Iffi selects films from Manipur, Assam

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  • Published 20.10.11

Guwahati, Oct. 19: Two feature films from the Northeast — Jaangfaai Jonaak (Assamese) directed by Sanjib Sabhapandit and Phijigee Mani (Manipuri) directed by O. Gautam Singh — have been selected for the Indian panorama section of the 42nd International Film Festival of India 2011, to be held in Goa from November 23 to December 3.

Jaangfaai Jonaak, a 90-minute film, is about a 10-year-old boy who develops matted hair. The villagers start treating him as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. They almost forcibly take him away from his family and put him in a temple. He is not allowed to play, mix with his friends or live a normal life. He is now Baba (God). The boy’s company and village sister Joyanti faces an attempt of molestation by a rowdy man, Jadab. Jadab brands her a witch and drives her away from the village and is out to kill her on the day of Baba’s birthday.

On the other hand, the government has invited a company to set up a big industry in the village. There is an apparent opposition to the industry in the village. To assuage feelings, a minister comes to lay the foundation stone of a school building to be named after Baba on his birthday. The chairman of the company also comes to meet Baba for a personal reason not known to anybody. The devotees and the villagers are celebrating. Nobody is bothered about the internal suffering of the boy. At an opportune moment, the Baba escapes and hides near a river. The chairman is disappointed at not being able to meet Baba and leaves. However, on the way they face a horrible accident where Joyanti is murdered. The chairman’s car speeds away and also meets with an accident. The chairman then flees and reaches the river bank and meets Baba.

“I am feeling good since all the three films I have made so far have been selected for the Indian panorama,” Sabhapandit said. He added that he would work on another film next year. Sabhapandit’s second film, Jatinga Ityadi, depicted the current scenario of militancy in Assam. Juye Pura Xon (released in 2004) was his first film.

The jury for feature films, headed by renowned filmmaker Sai Paranjpye, selected 24 films out of a total of 118 entries. The maximum number of films (seven) selected, are in Malayalam while Bengali, Marathi and Hindi have a share of 3 films each.

The jury for non-feature films, chaired by renowned writer-director Ashok Rane, selected 21 films out of 135 entries. Two Manipuri films — Noong Amadi Yeroom (directed by Romi Meitei) and Songs of Mashangva (directed by Oinam Doren) feature on the list.

This year, Malayalam movie Urumi will open the Indian Panorama section. Another Malayalam film Adaminte Makan Abu (directed by Salim Ahamed), which won Best Feature Film award at the recent 58th National Film Awards, is the 24th film of the Indian Panorama, by virtue of direct entry.