Manipuri cinema draws plaudits from Governor

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IMPHAL, Sep 11: The 7th Manipur State Film Festival, 2010, kicked off today at the premises of Manipur Film Development Corporation (MFDC), Palace Compound, Imphal.

The inaugural function was graced by the Governor of Manipur, Gurbachan Jagat, as the chief guest and eminent film-maker Padmashree Shyam Sharma as the president.

Addressing the gathering of the inaugural function, the Governor Gurbachan Jagat announced that the Governor’s Award will be presented to the best feature film entered in the state film festival from next year onwards in view of promoting the production of good quality films in the state.

He further stated that Manipuri cinema has a great future and after attaining the statehood there has been a great quickening of the human mind and a renaissance of artistic activity in the state. The Manipuri cinema has earned a reputation not only in India but also in the international arena, he noted.

The Governor said that one of the main objectives of a film festival, whether national or international, is to provide an opportunity for the participating film makers to have an exchange of ideas in the art of film making on one hand and on the other hand, to focus on the changing trends in this art form as a powerful force in the shaping of cultural tastes of people.

This year’s film festival has made a significant departure from the previous ones by giving recognition to the digital films. Manipur is undoubtedly the first Indian state not only for giving recognition to the digital films but also for opening a wide vista for the same in the field of mass education and entertainment, Gurbachan Jagat stated.

He also stated that Manipuri cinema has survived more than four decades beginning with 35 mm black and white films and the contribution of the video, though a late comer, to the world of Manipuri cinema during the past one or two decades may be treated as very significant in view of the peculiar circumstances. They have been produced and released for mass education and entertainment, the Governor noted.

Gurbachan Jagat further asserted that in the prevailing socioeconomic circumstances digital films will dominate over celluloid films in Manipur and the present Manipuri cinema is a product of the successful journey from celluloid to digital and the latter will stay for the years to come until a better and more efficient electronic substitute replaces it.

Today, the video has become the most popular medium of presenting Manipuri cinema to the people because of a few major advantages over that of the celluloid, like low production cost, easy availability of raw materials and trained local technicians. As a nodal agent for the development of Manipuri cinema, the organizing of such festivals by the MFDC at regular intervals and the incentives to the film/video makers through awards in various categories, which are some of the welcome features of the festival, deserve appreciation and support by all, he said.
The Governor stated that the impact of good films on the society, particularly on the young minds is very lasting and effective in moulding character. Commercial films, while entertaining the viewers impress them with undesirable motives such as fighting, killing, romancing etc. With its rich cultural and artistic talents, Manipur can produce more number of quality films to reform the society at this critical juncture of social turmoil, he said.

The absence of feature or non-feature films/videos in tribal dialects at the festival deserves attention not only of the MFDC but also of all lovers of Manipuri cinema. The tribes also have a rich cultural heritage and their folklore is replete with beautiful tales of romance and heroism which will provide the materials for those desirous to make films/videos on the tribes concerned, Gurbachan asserted.

He also lauded the MFDC for organizing the film festival which will be a morale booster for low budget digital film making in the state and help in elevating the standard of cinema and also in encouraging the young artistes and technicians of the state.

The Governor also appealed to all concerned to make good films which will inspire youngsters to stand for righteousness and help bring laurels in national and international film festivals.
Delivering the presidential address, Padmashree Shyam Sharma stated that the young talented film-makers of the state have been successful in their mission towards the inclusion of video films in the national film festivals and the Film Forum Manipur deserves the real credit for such remarkable achievement in the field of film-making.

The state film festival would definitely help to promote the production of good quality films in the state which has occupied a significant place in the field of film-making, he said.

Altogether, one celluloid feature film, 13 video feature films and 15 non-feature films have been selected for the 7th Manipur State Film Festival, 2010.

In this festival, the MFDC will present Lifetime Achievement Award, Best Book on Manipuri Cinema Award and Best Film Critic Award.

The first Manipuri feature film “Matamgi Manipur” was screened at the inaugural function of the festival today.

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