We Would Love to Have NE People in Bollywood

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Kiran Kher

Shillong, March 19: With a long-standing connection to the North East, Kirron Kher was another ideal guest on the penultimate day of the Indian Panorama Film Festival. She was delighted with the cultural performances that preceded her interaction with film students and other enthusiasts at the State Convention Centre, referring to the girls of the Khmih Shillong Group as “my little darlings” and telling them that they performed even better on Wednesday than they did when on India’s Got Talent, where Kher was a judge.

 

This was not the first visit of the versatile actor to Shillong and she also told the audience of her connection to the region as a child, as her father was an army officer posted in various parts of the “special” North East. In her motivating talk, Kher emphasized the need for people from the North East who want to succeed in mainstream Indian cinema to be able to communicate in the language of most films, meaning Hindi. She also said that North Eastern singers, dancers, actors and editors would all find a place on the national stage.

 

 

“It is a great loss that we don’t have so many people from here over there, which we would love to have. We have a lovely, diverse country,” Kher added. “What should stop them? Nothing at all! Pursue your dreams with passion and integrity and coming from the North East will not be a barrier to you.” Despite being on the road for much of the day, she warmly fielded questions from an audience that was a little shy to begin with, but opened up with some insightful queries.

 

 

One question was whether Kher had a message for those who might judge or discriminate against people from the North East and she responded with a powerful statement that drew wide applause.

“I would like to tell the whole of the world to please don’t judge our beautiful children by your own silly, narrow standards. Let them blossom, give them respect and dignity and a right to live in peace and harmony with all of us anywhere in this great country of ours.”

 

 

Earlier in the day there was a well-attended workshop on film direction, led by Anjan Dutt. He answered many questions from the audience on the subject and there were also contributions by fellow directors Veena Bakshi and Goutam Ghose. Five films were screened at U Soso Tham Auditorium on the third day, including the moving Leipaklei and Baandhon. The evening feature was The Coffin Maker, directed by Bakshi.

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