The SN Chand Cine Archive and Museum set up last year at MSFDS, Palace Compound achieved a milestone on Friday as ‘Brojendra gee Luhongba’, digitalised under the initiative of the archive, was screened at Palace Auditorium after decades.
The digitalisation and archiving work of ‘Brojendra gee Luhongba’ was initiated last year considering the significance of the film, being the first Manipuri feature film directed by a Manipuri.
The archive was named after the director of ‘Brojendra gee Luhongba’ SN Chand in honour of his contributions and dedication in the film movement in Manipur.
According to senior film personalities, it was in 1984 that the film was screened for the last time.
Ever since the setting up of the Cine Archive and Museum in connection with the inaugural of yearlong golden jubilee celebration of Manipuri Cinema last year, MSFDS and its partner Film Heritage Foundation based in Mumbai have been putting maximum efforts to digitalise and restore the film, which was in bad shape when donated to the archive.
The setting up of Manipuri film archives was already proposed and decided in 2015. However, no significant follow up action was taken until last year.
According to RK Johnson, who spearheaded the archiving process, the volunteers started preventive preservation first as most of the film reels were in deteriorating state. He said that the volunteers also approached film producers and presently, the archive has a collection of 38 film titles, including scripts.
Speaking during celebration of the milestone achieved by the film archive, Johnson stated that earlier, the archive didn’t even have hand gloves, rewinding tables and other tools for film preservation. He drew attention of the government to provide adequate funding since film preservation is expensive as well as crucial.
Earlier, eminent filmmaker Ningthouja Lancha emphasised the pressing need to focus on film preservation as visuals imprinted in films are now the history of the culture and consciousness of the place.
Art and Culture Director, L Kishwarjit also assured to make possible assistance to preserve the rich cultural and film heritage of Manipur.Meanwhile, the palace auditorium of MSFDS was packed with people as many came to watch the historic film. Cheers and jubilations filled the theatre at different scenes of the film.
The yearlong golden jubilee celebration of Manipuri Cinema that kicked off on April 9, 2021 concluded on Friday with felicitation of pioneers and celebrities and ‘Manipuri Cinema Live on Stage’, a performance by Cine Actors’ Guild Manipur.