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Tue, 16 Jul 2019

Northeast Today

Naga indigenous films screened at International Platform

Naga indigenous films screened at International Platform
July 11
12:20 2019

NET Bureau

Taking indigenous stories to international platforms, two films- Strength in Diversity, about a stress-resistant crop & indigenous variety of millet in Nagaland; and Shot Awake, a documentary on the traditional log-drum are being screened at the Rainforest Fringe International Indigenous Film Festival 2019.

The RFF 2019 themed “Stories that Matter” is a five-day affair with a series of screenings, workshops for young filmmakers, dialogues with prominent indigenous filmmakers and networking sessions. It started on July 7 at the Old CourtHouse, Kuching, Sarawat, Indonesia and run through July 12.

While the film ‘Strength in Diversity’ by Chentei Khiamniungan talks about the preservation and cultivation of indigenous food in his village in particular and Nagaland in general, the film ‘Shot Awake’ talks of how the Konyak village of Changlangshu handmade a new Logdrum for themselves.

Anungla Zoe Longkumer representing Nagaland at the festival told the sources that the film screening “went off excellently and found the discussion that followed very “stimulating and thought-provoking.”

“Most of the people in the audience had not heard about Nagaland before, let alone that our people had this tradition of Logdrum making, so it was interesting to field their many questions about our people and culture,” she said.

Expressing gratefulness over the opportunity to represent the Naga community on an international platform, she however noted that she feels the weight of the responsibility, “to place Naga culture rightfully among the diverse cultures of the world, also in the context of the present situation in the world when indigenous ways, including ours, are fast getting erased.”

Filmmaker of Strength in Diversity- Chentei informed the reporter that the film was shot in Langnok Village of Khiamniungan tribe under Noklak district and runs for a duration of 14 minutes and 34 seconds. It was shot in 2018. Starting his career in filmmaking in the year 2014, he had begun exploring more in 2017 which has also drawn him to documenting local subjects. “Our age-old traditional practices should have a far-reaching message on its impact to our people and outside,” he said.

Anungla Zoe spoke of the documentation on how the Logdrum was cut and carved and pulled to the village which she felt very, very important documentation. “A big part of our culture and history has been recorded for posterity.”

Running 25 minutes, the film uses live footage of the log drum making process, interview of key persons and photographs of the event to document the story of how a Naga tradition long abandoned came to life through the sheer faith and hard work of a people who believed they could make it.

Sharing her experiences at Sarawak, Anung said it is an eye-opener. “I see so many commonalities between the indigenous communities gathered here at the festival and us Nagas, starting from how we look, to our traditional textiles, our similar traditional beliefs, our tattoo art and so on.

This indigenous film festival is a meeting of a family and a sharing of our diverse stories, through love as well as our tears,” she further pointed.

Anung also expressed hope on our Naga youths to get tuned into our “own culture and stop and think, before too quickly adopting the cultures of other nations. I think having a similar indigenous film festival in Nagaland would be a great motivation! Hopefully soon in the near future, we will see this revolution taking place at home too.”

Source: The Morung Express

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