First ever Khasi film festival in city

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The first ever Khasi Film Awards ceremony held here on Wednesday was marked as a historical event in the Khasi film industry with due recognition being given to the contributions made by many Khasi and Jaintia film-makers to bring entertainment to the people of the State through their films for many years.

The award ceremony organised aimed to boost the film industries in the State as well as to honour the contributions of the filmmakers, enthralled the audience who expressed excitement to witness the presentations of trophies to their favourite film makers.

Among the 42 entries, a popular Jaintia film, Da Theh Lut directed by Simiroy Khongtiang and produced by her husband, Eborme Muksor bagged the highest number of awards which included Best story, best director (Jaintia), best film (Jaintia) and best lyrics.

Meanwhile, Aiti produced by Edward Pakma and Rudolf Mawlong, starring Rudolf Mawlong and Josepheine Mawlong also managed to bagged many awards including best director and best film.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Da Theh Lut’s director Simiroy Khongtiang said that this first of its kind event is a platform to highlight the talents of the film makers and get due recognition for their works.

“Entertainment is not only what appears in front, but there is a lot of hard work that goes into making a movie entertaining and getting good response”, she said adding that lots needed to be done to improve this industry while urging the government to recognize the film industry in the state considering the fact that it is one sector which could generate lots of employment.

Lamenting on the lack of participation on the part of the public, Khongtiang called upon the youth of the State to showcase their talents in this field and to improve film making in the State.

Meanwhile, renowned filmmaker and artist Raphael Warjri stressed on the need to improve the film industry in the State to gain more popularity and to reach to the national level while also maintaining that the same should be done accordingly as to retain the identity and culture at the same time, to gain control of what technology has to offer and not the other way round.

Terming the event as impressive, Warjri said that for the industry to grow, the government and the society should also contribute to the development of this sector which could improve the revenue of the state and generate employment to the thousands of unemployed youth of the state. “The award function is a welcome step and a booster but being recognised as a film industry will open a new window to a wide array of local cinema,” Warjri said.

On the state note, president of the Meghalaya Filmmakers Association (MeFILMA) Commander Shangpliang said that as film makers, they are not asking for financial help from the government but setting up of theatres and halls by the government at every district headquarters could go a long way in shaping the careers of the people in the film industry at the same improve the state’s exchequer.

General secretary of the Khasi Film Award organising committee Wankitbok Pohshna said that the nominations for various categories are being done via a voting process and the shortlisted entries underwent a preferential voting through ballot of which members of the direction branch, writers’ branch, technical branch and music branch comprising of six judges each had voted to nominate the finalists to compete in a total of 17 categories. The nominees were then judged by a four-member jury panel.

The awards presented in various disciplines included best film, director, leading actor (male and female), editing, sound design, music direction, cinematography, supporting actor (male and female), lyrics, story, lighting, special effects (SFX), playback singing (male and female) and sub-language category for Jaintia films.

A lifetime award called the Jury Award in performing art was presented to famous Khasi singer, (L) Skendrowel Syiemlieh.

Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh gave a sum of Rs 2 and a half lakh to Khasi Film Industry from her MLA fund. Hoping the award ceremony to be an annual event, Lyngdoh assured the KFI, of assistance from the government.