Rapture, the second feature film directed by Dominic Megam Sangma, who is based in Meghalaya, has been selected for an international competition at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, which runs from August 2 to 12, 2023.
This 127-minute movie, whose original title was Rimdogittanga, was written and directed by Sangma.
This film, which was jointly produced by India, China, Switzerland, and Qatar, has screened at prestigious film festivals like Film Bazaar, Tokyo Talents (producer), BoostNL, and Berlinale Talents (director), as well as La Fabrique du Cinema in 2020.
In 2019, the famous Hubert Bals Fund - Script Development and Vision Sud Est - Production Fund both provided funds for Rapture. It received the Doha Film Institute - Post-production grant in 2022.
The film, which is typical of his style of filmmaking, explores the themes of superstition and dread in a way that combines dreams and reality to tell the tale of a community where cicadas erupt from the ground once every four years. The narrator is a young child.
The filmmaker said, “Rapture is born from my very own experience about fear of the darkness when I was suffering from night blindness. As a kid, I also experienced the fear of rumoured child kidnappers stalking the village at night. There was nothing more fearful than the darkness for me then. Every night the villagers would take turns to guard the village”.
“This left a very strong impression on me as a kid, sewing the seed of difference between ‘them’ and ‘us’. With Rapture, I want to erase or at least blur the line between ‘them’ and ‘us’,” he added.
Simi Khongthiang, President of Fraternity Art Cine Entertainment Shillong (FACES) said, “The presence of North East India is steadily growing in film festivals around the world. Dominic’s film travelling to Locarno is a huge moment for us. We are all proud of him”.
National award-winning filmmaker, Pradip Kurbah, added, “I’m excited to see the journey of the film going ahead. The people of Meghalaya should watch Rapture to get a glimpse of how ideas can be rooted to one’s culture”.
The movie is also up for The Green Pardo Award, an award established in 2022 to honour films that emphasise ecological, interspecies, and sustainable qualities.
The Locarno Film Festival's artistic director has selected 10 new feature films and a programme of short films that are being screened as world or international premieres in the festival's official sections and that focus on the interaction between humans and the ecosystems they are a part of.
The winning film will be chosen by a jury made up of three notable individuals from the film and cultural industries, and the director(s) will receive the Green Pardo prize of CHF 20,000. A short and a feature film may furthermore receive a special mention.
Sangma earned his degree from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), in India, where he focused on screenwriting and direction. He spent two years at the National Film and Development Corporation Ltd (NFDC) before branching out into the world of indie film with his own production firm, Anna Films.
In 2019, the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival's "Best Cinematography Award" was given to Ma.Ama, the first Garo full film to get such recognition.
He has participated in prestigious national film festival juries and is a visiting professor at the Film and Television Institute in Itanagar. He is the co-founder and artistic director of the Kelvin Cinema Festival, which is renowned for showing short films across the nation.
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