64th National Film Awards 2016 announced Loktak Lairembee : Best film on environment conservation

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Imphal, Apr 7 (DIPR):Renowned filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar’s 72 -minute long ‘Loktak Lairembee’ (Lady of the Lake) has won the Best Film on Environment Conservation/ Preservation of the 64th National Film Awards 2016.

Governor Dr Najma Heptullah has congratulated the young film maker on his latest achievement.

The award was announced today by the Chairpersons of the juries on Feature Films, Non Feature Films, Best Writing on Cinema at National Media Centre, New Delhi.

The National Film Awards would be presented by the President of India to director and producer Haobam Paban Kumar on May 3 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.

The award carries a citation, Rajat Kamal and Rs 1, 50,000 each to the producer and director.

The citation says, “The film brings out the nuances of an environmental issue in a heart wrenching and touching manner.”

About the film, Paban Kumar stated, “Loktak Lake is a unique ecosystem where fishermen lived in huts built on floating biomasses. In 2011 the authorities, in the name of protecting serenity of the ecosystem, burnt down the huts leaving thousands of fishermen homeless. Tomba, one of the victims, lives with a harrowing nightmare of looming displacement since then. He is haunted by seamless fear of further intervention of authorities that would make him homeless forever. Confined in his makeshift hut, Tomba senses the spirit of evil around, while his wife Thambalsang works hard to make their living.”

“One fine morning Tomba accidentally finds a gun hidden within the biomass. He marvels with the gun as his power of self-protection. He transforms himself to an assertive man who is looking for an appropriate offence. One day an old lady who mysteriously wanders in the lake, knocks at his door in the middle of the night. Fearful Tomba, anticipating the lady as the spirit of all evils, chases her and commits an unintended crime.”

Expressing his joyfulness on the announcement of the award, Director Haobam Paban Kumar said this is the first time in the history of Manipuri films that a Manipuri Feature film has won an award in one of the main categories of the National awards.

So far in the feature film category of National Film Awards, Manipuri film have only won award in the Best Manipuri language category. His film will have Los Angeles premiere tomorrow (April 8) and will have its Hong Kong premiere on April 13.

He said, “Decades of insurgency and socio-political uncertainty have thrown my society into disarray leaving the people to recede into a cocooned existence devoid of any space for free and visible self-expression that evokes compassion and concern for others. Today when I look at my birthplace, Manipur, I see guns all around. Gun – a symbol of authority and ownership reigns others… be it the insurgents or the State authorities. We forgot that fear and anxiety instill further worries resulting in cross violence! I sincerely believe in resumption of our cultural values that propagates an inclusive society imbued with love, trust and tolerance and my film symbolically delves into the ‘fear psychosis’ that leads to mistrust and irresponsible conflicts”.

Loktak Lairembee‘s journey started with the world premiere at 21st Busan International Film Festival 2016. In the India Premiere at the 18th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2016, the film got the top prize- Golden Gateway award. Besides being screened at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival 2017, the film travelled around the globe and took part in many major international film festivals.

Haobam Paban Kumar is one of the leading documentary filmmaker of the country.
He has a 3 Year Post Graduate Diploma in Direction & Screenplay writing from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata.

Haobam came to limelight with the film ‘AFSPA 1958’ winning the International Jury and FIPRESCI award at the 9th Mumbai International Film Festival 2006. The film also won the ‘Swarna Kamal’ for the Best Documentary at the 56th National Film Awards 2008. Some of his other notable films are ‘Ngaihak Lambida’, ‘A cry in the dark’, ‘The first leap’, ‘MR INDIA’, ‘Ruptured Spring’, ‘Nupishabi’ etc. Haobam has 5 National Film Awards and 5 Indian Panorama Selections to his credit.

His latest film ‘Phum Shang’ is one of the successful Indian films in recent years sweeping almost all the major awards in the country including the prestigious Golden Conch for the Best Documentary at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival 2016.

The film Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the lake) is his debut fiction feature film.

The film is based on a short story written by Sahitya Akademi awardee Sudhir Naoroibam. Sudhir Naoroibam and Haobam Paban Kumar are scriptwriters of the film. Shehnad Jalal is the cinematographer and Sankha is the editor.

Main casts are Ningthoujam Sanatomba and Sagolsem Thambalsang.

Source: The Sangai Express

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