Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio with Mhonbeni Ezung, the youngest recipient of National Bravery Award in 2015 Credit: EastMojo image

Kohima: Amidst the controversy surrounding the restriction of screening to just one district of Nagaland, Nagamese movie Nani Teri Morni was launched by CM Neiphiu Rio at the Children’s Film Bonanza in Kohima on Tuesday. The film, directed by Akashaditya Lama, is based on Mhonbeni Ezung, the youngest recipient of the National Bravery Award in 2015.

At a tender age of eight years, Ezung triumphed over her fears and saved her grandmother from drowning in 2015. On Tuesday, she was felicitated at the premiere, which she attended with her parents.

Prior to its release, Rebecca Changkija, the ‘line producer’ of the movie, allegedly accused Abhishek Singh, commissioner and secretary of public and administrative reforms, for restricting the screening of the movie to just one district of the state. In “moral association with filmmakers”, none from the film crew attended the premiere.

Meanwhile, Swati Pandey, the CEO of the Children’s Film Society India (CFSI), was all praise for the film at the launch where she encouraged the role of children in ‘cinema’. Speaking at the occasion, she said: “Courage and bravery do not have an age, but here today, they have a name – Mhonbeni Ezung, who has inspired many.”

Emphasizing on the need for children’s education, Pandey said: “Clean movie content, which inspires children, must be promoted, as they learn and believe more in what they see.”

While launching the movie, CM Rio congratulated the CFSI for organising the film festival in the state and promoting a new outlook for children. He further expressed pride for Rebecca Changkija and the team of Nani Teri Morni for creating an inspiring movie on the brave girl and thereby taking a lead in promoting Naga artistes and filmmakers at the national level.

Speaking exclusively to EastMojo, Ezung said: “Everyone must make an effort to help and do well to others.” Supporting the statement, her father added: “Like what my daughter did, every child must be brave to help people in need.”

The five-day Children’s Film Bonanza will screen Nokpokliba (2005), a story based on a Naga folk tale, besides seven other movies dubbed in Nagamese, namely, Kima’s Lode- Beyond the Class (2015); Pinti ka Sabun (2017); Ek Tha Bhujang (2015); Gauru: Journey of Courage (2016); Gilli Gilli Atta (2005); Karamati Coat (1993) and Gattu (2011).

Organised by the CFSI in collaboration with the departments of social welfare and art & culture, youth resources & sports, school education and information & public relations, government of Nagaland, the film festival is on till October 11 at RCEMPA, Jotsoma. It will then move on the State Academy Hall in Kohima on October 12 and 13.

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