rely on each other for their survival.  This film was filmed in Sikkim and was produced by Priyanka Chopra along with her mum Madhu Chopra.

7. Orunasol Man (2018)

Drug smuggling and substance abuse has been a pertinent issue among the youth in parts of Northeast India.  Written and directed by  Nyago Ete, Orunasol Man is a superhero film based on the uprising in drug smuggling in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Also Read: Manipur: Ukhrul youth wins northeast competition for short film

8. III Smoking Barrels

Written and directed by Sanjib Dey, III Smoking Barrels is an anthology of three stories exploring three socio-political issues encompassing Northeast India. The multilingual film features dialogues in English, Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Naga, and Manipuri highlighting three raging issues that need immediate attention. The 2017 film is divided into three stories against the timeline of human life- a child who is involved in armed conflicts, a BOY in drug smuggling, and a MAN entangled in elephant poaching.

Photo Credit: Imdb

9. Baandhon

Simplistic yet brilliant output, Baandhon is directed by 11-time National Award winning-director Jahnu Barua. This Assamese film is to be released outside the state under the PVR Director’s Rare Banner.  The film is an emotional roller-coaster ride in every aspect that mesmerizes the audience with its penetrating power despite the viewer anticipating the climax.

Wikipedia

10. Khawnglung Run

Directed by Mapuia Chawngthu, Khawnglung Run is a 2012 Mizo-language Action Romantic epic film. The Mizo film is based on true events of the significant massacre of Khawnglung during 1856–1859. In Mizo history, the Khawnglung village raid was one of the most famous and bloodiest massacres.

Also Read: Multiplex Association of India postpones National Cinema Day to Sept 23


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