Regional cinema from Northeast is gaining popularity among viewers as well as film critics. Film Companion’s anniversary special ‘Beyond Bollywood: The Best Non-Hindi Films Of the Last 5 Years’ bears witness to the same, as nine movies from the region featured in the list.
The acclaimed digital film review platform is the brainchild of Anupama Chopra, a distinguished Indian author, film critic and director of MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
Author of several books on Indian Cinema like Sholay: The Making of a Classic to King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema, Chopra is known for her unbiased and refined film critiques.
She was also the host of the film review show ‘Picture This’ on NDTV 24X7 and the weekly review show called the ‘Front Row with Anupama Chopra’ on Star World.
Here is the list of the movies from the region which were featured in the list:
- Kothanodi (2015):
This film directed by Bhaskar Hazarika bases itself around the popular and classic folktales collection from Assam, Burhi Aair Xadhu (Grandma’s Tales). This reworking of folktales won the ‘Best Feature Film in Assamese’ award at the ‘63rd National Film Awards.’ It was also first screened in the ‘20th Busan International Film Festival.’
- Local Kung Fu 2 (2017):
This Assamese Kung fu action-comedy directed by Kenny Deori Basumatary is a prequel to critically acclaimed film Local Kung fu. This movie is an ingenious blend of Jackie Chan movies, cultural references of urban Assam and Shakespeare’s ‘Comedy of Errors’.
- Village Rockstars (2017):
The coming-of-age movie written, edited, co-produced and directed by Rima Das has many laurels credited in its name. The film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and also bagged the ‘Best Feature Film’ ‘Swarna Kamal’ award at the 65th National Film Awards. Also, this movie was selected as India’s official entry to the 91st Academy Awards.
- Bulbul Can Sing (2018):
Another masterpiece by Rima Das, the movie was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. It also won the Special Mention Generation 14 plus in the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. Rima Das also bagged the award for the Best New Director in the 13th Asian Film Awards 2019.
- Aamis (2019):
Writer and director Bhaskar Hazarika explores the themes of forbidden love and a peculiar relationship between food and sex in his second directorial debut. Chopra cited ‘Aamis repulses and provokes. But the film’s strength is in how it does these things without showing much.’
- Suspended Inspector Boro (2018):
This film found a special mention in Film Companion’s list. It revolves around an incorruptible, highly skilled in martial arts cop who gets suspended for opposing a well-connected gang of traffickers. This action-packed crime thriller movie is surely one of its kind.
- Lady of the Lake (2016):
Written by Umesh Patil and directed by Haobam Paban Kumar this Manipuri movie is a marriage between drama, gun and ghost. (I mean what could obviously go wrong here?). It is centered on a married couple from the fisherfolk community residing in the Loktak Lake. This feature film won the ‘National Film Award for the Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation’ at the 64th National Film Awards 2016. It is also available on Netflix.
- Ma.Ama (2018):
Debuting as a filmmaker Dominic Sangma’s Ma.Ama revolves around an old man who contemplates death while hoping to reunite with his long-dead wife. It was the only Indian film selected for the Mumbai’s Film Festival’s international competition in 2018.
- Daughters of The Polo God (2018):
Directed by Roopa Barua, this Manipuri documentary won the ‘Best Documentary’ award in the ‘19th Annual New York Indian Film Festival’ and finds a special mention in the list as well.