This makes it sound as if movies are being made all over the country, which is true, but I think what is important to note is that the work that receives the most exposure tends to be from Bollywood and Kollywood. Bollwood and Kollywood actors appear in each other's cinema from time to time, and sometimes there are permanent crossovers (Naghma to Kollywood and Bhojpuri films from Bolloywood, Khushbu to Kollywood from Bollywood).
So what's wrong with this picture? Nothing, except that I don't see much representation in Bollywood from the North Eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Mizoram. Of these states, Assam does have a substantial film industry, which shows up sporadically for the national awards, but that's about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_of_Assam
In terms of popular (Bollywood/Kollywood) cinema, I came up with this is the list of popular artists hailing from the North East:
- Kelly Dorji
- Danny Denzongpa
- Udita Goswami
- SD Burman
- Bhupen Hazarika
- Meiyang Chang
Udita Meghalaya represented! She doesn't look very North Eastern to begin with, and I wonder if this fact made her Bollywood debut easier to the casting directors. She is a bad actor, so I really don't care if she does many movies.
SD Burman Tripura represented! He is so inspirational- the 2nd son of the king of Tripura, he withdrew from all matters of state so that he could concentrate on his music. with that kind of focus, it is no wonder that he did make good.
Bhupen Hazarika Assam represented! He is one of the reasons for this article. despite his stellar music, his innings in Bollywood have been short - which may largely due to the incestuous ways of the film industry. An outsider, no matter how nationally lauded he may be, tends to get the short end of the stick unless he makes influential friends. Mr Hazarika has relatively low visibility in cinematic music, nationally and internationally. Maybe he doesn't care- he has enough of an audience for his non-cinematic albums. But all artists appreciate appreciation.
Kelly Dorji is Bhutanese by origin. Ramp model and super cute, and seems to be working on a career centered primarily in Kollywood.
Meiyang Chang is Chinese by extraction, but satisfies our "different" appearance criteria, and is the second reason for this post. He is super cute, and yet, I don't see him being cast in a lead role, while lots of rubbish actors keep getting casted on a daily basis. PLUS, he is a blogger too http://buddhasoliloques.blogspot.com
Helen: She is French-Burmese, and such a talent, that years after she has officially stopped acting and dancing, she STILL is called back often. Cant say enough about her, so will just stop.
One of the reasons offered up to explain the dearth of North Eastern actors in mainstream cinema is that they look different. There- I wrote it. Its whispered about, no one talks about it, and the idea is refuted by giving examples of Danny, Udita and Helen. BUT they look beautiful, I protest-; besides, Bollywood has never really stopped "different" looking people- SRK was called different when he started, and look where he is now. Nope, not buying that one.
I cannot believe that there are so few talented folks in the North East either, which, believe it or not, I have read about online- utter rubbish. What may be a plausible culprit is the state of unrest in that part of the country- but then, there is unrest all over. That cannot stop talent. Or can it?