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Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Nov. 12: The 24th Kolkata International Film Festival (Kiff), which also marks 100 years of Bengali cinema, is underway with more than 300 films from across the world vying for top prizes in various categories. Among those competing for the Best Film award are two films—“Look At The Sky” and “Pony Tale” —directed by two Poumai Naga brothers.
A total of 171 feature films, and 150 shorts and documentaries from 70 countries will be screened at the festival which got under way on Friday, Nov. 10 and runs till Nov. 15.
“Look At The Sky,” directed and written by Ashok Veilou from Purul village of Senapati district, Manipur, is competing for the Best Film award in the short film category. It will compete with several other films, including Shaqyo Dey’s “Head” and Gaurav Madan’s “Sambavtaha” (Probably) for the top price. Veilou’s Tou-Tai (Seed) had won the Golden Royal Bengal Tiger for best Short Film in 2016 at the same festival, so all eyes are on him this time too.
The film is about a man who courageously fights for his rights after being outcast from his own birthplace for not supporting the village candidate in the election. Featuring Ngaole Hepunii of Koide village in the lead role and several others from Purul, Koide, Oinam and Sirong villages in the supporting roles, the film will be premiered at the film festival on Thursday, Nov. 15.
It may be noted that “Look At The Sky,” is the first outsourced diploma film in the prestigious national film school of Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, and one of the first professionally produced film in the region.
The other film, “Pony Tale”, will compete at the Kiff in the documentary category. It is produced and directed by Alexander Leo Pou, who is currently serving as the Film Facilitation Officer (eastern region), under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, government of India. This documentary, which tells the tale of the ponies in Manipur, is scheduled to be premiered on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Both the films are edited by Pousheru Ngade, who is also from Purul village.
Interestingly, makers of the two films —Alexander and Veilou— are brothers, sons of Thaipei Peter and Poukhoru of Purul village. Alexander was the first batch of Producing for Film and Television at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, while Veilou is a postgraduate degree holder in Direction and Screenplay Writing, and Pousheru in Editing in the same institution.
It may be mentioned that the Best Film award winners at the Kolkata International Film Festival will walk away with a cash prize of INR 51 lakh and a Golden Royal Bengal Tiger trophy, while the director will get prize money of INR 21 lakh with the trophy.
Some of the movies to watch out for at the festival include “Unicornio” (2017) by Brazilian director Eduardo Nunes, Egyptian director Abu Bakr Shawky’s “Yomeddine,” Churni Ganguly’s “Tarikh,” Mexican fiction “La Negrada” by Jorge Perez Solano, Turkish drama “Sibel” by Çagla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti, and Vietnamese film “The Third Wife” by Ash Mayfair.