Film Festivals have become a widespread phenomenon across the globe over the last 50 years and are one of the major events that go on to establish the reputation of the place in which they are organised. Conforming to the above mentioned ideology, the first ever Indian Film Festival, Mizoram was jointly organised by the Mizoram State Government and Innovations India with an aim to connect Mizoram and rest of India via Cinema, says Captain Rahul Bali, Curator of the Mega Festival and Managing Director, Innovations India in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).
How did you get into curating Indian Film Festivals?
Curating the Indian Film Festivals is an endeavour of mine to promote the art and culture of India via cinema by showcasing some of the finest Indian movies at some fantastic destinations where they are still not very popular. Indian cinema is known for its vibrancy and colour that depicts great virtues like love, bonding and various human emotions on a larger than life canvas through songs, dance and music. The iconic brand of Indian cinema that aims at spreading sheer happiness is on display in every festival I curate. The audiences have an opportunity to see some great works of creative brilliance by master Indian film makers by way of these Indian movies which go a long way in spreading the fragrance of India.
Conforming to the ideology the first ever Indian Film Festival Mizoram was jointly organised by the Mizoram State Government and Innovations India with an aim to connect Mizoram and rest of India via cinema. The three day film festival organised from 23rd – 25th January, 2018 was inaugurated in Aizawl by the honorable Chief Minister of Mizoram Lal Thanhawla and saw the presence of some of the biggest names of cinema from India and the world. Supported by a number of festival partners and sponsors the Indian Film Festival, Mizoram created euphoria about Mizoram as one of the preferred destinations for both leisure and business.
Why did you choose Mizoram as a destination for an Indian Film Festival?
Mizoram is a beautiful State that has largely remained unexplored till now as far as the world of films and cinema is concerned and in fact Mizoram has a lot to offer to the filmmakers. Initiatives like the Indian Film Festival Mizoram will surely place Mizoram in the list of desired destinations for filmmakers and boost the image of the State in the most desired manner. We are thankful to the State Government of Mizoram who have agreed to make the Festival an annual event which shall feature a rich mix of programmes designed to build and support the growing interest of the Indian film industry in Mizoram that shall go a long way in achieving the goal of making Mizoram a preferred destination for both leisure and business.
What were you most excited about with regards to this festival?
The idea itself excited me to the hilt. In fact, it was a matter of great pride and honour for me and my entire team at Innovations India to curate the first ever Indian Film Festival Mizoram, as it gave us an immense impetus as State partners of Mizoram to introduce the Magnetic Mizoram to the world and seek to develop a lot of synergies for the overall growth of the State. I would say that this Festival is just the beginning of what is going to be an incredible journey in one of the most beautiful parts of India. We have a lot of very interactive and huge events planned to be organised in Mizoram in the near future.
What were the objectives and highlights of this festival?
The first ever Indian Film Festival, Mizoram in Aizawl was conducted with the sole objective of showcasing the unexplored beauty of Mizoram to the world via cinema and to introduce the brilliance of the State to the most prolific filmmakers of India and the world. Therefore the underlined objective of this festival was to connect the biggest filmmakers of the country with Mizoram and the key decision-makers of the State to highlight the key advantages of Mizoram and its mesmerising beauty and thereby catapulting Mizoram into limelight both at the National as well as International arena.
In addition to the above, the audiences in Mizoram had an opportunity to see some great works of creative brilliance by master Indian filmmakers and these film makers got to see the beautiful mountains and landscapes of Mizoram which will go a long way in creating bonds of relations between the film makers and Mizoram. Some of the leading filmmakers from India and abroad attended the festival which is sure to become a great platform for the new generation of filmmakers who are always seeking to reach out to new and fresh locations to make films.
These filmmakers were taken around the beautiful locales of Mizoram and a panel discussion was organised at the beautiful Convention Centre in Berawtlang where a detailed brainstorming was carried out between the representatives of Government of Mizoram and the filmmakers. The panel discussion was presided over by Honourable Information and Public Relations Minister of Mizoram Lal Thanzara and attended by all section of society like officials of the State Government, Vice Chancellor of ICFAI University, Miss Mizoram, Press and Media, Mizo Film Producers and Directors, students and filmmakers.
What kind of films were showcased and which filmmakers attended this festival?
A total of six films in different Indian languages were showcased at the festival making it a truly Indian Film Festival. The films which were selected were stories that stand out, that are told in the most creative way, stories that are colourful, full of life, musical, inspiring yet daring, courageous, risk-taking, award winning stories filled with wonder stories that spread fragrance of India. The Mega Film Festival as attended by some of the biggest names in the world of cinema today. Ace Film Maker Rahul Mittra, Popular Actor Sushant Singh, National Award winning Directors Umesh Shukla & Mikhil Musale, Acclaimed Film Maker Shahnaab Alam and Renowned Assamese Actress Zerifa Wahid. The festival also saw the presence of Katerina Tarbo- Ignatenko, a renowned filmmaker from Italy.
What was the overall response for the festival from both the filmmakers and the people of Mizoram?
The filmmakers were absolutely mesmerised by the brilliance of the State. Not only did the beautiful landscapes and picturesque locations of Mizoram spellbind them but some of the most spectacular nuances like the anti-littering drive in Mizoram, the no honking city of Aizawl, shops without shopkeepers and the cleanest small town of Asia – Biate left them in total awe. They were more than happy to visit this hidden jewel in the north eastern part of India and each one of them was inspired to come back and shoot in this paradise. The fun loving people of Mizoram actually reciprocated the feelings in double the measure. The kind of love, affection and support that the festival got from both the people and Government of Mizoram is praiseworthy. I feel blessed to be associated with a State which has mindblowlingly fascinating natural beauty and the most responsive and loving audiences. I sure look forward to many more interaction.