That North East India is largely ignored by ‘mainstream’ India is widely known. But even in this limited scope, there are filmmakers who have offered award-winning movies to the country and the world. Unlike the Hindi or the Tamil film industry, the filmmaking industry of the region is very small. While Assam produces the most number of films, in the recent years Manipuri films have also made a significant mark. Here are eight National Film Award winning mainstream movies from the North East.
Piyali Phukan, Assamese (1955) – The movie made its impact in the national sphere by receiving the 3rd National Film Award. Directed by Phani Sharma, one of the pioneers of filmmaking in Assam, the film depicted the story of a freedom fighter, Piyali Phukan.
Sandhya Raag, Assamese (1977) – Directed by Bhabendra Nath Saikia, the movie won the National Film Award in 1977 under the Rajat Kamal category. The film traces the life of Putali a widow and her two daughters.
Chatledo Eidi, Manipuri (2001) – The Makhonmani Mongsaba film won the 48th National Film Award for best feature film in the regional language category. The poignant love story told in a simple manner won several hearts.
Leipaklei, Manipuri (2012) - Leipaklei won the regional awards (best film in Manipuri language) in the 60th National Film Awards. Directed by renowned filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma, it tells the story of a woman separated from her husband and how she faces the hard trials of fate.
Ko:Yad, Assam (2012) – Ko:Yad is the first Mising film to win a National Film Award. It found a prestigious spot in the 60th National Film Awards. Directed by Manju Borah, Ko:Yad won the best feature film in the non-Eighth Schedule language category. The film also won the best cinematographer award. The film portrays the lives of the Mising people through Poukam, who struggles to make a living in a small Assamese village.