IMPHAL, May 13: Film crew of ‘Phijiigei Mani’ which had recently won the Best Regional Film Award at the 59th National Film Award, 2011 held at Delhi including best supporting actress awardee L Tonthoi were felicitated at Cosmo Ground, Chingkhu village today.
The program was graced by Padmashree Aribam Syam Sharma as the chief guest. Nageshwor Chingkhuba, Sumang Leela artist and director of Arts and Culture Department, K Sobita attended as the president and guest of honor respectively.
Among the invitees RK Bidur, national film critic awardee spoke that Manipuri cinema has come a long way in it’s nearly 40 years of inception. He mentioned that the state has been able to produce artists who have put Manipuri cinema on a global pedestal.
Mentioning Aribam Syam Sharma’s contribution to the arts, he stated that the “Father of Manipuri Film” in his works have highlighted the potential of this tiny state and have eked out a place in the international film arena.
He said that the artists in the industry similarly have to work diligently with adherence to the aesthetics of this versatile art form.
Noted artist and playwright Narendra Ningomba also mentioned that the state tenders recognition to meritorious individuals in the field of sports and academia whereas actors who are recipients of coveted national awards are side-lined.
“Job opportunities and laurels are conferred to sportpersons, whereas those who have dedicated themselves to the arts and won laurels have remained unsung”, he added that the endeavors of artists should also be duly recognized by the state government.
During the function, the film crew of ‘Phijiigei Mani’ were felicitated by members of the dais.
Aribam Syam Sharma in his speech stated that the film is one of the hallmarks of Manipuri cinema which showcased the talents of actress Tonthoi. Giving cognizance to the production team, he stated that a successful film cannot be attributed to a lone individual but is rather a result of coordinated teamwork.
“A director may be said to be the captain of the boat but needs dedicated efforts from his crew members to sail across the ocean”, he said.
He further stated that talented individuals have brought glory for the state in various fields. “Manipuri cinema has been instrumental in highlighting the culture and rich historical tradition of our state, it carries a message to the global audience. The public as well as the government needs to acknowledge the fact and needs to support the artists”, he added that his documentaries on ‘Sangai-The Dancing Deer of Manipur’ and on the inception of Polo in Manipur have in a medium managed to identify the state and its heritage to the rest of the world.
The veteran filmmaker stated that films provide entertainment and a breathing space to the public within the present state of turmoil witnessed here. “We need to produce commercial films and as well as non commercial ones to cater for the various tastes of the public”, he however hinted that non commercial films are a risky and unprofitable venture but such films bring the global acclaim.
Speaking as the guest of honor, K Sobita, managing director of Manipur Film Development Corporation (MFDC) stated that the corporation has been revitalized and necessary infrastructure provided for the filmmakers and artists alike.
She stated that digital films have been recognized at par with celluloid films and film festivals have been hosted annually by the Arts and culture Department. “We are planning to give incentive awards to the artists, but the government faces some drawbacks now and then due to lack of a film policy for the state.” , she added that MFDC is organizing to archive Manipuri Films and screen the films free of cost once in a month.
The function was attended by popular cine artists Boni, Soma among others.