The Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies (AITS), Rajiv Gandhi University is all set to host a festival of films from contemporary northeast on 9, 10 and 11 March 2019. Called ‘Borderland Narratives’ the festival has been conceptualized with a view to create a platform for filmmakers from the region to explore issues of heritage, identity and change from a contemporary perspective. The festival is proposed to be held annually by the University. While the northeast of India, with the diversity of its communities and cultures, has always been considered a ‘paradise’ for anthropologists, ethnographers and documentary filmmakers, much of the way in which it has been represented has been from the perspective of the ‘endangerment’ of cultural heritage. Be it tourism festivals or texts in popular media, much of the way the region is seen situates it in the past, as primarily the home of ‘rich traditional culture’. However, in recent times, there has been a move towards changing this discourse of representation and looking at the northeast as it is today. Filmmakers and artists are beginning to explore the contemporary face of the communities in the region and we see, in emerging films, the ‘traditional practices’ and ‘ritual performances’ give way to newer ways of looking at society itself, with its emerging changed concerns. Borderland Narratives: Films from Contemporary Northeast India is an exploration of that new space where the region’s communities emerge from the ‘museumization’ of its cultures to its contemporizing. The festival, through its screenings, interactions and conversations hopes to promote an active visual culture and encourage visual reading, particular amongst the young people.
For the first edition of the festival, in the Non-Competitive segment called What We Weave, two filmmakers from each of the 8 states in the region will be invited to present their films, where the screenings will be followed by close interactions with the filmmakers. From the second edition onwards, there will an open call for entries in this segment. Another key feature of the festival is the In-Competition segment called Our Lives, Our Stories which is a competition for short films of up to 5 minutes. The theme for the competition this year is Vanishing Roots: Art, Culture and Folklore and films made after 1 January 2016 in both fiction and
non-fiction formats are eligible to participate. The competition will have a cash award of Rs. 1 lakh along with a trophy and a citation. More details of the competition have been made available on the RGU’s website. The other events at the festival include panel discussions, lectures by eminent filmmakers and artistes and a workshop on visual anthropology.
The festival is being organized under the stewardship of RGU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Saket Kushwaha and is a collaborative initiative of the AITS and the departments of Fine Arts and Music, Mass Communication and Anthropology, along with the Centre for Cultural Research and Documentation (Nlg). The Festival Secretariat is in the process of seeking collaborations and support from various institutions in order to make the festival of the best international standards.
For enquiries, please contact:
Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies
Rajiv Gandhi (Central) University
Rono Hills, Doimukh
Arunachal Pradesh: 791112