Film Federation of Arunachal general secretary Shambo Flago addressing media persons in Itanagar

Itanagar: The Arunachal Film Festival is set to open its doors once again to a whole new generation of filmmakers and artistes from across the state with the announcement of festival dates by the Film Federation of Arunachal (FFA) on Wednesday.

Organised by the FFA in collaboration with the department of information and public relations (IPR), the event would be held at Itanagar from April 20.

Informing this, FFA general secretary Shambo Flago said that the coveted festival will be a two-day event, instead of three like in the previous years, and will be held on April 20 and 21.

Flago, who was addressing a news conference at the Press Club in Itanagar, informed that the film carnival would this year too, carry on with its popular short film competition (maximum duration of 5 minutes) and the FFA has chosen “Social Burning Issues of Arunachal” as the contest’s theme.

“The top two films in the competition will be awarded trophies, citations and cash awards of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 75,000 respectively,” Flago who is also the organizing secretary of the festival said.

He informed that besides the short film competition, the local film makers can also compete for “best feature’ and ‘best documentary’ film competition which will be selected from the entries the FFA receives.

The “best feature’ and ‘best documentary’ film categories hold cash awards of Rs 2 and 1 lakh respectively. The last dates for submission of entries for short films is April 15 while April 13 is the final day of entries for the other two categories, Flago informed. He added that the entries will have to be submitted at the IPR department’s office in Naharlagun.

It was further informed that the festival this year will also award the best director, male and female actors, musician, singer and best lyricist besides giving away a life time achievement award to a prominent personality from the film fraternity.

This, Flago said would encourage the budding filmmakers and artists of the state.

Commenting on FFA’s boycott of the International Film Festival which was held at the Dorjee Khandu Conventions Centre here last month, the FFA general secretary said that they resorted to stay away from the event “because the organizers purged their assured participation in the festival.”

“We (FFA) had a meeting with tourism secretary and festival director Sadhna Deori and the organizers before the festival in which we requested them to involve the FFA members in the core team on voluntary basis. The request was accepted and we were even given certain responsibilities, however, when the festival schedule was released there was no mention of our association, Flago said.

We also did not get any clarification on the matter by the concerned officials following which we boycotted the festival, he added.

Since the festival was sponsored by the state government, the involvement of state’s film federation should have been made obligatory for the larger interest of the local filmmakers, but the same was ignored, Flago claimed.

The International Film Festival was, however, called off on the second day following the anti-Permanent Resident Certificate agitation in Itanagar.

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