The Meghalaya International Film Festival (MeghIFF) came to a close on Saturday.
The event at U Soso Tham Auditorium commenced on March 14, with a selection of 40 films that were shown over a span of four days.
Commander Shangpliang, the president of Meghalayan Filmmakers Association (MefilMA), said, “Next time, we will be better prepared for the festival. Our industry will only grow from here as the youth will learn filmmaking. We need a film school that will go a long way in tapping the potential of the state.”
“There are talented filmmakers and actors in Meghalaya. Our film industry will come together, towards collective action in this regard,” he added.
Prof Hamlet Bareh-directed film, Ka Synjuk Ri Ki Laiphew Syiem (1780-1810) was screened for the first time. Notably, it is the first Khasi film to be made, recently digitised in Chennai through the efforts of the North East AV Archive.
Actors Sanjay Mishra, Anjali Patil and Barkha Bisht graced the occasion.
Addressing the audience, Mishra said, “This is a beautiful beginning. Ten years down the line, this film festival will be regarded as prestigious.”
“Indian cinema is being noticed globally. Meghalaya will contribute to Indian cinema going ahead,” he added.
Producer Sushil Chaudhury spoke about his production house, Picture Time, and also paid a tribute to actor and producer, Satish Kaushik.
Speaking about his production house, he said, “We want to create cinema halls across the country and also connect regional cinemas with mainstream cinemas. We hope to achieve this, going ahead.”
Bhutanese actress, Sonam Uangden, said, “It’s inspiring to see this exchange of ideas. The reason I’m here is love. That extends to our love for cinema as well. Love and passion will create the space for vibrant cinema here.”
Mai Thu Huyen, Vietnamese filmmaker, hoped for a collaborative filmmaking culture between filmmakers of the state and Vietnam.
Ampareen Lyngdoh, chief guest on the concluding day, said, “We are fortunate to have this experience. On behalf of the Government of Meghalaya, I would assure that we would be investing to support and encourage the talent of people from the state to bolster a strong filmmaking culture here. A festival like this can only grow forward and in a collaborative spirit. People should also step forward and support the regional cinemas of Meghalaya.”
Local artistes Benedict Hynniewta played the flute while Sunn Pathaw presented a contemporary dance with a message, “Say no to drugs”.
Lucky D Kharsati, the general secretary of MefilMA, delivered the vote of thanks, saying, “It is the first time for us to have a festival like this, and we have learnt from each other. We will be better prepared for the next round of this festival.”