GUWAHATI | Sep 29: Manipuri short film ‘Pe’ (The Umbrella), won the prestigious ‘Best short film Award’ directed by Rakesh Moirangthem, 33 of Keishamthong Irom Pukhri Mapal, in the 7th edition of the Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival here today.
Rakesh was awarded with a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh in today’s concluding function. Buddhadeb Barman was given the 1st runners-up position, for his movie ‘Lachhka Dangir Katha’. The 2nd runners-up went to Maharshi Tuhin Kashyap for his movie ‘Kaan Phus Phusot Phus Phusoni’ (Poetry of Whispers).
‘Pe’ (The Umbrella) was named the best short film from around 250 entries for the contest from different states of the northeast.
The film is adapted from a short story by Sahitya Akademi award winning writer Laitonjam Premchand. It tells the story of the importance of little things a poor father and son shares, like in this film an old and torn umbrella and the emotions associated with it.
Rakesh Moirangthem, in an interaction with the IFP expressed profound gratefulness over receiving the award. He said it was his first time receiving an award in his journey of films of around 15 years.
However, he expressed sadness at the present State of film industry in Manipur. Despite improvements in technicalities, there have not been unique storylines recently, he said.
The film maker turned editor further contended that there is no proper platform for promoting Manipuri films in the state itself. Besides, there is lack of unity among the Manipuri film enthusiasts and as such we are still unable to organise grand film festivals like BVFF, he added.
While observing that the implementation of cine policy might be able to improve the precarious film scenario in the State, he urged the government to implement the same at the earliest.
Festival director, Tanushree Hazarika told the IFP that exchange of culture, ideas and knowledge with such film festivals is crucial in the creative space. Manipuri film makers are technically so good and so many times Manipuris have won the short film contests, she said.
Tanushree maintained that she expects more of such festivals in other Northeast states as well. We should be encouraging each other especially the young and budding film makers. There should be enough space for everyone, asserted the festival director.
In the meantime, Manipuri film maker, Meena Longjam, who was among the jury, stressed that Manipur needs to organise such festivals. “The problem with our Sate is that we are not able to reach out to the masses especially youths. We lack resources, funding, etc. which restricted the film associations in Manipur to few screenings only. Film screenings and festivals are quite different. The later should have master classes, workshops, etc. apart from screening of films,” she stated.
Besides, except for some, most of the Manipuri film makers are self-taught, she said. A film institute is long due in Manipur but political scuffle have caused hindrances in the development of Manipuri cinema, she added.
The four-day-long 7th Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival (BVFF) concluded today with the presence of several acclaimed directors and filmmakers.
The fourth day started with the screening of Priya Thuvassery’s documentary ‘Coral Woman’. The documentary is both a profile of Uma Mani and her efforts to address the threat to coral reefs from bleaching, pollution and global warming.
A very engaging panel discussion also took place with Karan Oberoi, Bidita Bag and Prabal Baruah moderated by Karma Paljor. The topic of discussion was ‘Nurturing Talent from Northeast India’.
The festival ended with the Awards Ceremony and the screening of the movie ‘T for Tajmahal’, directed by Kireet Khurana. ‘T For Tajmahal’ is a young man’s journey to bring literacy to his village through a unique social enterprise. Instead of paying for food, the customers need to teach the village kids.
It may be mentioned that apart from ‘Pe’ (The Umbrella), two other Manipuri short films also entered the top 15 positions. They are ‘Time Bomb’ directed by Jimmy Thokchom and ‘Love Overcomes Evil’ by Suvas Elangbam.
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