Arunachal Film World Premiere at Kolkata Festival

Peta Dochcho is the first feature film in the Galo language to be screened outside Arunachal Pradesh.

Peta Dochcho is the first feature film in the Galo language to be screened outside Arunachal Pradesh.

The flight of birds might not be dramatic enough to sustain a film, but if the backdrop is a village nestled in the forests of the Eastern Himalayas, the subject matter could well inspire a western, as Sounak portrays Kar, the director of Peta Dochcho.

What sets Peta Dochcho [Bird Thief] apart is not only the subject, but also the fact that it is one of the first feature films in the Galo language, one of many spoken in Arunachal Pradesh, and the first in that language to be screened out of state. The film is set for a world premiere on Thursday during the ongoing first edition of the World First Festival being held in Kolkata.

The film begins with a man stealing birds from their traps. He gives the birds to his meat-loving wife, who cooks them at home. When the bird trappers find the traps empty, they accuse each other of theft. A fight breaks out and as things escalate, chaos descends on the peaceful mountain village.

“What starts out as an ethnographic film morphs into a classic Western revenge drama,” says Mr Kar, who studied directing and screenwriting at the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI) in Kolkata and teaches currently at the institute.

“While I was working at the Itanagar Film and Television Institute, one of my students, Tumkar Sora, offered me a trip to his hometown, a place called Basar, located in the interior of the ‘Arunachal Pradesh. Basar is inhabited by the Galo tribe,” Mr Kar said.

“Their culture, way of life, food habits and architecture are so drastically different from the rest of India that I immediately suggested Tumkar to make a local Galo film with all the resources we have. Peta Dochchomodeled on the Western genre – you can call it an Arunachali Western or a Western Shoot Bamboo – is the timeless story of people’s lack of emotion and sociopathy with an underlying dark humor,” he said. declared.

Made on a measly budget of ₹8 lakh, Peta Dochchowhich is 78 minutes long, has already been screened all over Arunachal Pradesh where depending on location people have paid ₹50 to ₹300 to watch the film.

“We have been watching movies on television since we were children, but it was either Bollywood or Hollywood. Although some short films had already been made in the Galo language, they were only exhibited locally or uploaded to YouTube. Due from our very small population, just over one lakh, and the harsh topography we live in, our tribe has always been isolated from the mainland and naturally from the rest of the world. Peta Dochcho overcomes barriers and becomes the first Galo film to be released globally on all platforms,” said Tumkar Sora, who co-produced the film with Mr. Kar.

Comments are closed.