GUWAHATI: State Commerce and Industries Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary has said that the Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF), 2018 is set to build cultural bridges between Assam and South East Asian nations.
Inaugurating the ‘ASEAN premiere’ of the ongoing second Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra on Friday, Patowary said: “We have been constantly putting our efforts to accelerate our trade and socio-cultural relations with South East Asian countries. Now (GIFF), 2018 is there to get the job well accomplished by building bridges in the cultural arena.”
Stressing that the Government of India’s ambitious Act East Policy will bridge the connectivity gap in the South East Asia, Patowary said, “The eagerly awaited India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway has been progressing as expected. Only the completion of bridges is awaited. Once they are commissioned, the connectivity with the South East Asian countries will take a leap forward towards development.”
The minister has further speculated that the access to Chittagong seaport will boost cross-border trade in the Northeast India with its neighbouring countries. He maintained, “India and ASEAN have a common history of socio-economic affinity and films and cultural exchanges are another medium to strengthen the bond.”
“We’ve already started our trade with Myanmar. Accordingly, with the airways being initiated between Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport and 6 Asian capitals, the Northeast India will now be strengthened with air, water and surface connectivity – giving it a new dimension for development,” Patowary added.
During the inauguration of the ASEAN premiere of GIFF, a Combodian film, In the Life of Music directed by Caylee So and Sok Vishal and another Iranian film, Negar, directed by Rambod Javan were screened. They were followed by other films.
Attending the inauguration of the ASEAN premiere, Myanmar Ambassador to India Moe Kyaw Aung stressed cooperation in sectors like tourism, trade and commerce. He also advocated for people-to-people contact and cultural exchange programmes for enhancing the relations among ASEAN countries. Pabitra Margherita, chairman, Jyoti-Chitraban (Film Studio) Society and the cast and crew members of the movie In the Life of Music were also present on the occasion.
Notably, along with the foreign delegates, a large number of delegates from various parts of the country, school, college and university students and city residents thronged the Sankardev Kalakshetra premises with great enthusiasm on Friday.