The 25th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) has not only upheld the most celebrated films and their directors in India and globally but also made space to spread the word about little-known work. Like every year, this year too the Unheard India: Rare Language Indian Cinema section received their due attention. The competition section, which was introduced five years back, saw some additions of Indian language films that never got screened in KIFF before this time.
“What is more important about the section Unheard India is that it is celebrating its fifth year, along with the Silver Jubilee of KIFF, and the UNESCO declared year 2019 as the Year of Aboriginal Languages. This section gave an opportunity to the small, independent filmmakers, who want to make films in their own languages, risking missing out on a commercial release or benefit. Yet, they are elated to showcase their work to the audiences of the cultural capital of India – Kolkata. This initiative encourages filmmakers to tell their own stories, which otherwise no one will listen to,” said Santanu Ganguly, curator of the section.
Every year, more number of new language films is getting added to the existing list of unheard Indian language films. This year, for the first time there were four feature films made in languages like Santhali, Nagpuri, Paniya and Rajasthani, which got screened at KIFF. The films are Jwqli – The Seeds in Bodo, Kenjira in Paniya”, Dhumkkudiya in Nagpuri, Turtle (Kachhua) in Rajasthani and Phoolmuni in Santhali. The Rajasthani film is a National Award-winning feature. “My film is not a story of my family though it is a story of thousands of families in the ’90s in the region I come from. The situation has somewhat improved now. But I haven’t yet mastered the courage to look at this episode of our history with tinted glasses. Hence, this film,” said Rajni Basumatary, director of the Bodo film Jwqli – The Seeds.
Source: Times of India