A feature film in Tripura’s tribal language, Kokbarak, - ‘Yarwng’ (Roots) has won the National Award for ‘Best Feature Film in languages other than those specified in the Schedule VIII of the Constitution.

The 95-minute film which takes a poignant look at the displacement of thousands of indigenous people in Tripura because of the Gumti Hydel project, was released in September 2008.

It has been screened at over 40 international film festivals across the world, including New York, Stuttgart, Moscow, Brisbane, Dhaka and Taiwan.

“It is the first time that Tripura has won a national film award,” its Director Joseph Pulinthanath said on Thursday.

“It is a proud day for the Kokborok language and its speakers,” he said.

The award to ‘YARWNG’ was announced at the 56th National Film Awards by Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Ambika Soni, on January 23 in New Delhi.

Produced by Joseph Kizhakechennadu of Don Bosco Sampari Pictures the cast is made up mostly of indigenous people who were victims of displacement and had no experience whatsoever in acting.

Those with prior experience in the film field included well-known artistes of the State, Meena Debbarma and Amulya Ratan Jamatia.