Itanagar International Film Fest from Friday

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Feb 21: The government of Arunachal Pradesh is organising the first Itanagar International Film Festival (IIFF) here through the information & public relations department, in collaboration with the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), from 22 to 25 February.
Addressing reporters at the press club here on Thursday, ESG CEO Ameya Abhyankar informed that the festival will open at 5 pm on Friday, and begin with the national award-winning director Rima Das’ film, Bulbul Can Sing.
A total of 51 films have been curated, out of which seven films are in the competition. The seven films are from filmmakers of the Northeast states, one of which is from Arunachal.
The jury, which includes South African actress and documentary filmmaker Xoliswa Sithole, and national award-winning filmmakers Lipika Singh Darai and Meghanath, will view the films and award the winners in different categories.
Apart from the opening and closing days’ films, the four-day event will also include nine Indian panorama pictures, 17 documentaries and short films, five children films, and two open-air screenings.
The event will have six screens, with the main screen in the DK convention centre. Five other inflatable screens, with a capacity for 130-150 people, will also be set up, which Abhyankar said would be “as good as watching a movie in an Iknox or a PVR, or a carnival cinema.”
The open-air screening will be held at IG Park, where movies such as Uri and Manikarnika will be screened.
Several workshops, conversation panels and master classes will be held with renowned artists. The workshops will be held by cinematographer Aseem Bajaj, fashion photographer Shantanu Sheory and screenwriter Kamal Swaroop.
Panellists Kirtan Shankar and Adarsh Eshwarrapa will speak on the impact and importance of e-cinema/web cinema, while Malaika Vaz and Nitye Sood will take up ‘Wildlife filmmaking and conservation in India for the 21st century – opportunities and challenges’.
Sessions on ‘Filmmaking support: Need of the hour’, ‘Mapping Northeast cinema’, and ‘Creativity and culture labour’ will also be held from 22 to 24 February.
Informing that there are no charges for watching the films, Abhyankar invited film enthusiasts and filmmakers to be a part of the festival and get more insight into the art of filmmaking.
The closing day’s film will be III Smoking Barrels by Sanjib Dey.

FFA to boycott IIFF
The Film Federation of Arunachal (FFA) has said it will boycott the Itanagar International Film Festival, which begins at the DK convention hall at IG Park here on Friday, to protest not involving the federation in the organizational activities of the festival.
The FFA alleged that the IPR department deliberately left out the FFA’s members from being involved in the film festival, despite repeated pleas.
The FFA also said the department did not inform it about organising the international film festival, and that it came to know about it from other sources.
It said the federation’s members, led by FFA general secretary Shambo Flago, held meetings with the authorities concerned, including IPR Secretary Sonam Chombey and the festival’s director Sadhana Deori, and apprised them of the FFA’s grievance.
Later, at the suggestion of the IPR secretary, a meeting was convened at the office of the film organizing committee, and the matter was resolved “amicably,” the FFA said.