NEW DELHI, January 28 (MIC): Noted film director, Aribam Syam Sharma`s latest Manipuri feature film-Leipaklei (2012) has been invited for participation at the Jeonju International Film Festival to be held at Jeonju, South Korea from April 25 to May 5, 2013.
The Programme Coordinator of the Festival June Yun-kyung Kim informed the film maker Syam Sharma for screening the film in the section- `Special Section: Beyond Bollywood` of the 14th edition of the international film festival. The invitation came after the Jeonju festival authority selected the Manipuri film during the Kolkata International Film Festival.
Based on the Sahitya Akademi Award winning drama- Leipaklei written by Arambam Samarendra, the film tells the story of a woman- Leipaklei who is separated from her husband and whose life is surrounded by the hard trials of fate and is burdened with sustaining herself and her little daughter.
Leipaklei had an enthusiastic response from the audience and critics when it was screened during the 18th Kolkata International Film Festival held in Kolkata in November 10-17, 2012 and was the inaugural film of the 5th Guwahati Film Festival held at Guwahati in December 10-16, 2012.
It may be mentioned that Aribam Syam Sharma made his directorial debut in Lamja Parshuram (1974) after scoring music as well as acting in the very first Manipuri film, Matamgi Manipur (1972) directed by Deb Kumar Bose. His directorial debut is said to have beat the then superhot Hindi film running in another theatre in Imphal, Raj Kapoor`s Bobby.
His second Manipuri film was Saphaabi (1979), based on a Manipuri folk story and received the national award in regional category. His third Manipuri film, Olangthagi Wangmadasoo (1980) was a block buster film and also bagged the regional award in the National Film Awards.
Syam Sharma`s Imagi Ningthem in 1981, marked the first Indian film to have won the top prize of `Grand Prix` in the Festival of Three Continents, Nantes in 1982.
His Ishanou (1990) which was screened in the Un Regard Section of the Cannes International Film Festival in 1991 and travelled to many major international film festivals was considered as another masterpiece of Syam Sharma and was screened recently in Indian International Film Festival, Goa in the Centenary Indian Film section among 27 Indian films selected. Acclaimed as one of the most original film makers of India by international critics, Aribam Syam Sharma, now 73, had won five National Film Awards in Manipuri features and eight National Awards in non-features.
A recipient of Padmashri in 2007 and V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, Syam Sharma was the first Managing Director of the Manipur Film Development Corporation Ltd, a Government of Manipur Undertaking established in 1987. During his tenure, he laid the foundation for infrastructure development and film promotional activities like organizing national and foreign film festivals and has authored an autobiography entitled –Living Shadows which was published by the Guwahati Cine Club.