ABDUL GANI | 17 OCTOBER, 2019
Khasi Film Lorni is the Only Indian Entry at Estonian Film Festival
Khasi language film in the spotlight at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia
GUWAHATI: Khasi language films from Meghalaya continue to shine as Adil Hussain starrer ‘Lorni – The Flaneur’ got the selection at the First Feature Competition of the cutting-edge Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival of Estonia. Lorni is the only Indian film in the First Feature Competition along with seven other titles from across the globe.
The festival known as Pimedate Ööde Filmifestival (PÖFF) in Estonian language is the only festival in Northern Europe with a FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association) accreditation for holding an International Competitive Feature Film Programme. The festival starts from November 15 to December 1.
At the development, director Wanphrang Diengdoh termed it to be a very humbling experience. Lorni is Diengdoh’s debut feature film.
“For me my art and in this case, film-making, is also an act of catharsis. I cannot separate the two -- my art and my life. To have it selected for one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world just reassures that there are people out there who share similar sentiments and attitudes towards life. It also affirms that one can come from a small town and still have their works recognised and acknowledged in an international platform- one just needs to be geared with the right amount of passion, courage and love for their work,” Diengdoh told The Citizen.
The First Feature Competition showcases international debuts by promising new filmmakers. The competition will be overseen by an international jury, to be announced later in October, which will hand out the 5,000 EURO grant to be shared by the director and producer of the winning film, alongside two special prizes for artistic achievements.
Lorni is about Shem played by Adil Hussain who is a detective with no job at hand. The self styled detective with a sharp sense of the streets escapes the lethargy of small town Shillong when he is asked to investigate the disappearance of objects worthy of great cultural value. Navigating narrow streets and dark alleys, he embarks on an emotional and mental journey reflective of his reality and that of Shillong.
Shahnaab Alam whose Easterly Entertainment is one of the producers of the film said that he was fascinated by Wangphrang’s story telling.
"I was fascinated by the way Wanphrang had weaved this story, going deep into the layers of indigenous culture, through the eyes of an innocuous yet intense character of the main protagonist, played by Adil Hussain. Also, the film has captured Shillong in a never seen before way...” Alam said.
Shillong based RedDur Productions and Maiti Pictures owned by noted Khasi actress Sweety Jane Pala, who was the lead actress of the National Award winning Khasi film 'Onaatah’ are other producers. Alam who has been a part of several critically acclaimed films in the recent past is also highly elated at the film being at the POFF.
"For the cinema community Tallinn is one of the more cutting edge film festivals, along with Sundance, South by South West (SXSW), San Sebastian, Venice and Locarno. These festivals, including Tallinn, have a reputation of discovering new break-out films and film makers, hence, it's of great importance and excitement for us to have our film showcased in Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival," Alam added.
Diengdoh’s film, which was earlier screened at the Habitat Film Festival in Delhi, explores the Khasi identity through its protagonist who is a ‘Dkhar’, or a person of mixed parentage. The characters in the film speak in English, Khasi, and ‘Bazaar Hindi’, a unique form of Hindi spoken in Meghalaya and particularly Shillong.
Earlier, Pradip Kurbah directed Khasi language film Iewduh (Market) from Meghalaya had won the Kim Ji-seok Award in the 24th Busan International Film Festival