Every year thousands of tourists from across the globe flock to Kohima to witness and be part of the much-acclaimed Hornbill Festival. The Hornbill Festival was first started in the year 2000 with a vision to share and present the unique and colourful culture and traditions of the Naga people to the outside world and over the years the festival has gradually grown in stature and has today become one of the biggest festivals in the country and a must visit event for travel enthusiasts all over the world.
However, not all tourists can afford the luxury of staying in Nagaland for weeks, exploring the entire width and breadth of the State, and witnessing the people of Nagaland and their rich cultural heritage. This is where the “HIPFEST” as one of the events of the Hornbill Festival plays a vital role in presenting our Picturesque State and its beautiful people to tourists and visitors from different parts of the world without the need to physically travel to every part of the state.
“HIPFEST” jointly organized by Portrait Enterprises and the Department of Information and Public Relations is a photography competition cum exhibition under the theme “Colours of Nagaland”. HIPFEST is an annual hornbill event held at Heritage Village, Kisama, and is one of the highlights of the Hornbill Festival. The event seeks to promote not just the photography talents of the State but most importantly aims at providing a glimpse of the State as a whole, its picturesque landscapes, and its beautiful people to the thousands of visitors that throng the venue during the Hornbill Festival. Like the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words" the pictures exhibited at HIPFEST tell the story of our Naga people, our cultures, our heritage, and most importantly depict our Naga way of life. With pictures of the breathtaking landscapes of Nagaland also being exhibited, the event also promotes eco-tourism in the State by essentially presenting locations which one can visit and experience the natural beauty of the State.
The 2022 HIPFEST saw more than a hundred avid photographers submitting their photographs for the competition out of which winners from two categories, senior and junior were selected by a panel of judges comprised of well-established and renowned photographers. The judges for the HIPFEST 2022 comprised Jan Skwara, a renowned documentary and travel photographer from Poland whose works have been featured in publications like National Geographic Poland, Digital Camera, The Sun, The Mirror, etc, Kekhriezhazo Miachieo, an award-winning photographer based out of Kohima, Nagaland whose works are focussed on human interests and environmental portraits and lastly Merimvu Doulo, a professional artist, photographer and graphic designer who is also the proprietor of Artworks Kohima. His most notable works include the coffee table book titled ‘Where Warriors Waltz- Festivals of Nagaland’ and he is also the designer of the official logo of the Government of Nagaland.
‘HIPFEST’ over the years have become an integral part of the Hornbill Festival and has been instrumental in promoting photography in the State and has managed to provide a platform for many up-and-coming photographers to exhibit their works and get their works appraised by renowned professional photographers from whom they can learn and further their creative talents. Out of all the positives of “HIPFEST” the most valuable contribution the event has made is that of providing “a true window to Nagaland- its beautiful landscapes, its people, its cultures and traditions”.
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