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By Gabriel G Momin
It is no secret that Northeast India has witnessed the steady rise of prominent independent filmmakers from the region, with their various productions reaching audiences in the country and beyond.
Much like the diverse culture of the region, directors associate a lot of their work with rich folktales.
With that being said, TNT-The North East Today reached out to one of the region’s most prominent film directors.
Hailing from Shillong, the heart of Meghalaya, Wanphrang K. Diengdoh is a dynamic filmmaker and is also one of the finest musicians in the state.
Diengdoh’s debut feature production “Lorni-the Flaneur” was also screened for global audiences in New York on September 11, 2020.
TNT: When did you start the work on the film?
Diengdoh: Lorni-the Flaneur, was first conceptualised, as a graphic novel about a decade ago, but eventually became a screenplay in early 2018. We began filming in mid-2018.
TNT: Could you tell us more about the actors and crew members who worked on the project?
Diengdoh: The producer of the film is Sweety Jane Pala, while the co-producers of the film are 108 Media from Singapore who are also partnering with us for the world sales rights for the film.
Adil Hussain plays the lead character while Dawiat Syiem, Elizer Bareh, Randall Nongkhlaw, Lumber Mawsor, Merlin Mukhim and Rana Kharkongor play some significant parts.
TNT: What message does the film try to convey?
Diengdoh: I do not think there is one message that the film conveys.
I think we also need to get over this idea that a film has to convey anything, to begin with.
I think my film resonates differently for different people and would probably be a breath of fresh air in the filmmaking landscape of the country and the region.
TNT: Could you tell us about some of your more recent work or achievements?
Diengdoh: Lorni-the Flaneur was recently nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Actor at the New York Indian Film Festival and had its world premiere at the prestigious Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in 2019.
It is doing the festival circuit, but things have been a little slow because of the pandemic. However, it is fascinating to see how a small budget film from a small town can also reach extremely prestigious platforms.
I am currently writing my next project, also set in Shillong. So I’m now looking forward to that.
TNT: How has your journey been as a film director?
Diengdoh: It’s been a roller-coaster ride, but in the end, it’s worth it.
TNT: When can the people in Shillong and the country expect your movie?
Diengdoh: Soon. It should be doing the online platforms this year. I am quite excited myself. It should have been out earlier, but we are just completing a few pointers amid this whole pandemic we have found ourselves in.
TNT: What message would you like to send out to aspiring filmmakers out there?.
Diengdoh: Work hard, keep at it, love your stories, love your music, and have a love-hate relationship with the place you come from.