National Awardee MA Singh passes away

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IMPHAL, March 10: Renowned Manipuri Filmmaker and National awardee, Maibam Amuthoi Singh, popularly known as MA Singh, is no more. He passed away at BM Birla Heart Institute, Kolkata at 8:30 pm on 9th March 2013 where he was undergoing treatment after he was diagnosed with Deep Venous Thrombosis on his left leg.

Late MA Singh is the first Manipuri to be technically trained in film craft at the prestigious National Film and Television Institute of India, the FTII, Pune where went on to earn the distinction of being a double graduate of FTII. After completing his diploma in film-editing in 1971, he continued pursuing film studies and completed the diploma in Direction in 1974.

MA Singh`s path breaking Manipuri feature film ‘Sana Keithel’ went on to bag the prestigious National Film Award with the President’s Medal in the 31st National Film Festival in 1984 as the Best feature film in Manipuri.

Edited and directed by him, Sana Keithel followed the neo realistic tradition of the new wave era with MA Singh daring to shoot the entire film with non-actors placed in real settings, a formula that produced the everlasting enigma of Sana Keithel.

Over and above the numerous documentary films he made, he also directed and edited the first Manipuri Colour feature film, Langlen-Thadoi produced by KP, Films, Imphal in 1977.

Besides his filmmaking activities, he served in various capacities and was a Jury member for the Script Board for NFDC for three consecutive years. He was an approved producer and director of Prasar Broadcasting Corporation of India, he was an empanelled producer of Doordarshan Imphal Kendra and Programme Production Centre, North East. He served as visiting lecturer of media study centres of different Institutes and also ran a full-fledged media course, entitled ‘Media & Media Personalities’ that produced new talents in the field of News-reading, Public Announcement, public speaking, Interviewing and Acting technology and filmmaking. During 1975 to 76, he associated with Publicity Department of Government of Manipur and compiled and edited 9 newsreels on news events in Manipur.

Believing that a film culture is necessary of the development of Manipuri films, Shri MA Singh played catalytic role in forming and running Cine Club Imphal and the Manipur Film Council which later became the Manipur Film Development Corporation.

Born on 18th October 1941, MA Singh, a resident of Kwakeithel Akham Leikai, Imphal is survived by his wife, four sons and a daughter.

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