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Films at indie8

Get ready for a thrilling three-day documentary film festival! We are happy to announce that we will be screening a total of twenty-one films. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A session, where the audience will get an opportunity to interact with the filmmakers themselves, exploring their art and journey in directing these films. A wonderful opportunity for all to immerse in the world of documentary filmmaking.

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[Opening Film]

Highways of Life

Director: Amar Maibam

Duration: 53 mins

Highways of Life is a detailed look at the high octane lives of Manipur’s Highway truckers. Being a landlocked North-East Indian state, the two Highway 2 & 37 connect Manipur to the rest of the world as its lifeline. Economic blockades, lightning general strikes, armed extortion, robbery, abduction, killing for ransom and bad road conditions make these two highways a life-threatening terrain for the truckers. The film journeys a group of truckers as they manoeuvre through the highways, putting their lives on the frontline, ferrying essential commodities to serve the three million people of Manipur in the two intense public movements played out on the highways.

Ne Sotal

Director: Shrutiman Deori

Duration: 10 mins

During the pandemic, Gautam, a 14 year old boy remains stuck in his school dormitary. He yearns for his village while his mother tries contacting him.
This impressionistic documentary explores the struggles of a remote tribal community from North East India as it attempts to provide an education for its children in the face of both poverty and the COVID-19 lockdown.

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The Endless Note - Folk Instruments of Sikkim

Director: Karma Palzor Bhutia

Duration: 38 mins

The film was made to capture the essence and context of folk music and folk musicians/ artists from Sikkim. The effort is also to document the traditional music instruments of Sikkim.

Fire on Edge

Directors: Pranab Jyoti Deka and Sujit Debbarma

Duration: 39 mins

Tiwa is an ethnic group of the indigenous tribe inhabiting state of Assam. They are recognised as the schedule tribe within the state. They are known as Lalung in Assamese historic colonial literature or in the constitution of India. The Tiwas are mostly the inhabitants of the western areas of Karbi Anglong in Assam. Their main occupation lies in farming, and practice shash-an-burn agriculture or jhum cultivation. Rice is the major crop cultivated by these inhabitants along with ginger, chillies, turmeric, etc. The Tiwas also enjoy drinking local rice beer, those of which are used during in their rituals as well. About 40% of Karbi Anglong is covered with forest we must protect the forest for our children, grandchildren and yet to be born, we must protect the forest for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, fish and trees.

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Man and the Wild

Director: Shantanu Sen

Duration: 30 mins

The farmer Samir Bordoloi believes that nature can fulfill our needs and not our greed. On a hillock twenty five kilometers away from Guwahati city, he has been creating food forests where he grows food naturally for both humans and animals of the forest. In the process, he also organizes training camps at the food forest to transform youth into green commandos who can, then, bring change into their own communities.

I Rise

Director: Borun Thokchom

Duration: 52 mins

Born in a poor family, Laishram Sarita Devi, a mother, a woman Pugilist, spared no effort to become a celebrated sports star of International fame. She came to limelight as the first Indian professional woman boxer after she became a mother. Inspite of her fame and glory, she is passionate about empowering people who are marginalised and runs an Academy that trains and encourages destitute children to create an identity through Boxing. The story elaborates the predicament where she navigates between her mission and her relationship with her beloved son Tomthil. This is story of conflict in a mother and as a change maker.

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Before You Were My Mother

Director: Prasuna Dongol

Duration: 73 mins

Born and brought up in Manipur and currently living in New York, Ibemhal (59) left her childhood home in Manipur and moved to Nepal after her marriage. Ibemhal’s whole life has been dedicated to raising her two daughters while trying to find her own identity in new places. Who is Ibemhal beyond her identity as a mother and a wife? What was her life like in Manipur?

Prasuna (30), Ibemhal’s eldest daughter longs to understand the person that is her mother. Prasuna’s bond with her mother is shaped by the conflict-ridden socio-political environment in which she was raised, patriarchal expectations of being a woman in a Nepali society and years of living apart. When Ibemhal returns to Nepal to visit Prasuna in 2020, both of them take a trip to Manipur to visit Ibemhal’s mother, Prasuna’s grand mother.


This 73 minutes deeply personal observational documentary explores the relationship between mothers and daughters and unearths layers of their childhood, youth and past traumas. Prasuna tries to come to terms with the differences she has with her mother and seeks a way to define her own life.


Time in an object

Director: Abhinash Bharali

Duration: 11 mins

Personal heritage is something which is related to individual’s life. Most of our heritage damage or lost in the time of disaster. In case of ASSAM during the flood period because of the river bank erosion people changes their location. They lost their household. During this transition people bring some of their important and valuable objects which is related to their believes, rituals, memories, habits, tradition. This documentary focused on few objects which are carry by their owner’s one location to another that are attached to their life. How the object’s lifeline connected to their lifeline?

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Director: Sanjib Das

Duration: 29 mins

The film is a real life documentation of Thanga Darlong, the last musician to play rosem. It focuses on the incidents and experiences, emotions and dedications of the indigenous music maestro. The film encapsulates the life and creative activity of the folk artist from his childhood to his training period and highlights the rise of the artist as a folk musician. Mr Darlong played a significant role in folk culture in northeast India. He received padmashri in 2019.

BIRUBALA: The Fearless Crusader

Director: Dhiraj Kashyap

Duration: 27 mins

It is during calamities that the true nature of a person takes shape. Social activist Birubala Rabha is one such courageous woman, whose will power, tenacity and determination has helped her to overcome all the difficulties in life. This courageous tribal woman has been working tirelessly to eradicate the social stigma of witch hunting, which has been persisting in Assam for almost five decades today. Birubala with an army of lady volunteers under the umbrella of her voluntary organisation Mission Birubala has been rehabilitating a number of victims of witch-hunts, travelling across the state's remote areas to create awareness campaigns, inspiring people to pursue scientific knowledge and emphasizing on the need for community involvement in eradicating superstitions. Her mission has saved many alleged ‘witches’ from being killed in Assam. A symbol of sacrifice and struggle, this tireless human rights activist, relinquishing personal interests and human aspirations, often putting her own life at risks, has been working day and night for the welfare of women and spreading awareness amongst people against the malpractices of witch-hunting and superstitious beliefs in society for a better and healthy future. The road has been long and hard for Birubala Rabha, who, when confronted with life's extreme adversities, never cowered down, but instead rose up to face them head on, alone, revealing the wondrous strength of human power and indomitable spirit.

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Gosain: The Colours of Spring

Director: Bishal Swargiary

Duration: 28 mins

The significance and traditions surrounding the Doul Purnima ( Holi Festival), as well as the mythology of the discovery Narasimha Gosain by the Banka Kachari while excavating a pond serve as the foundation for this ethnographic film.

Absent River

Director: Devadeep Sarmah Gupta

Duration: 14 mins

What happens when the unstoppable force of nature clashes against the immovable determination of the human? The Brahmaputra River establishes an intimate relationship of contradiction in the socio-cultural reality of Assam. Despite the devastating nature of the floods, the communities continue to live near the river-banks, sometimes owing to historical and emotional bonds, other times following a lack of financial freedom or immediate choice. Without the dearth of fair choice, the individual is rather forced to face the repetitive consequences of a decision that is not entirely theirs, and the situation becomes an absurdity as the consequences appear as self-inflicted collateral. Neither the reluctant victim can be told that it is their responsibility to bear the consequences of their choice to be in the place of peril, nor the river can be held as sentient and questioned about its actions. This conflict leads to the unwilling surrender of one’s destiny into higher hands, and it becomes relatively simpler to accept the disaster when the disaster itself is perceived upon as a part of God’s play. The toxic yet thriving relationship between the river and the people manifests itself as the endless loop, the serpent eating its own tail. This unlikely paradox serves itself as an ongoing discourse in the process of looking beyond the surficial understandings and contesting the pre-victimised perceptions prevalent about such river-bank communities.

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Meiram - The Fireline

Director: James Khangenbam

Duration: 34 mins

As season change, Langol, once a barren hilltop in the fringe of Imphal city, brings magic of the forest. The dream of Loiya, a young man, to cover the hill with lush green has been taken up mutually by a young group of volunteers. The film gently touches the embracing colours of wild and slices of biodiversity.

Hun Khirh (The Uncertain Years)

Director: Napoleon RZ Thanga

Duration: 29 mins

When Covid-19 pandemic stared in India there was a total lockdown imposed to stop further transmission. In Mizoram, a small state in the North East India life was halted because of the lockdown. The filmmaker observes the events unfolding from the first day of the lockdown. It gives us the story of life during the uncertain years and tackling of it by the society i.e. the local task force, the ambulance drivers, the medical volunteers and the people.

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[Special Screening]

Double Layered Town / Making a Song to Replace Our Positions

Directors: Komori Haruka and Seo Natsumi

Duration: 79 mins

After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, Komori Haruka and Seo Natsumi chose to live and film in Rikuzentakata. This work is a visual record of four people who applied for a workshop Komori and Seo devised, showing them visiting the town and getting to know its people and landscape. The opportunity to hear personal experiences of the disaster decreases with time, but this film provides a bridge to new encounters and communication, in addition to including a story written by Seo entitled “Double Layered Town.”


The Way Home - A Lisu Story

Directors: Wesabo Yobin and R. Thochipa Christopher Bareh

Duration: 35 mins

"The Way Home - A Lisu story" is a picturesque journey of a young man's four days journey towards home with his colleagues, as he takes them along to the road less traveled. Traversing through the terrain, they walk through the muddles and puddles, exploring the countless adventures along the way. With every step leaving a trace, of broken shoes and shredded socks; with every new faces they encounter, each with their own story to tell, of sacrifice and restless nights, of curved backs and loaded baskets. The film recounts the many ventures as they finally make it home, a place with countless histories and tales. This is the Lisu story, of Tales that once ceased, but will reignite once again and make its name in history.

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I Am Property

Director: Karry Padu

Duration: 21 mins

The documentary navigates impunity and polygyny in the context of the customary laws in Arunachal. It was conceptualized and produced under Zubaan’s ‘Stepping stones and body of evidence’ projects. The film sheds light on the different communities of Arunachal in which the practice of polygyny is dominantly prevalent. It also explores the experiences of both men and women who exist and participate in the common practice of polygyny by making a statement that although a woman is the breadwinner and nurturer of the land, she does not have any rights to own land.

My Name is Eeooow

Director: Oinam Doren

Duration: 52 mins

Imagine a village where you have to sing every time you call somebody’s name. In the village of Konthong, every body has a song tune as a name - the Jyngwrai Iawbei. The name comes as an expression of the mother’s love for her new born. But what happens to that perpetual symbol of mother’s love when the kids come to the town for higher studies, seeking for jobs in urban spaces and are exposed to contemporary music?

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Mask Art of Majuli

Director: Utpal Borpujari

Duration: 56 mins

The numerous Satras (Vaishnavaite monasteries) of Majuli, the world’s largest inhabited river island, are not only religious places of great significance but also form the heart of Satriya culture that was created by 15th century saint, poet, playwright, social reformer and cultural icon Srimanta Sankardev. One key element of the Satriya culture is the masks that are worn by performers during Bhaona, which are dance dramas based primarily on Hindu mythology. These masks – or “Mukha“ as they are called in Assamese – represent an intricate art form, and artisans create them in a unique and totally organic way using biodegradable material. This film creatively documents the Mask Art form of Majuli, focusing on the only two families that are keeping the practice alive at the Natun Chamaguri Satra, including award-winning mask maker Dr Hem Chandra Goswami.

Sound from the Hallow Bamboo

Director: Vito Sumi

Duration: 35 mins

"Sound from the Hollow Bamboo" is a documentary about Hojevi Kappo, a renowned folk gospel artist from Nagaland. Hojevi, a traditionalist with a deep-rooted love of music, is breathing new life into the ancient folk music of the SUMI Nagas. Unlike conventional instruments, Hojevi's musical instruments are all made from natural resources found in nature, such as bamboo, tree pods, and vines. Hojevi's music combines simple folk melodies and lyrics inspired by nature, with the emotional and sentimental elements of traditional practices. At the same time, his music retains the sophisticated and appealing aspects of modern music. The documentary explores Hojevi's journey as he works to keep the oral traditions passed down by his ancestors alive through his music.

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[Closing Film]

Writing with Fire

Directors: Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Duration: 94 mins

In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India's only newspaper led by marginalised women. Armed with smartphones, wit and tenacity, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India's biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.

A double Sundance winner, Writing With Fire got an Academy award nomination for Best Feature Documentary, making it the first Indian feature documentary to be nominated for an Oscar.

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