DIPHU, Oct 23 � The 2nd Karbi Film Artist�s Festival has been organised by the Karbi Film Society with a three-day programme at Diphu Club from tomorrow, to showcase the evolution of Karbi films so far. Seminars, interaction with artists, screening of selected films, cultural night and felicitation of senior artists by the KFS will be the focal points of the festival.
Although cinematography has not taken commercial shape yet in this region, but due to a paradigm shift from the celluloid to the digital format and partly due to advancement of technology based on electronics, filmmaking has become cheaper. Hence, production of video films has caught the fancy of the younger generation.
�Karbi films are mushrooming but the standards are not up to the mark yet. This is mainly due to lack of knowledge of filmmaking and its technology. Also the concept of a film and understanding is missing, maximum number of video films are uncensored, so in a sense these films will not be treated as films legally nor will the maker be recognised as filmmaker. The positive aspect of the whole issue is that Karbi films (on whatever concept they may be produced) are gaining popularity among the Karbi community� said Dhaniram Tisso producer of Wosobipo, the only Karbi film to win two national awards in 1990 and honoured in many prestigious international film festivals abroad.
It may be mentioned that the first feature film in Karbi language was Rit Angtong produced by the Agriculture department under the aegis of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and was directed by late Prafulla Saikia in 1985, but the film did not get recognition from the Central Board of Film Certification. In 1986, the Fishery department-sponsored film Ok Langteng was released but this film too didn�t go through the scrutiny of the censor board. So till now Wosobipo is the only recognised Karbi feature film.
The history of Karbi video films is not too old. In 1985 Owe Alir was produced by Mukak Cine Club of Dokmoka in VHS format. Arun Teron directed the movie, but this film too remained uncensored. Boche Kangthim produced and directed by Awsini Doloi was censored in 1998 so officially this film will be recognised as the first video film in Karbi language. But the pain and trouble endured by the members of Mukak Cine Club for making Owe Alir is appreciable.
Owe Alir was followed by 100 video films and albums have been made, some with big budgets in locations like Shillong, Kulu-Manali, Arunachal, Delhi etc. So far as acceptance among mainstream Karbi population is concerned, such films have been hugely popular, but in absence of quality cinema halls, they are exhibited in schools, community halls during holidays through video projection. Naturally lesser sound and audio quality fails to have the full impact and the system is also not economically viable for the producers and all others associated with the production.
Dhaniram Tisso, who is also a regular contributor of serials based on Karbi legends and folklores as also documentary films for Doordarshan, is of the opinion that all budding Karbi film producers should train themselves in film and television institutes located in Puna, Kolkata and Mumbai. Tisso has recommended infrastructure development for filmmaking at the government�s initiative and scholarships for film students, government subsidy to the producers, public sector cinema halls in various parts of the district, digital editing and audio recording studio at Diphu, making provision for high quality equipment on rental basis etc. He expressed satisfaction over Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council for instituting the Rasinja Sarpo film award for Karbi films and the setting up of preview committee for recommending annual award and sponsoring films.