Films from Northeast which gained global attention in 2018


The motion picture today is the greatest medium of expression the world has ever known. The earlier perception that the Northeast is “disconnected” from the mainstream India due to the absence of stories about the culture and society on the silver screen has proven wrong in the last couple of years.

We have compiled a list of films made in Northeast India which gained national and international attention in 2018.

Village Rockstars

Royal Global University

Village Rockstars directed by self-taught filmmaker from Assam, Rima Das is an 80-minute Assamese drama which won the top honour in the country. It was screened at several national and international film festivals. Rima single-handedly shot the film on a shoestring budget.

Village Rockstars won best Indian film and two other prizes at the Mumbai Film Festival. It won the coveted Golden Elephant for Best Director (Feature Film) Competition Asian Panorama by Adult Jury at the 20th International Children’s Film Festival. The lead actor, Bhanita Das, bagged the Special Jury award for the Best Child Performer.

The film was selected as India’s official entry for the Academy award. However, the film did not make to list of the nine shortlisted movies in the best foreign language film category.

III Smoking Barrels 

Sanjib Dey’s debut film and India’s first multilingual film lll Smoking Barrels: Stories from Far East India is a tale of the blazing issue of intolerance in the Northeast. The film is an anthology of three stories from the Northeast India all inspired by real-life incidents. To keep the portrayal realistic, the film’s narrative has been kept multi-lingual. It has a blend of six languages- English, Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Nagamese and Manipuri.

The film explores different stages of human life- childhood, boyhood and manhood – while separately addressing an important socio-political issue. The first story starts with a desperate girl who hijacks a car following her escape from a rebel camp.

It must be noted, the film is an official selection at the 38th Durban International Film Festival 2017.

 3. Nana – A Tale of us

Nana – A Tale of Us is a 2017 Nagamese-language Drama film directed by Tiakumzuk Aier and produced by Aoyimti Youth Ministry. The film stars Zhokhoi Chuzho, Mengu Suokhrie, Watipongla Kichu, Ariensa Longchar and Bokavi Swu.

This is 1-hour 40-minute film became the most expensive Naga film to be produced with a budget of Rs 25 lakh. Upon its release on July 18, 2017, Nana – A Tale of Us achieved critical acclamation and was a commercial success in the state.

It made a grand international debut at the 2nd Edinburgh Festival of Indian Films and Documentaries (EDIFD), Scotland’s biggest showcase of the best in new and classic Indian Cinema. Director Taikumzuk Aier bagged the prestigious Golden Calton award for Best Director.

Pahuna – The Little Visitors

Priyanka Chopra’s maiden production Pahuna: The Little Visitors revolves around three Nepalese children who got separated from their parents while they were escaping from the Maoists agitation in Nepal to Sikkim.

The movie is produced under Priyanka and her mother Madhu Chopra’s banner Purple Pebble Pictures and it is directed by Paakhi A. Tyrewala.


Dominic Megam Sangma’s debut feature, Ma.Ama, is the only Indian film and Garo language film selected in the International Competition category at the ongoing Mumbai Film Festival 2018.

Bornodi Bhotiai

Anupam Kaushik Borah’s directorial debut Bornodi Bhotiai, is set on the river island on the Brahmaputra river in Assam. Majuli is what drives Bornodi Boithai, which had its world premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival’s India Story section. Borah’s film tells us tale of Majuli, the tragedy of a vanishing island and the celebration of its flourishing culture. The film had its world premiere at the recently concluded Mumbai Film Festival, 2018.