Santhali film stars feted

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  • Published 16.04.12

The curtains came down on the Santhali and Regional Film Festival on Sunday, culminating with the Jharkhand Cine Award, which honoured veterans as well as rising stars of regional cinema.

The five-day festival, organised by the All India Santhali Film Association (AISFA), screened 13 Santhali, Ho and Nagpuri movies, drawing large audiences of mostly tribals to auditoriums in Jamshedpur.

The third edition of Jharkhand Cine Award conferred the lifetime achievement honour on Gangadhar Hembrom, noted Santhali film-maker from Mayurbhanj, Odisha.

Bengali film-maker Umesh Mardi and late actress Malho Mardi, who earned acclaim for her performance in Chando Likhon (first Santhali film made in 35mm), were jointly honoured with the AISFA special award.

The best Santhali film award went to Angir, a rural family drama directed by Gangarai Thapa, who also bagged the best direction prize. Naikar Dil, a Nagpuri movie, was recognised as the best regional film. Bubun Mardi won the best actor award for Hala while Bir Bala Hansdah bagged the best actress title for Amge Sari Dularia. Prize money worth Rs 1.5 lakh was given away to awardees in 18 categories.

Organisers pointed out that Santhali films had grown remarkably in the last three years. Since the first edition of the festival, the number of Santhali flicks produced in a year has more than doubled from eight to 20.

“The Jharkhand Cine Award acts as a great motivation for us. Three years ago, artistes, directors and technicians were hardly recognised. But now, the deserving ones do get a platform to showcase their talent. This is why many producers have begun investing in Santhali films,” said Pitambar Hansda, a producer whose debut Tode Sutum is on the production floor.

In order to raise the quality of Santhali and regional cinema, AISFA plans to conduct workshops by roping in experts to lend tips to aspirants.

“Our target is to showcase the films in rural areas so that people are aware of their own culture and do not abandon tradition in favour of urban life. This message and social issues in tribal communities can be only highlighted through films. The award has sparked interest and there are new producers who want to invest in film-making now,” said Ramesh Hansda, president of AISFA.

Deputy chief minister Hemant Soren presided over the award ceremony at Gopal Maidan.