The Manipur film industry should widen its audience spectrum and filmmakers in the state has a vital role to create content which emphasises local culture with universal appeal, retired bureaucrat RK Nimai said at the Booktoux North East Film Festival that opened in Imphal on Friday.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the festival at Chandrakirti Auditorium in Imphal on Friday, Nimai said that there is no concrete support system for the state’s film industry at the moment.
“As such, the production quality takes a toll and filmmakers are often left on the fence whether to make good films or take the commercial route,” he said.
Nimai also highlighted the lack of creative professionals along with lack of investment in post-production and equipment. He exhorted the people to discourse on such issues as it could bog down the entire industry into mediocrity.
Pointing out the absence of film pitching platforms in Manipur, he stated that government intervention is vital in creating such platforms as the state’s film industry is small with minimal funds.
Nimai emphasised the need for films to reflect the value system of the land and revive ethically sound cultural practices. He further exhorted filmmakers to expand their spectrum of film studies and observe the major leaps in the global film industry.
In his presidential address, cultural activist and renowned filmmaker, Ningthouja Lancha, asserted that cinema has emerged as one the most expensive artistic mediums in the State. As such, the state’s film scene struggles to keep up with changing entertainment requirements of the people, he added.
“People primarily consuming entertainment contents of other industries is one of the vital reasons why the local market is unable to grow”, he said.
Pointing out that growth of new media has allowed easy access to contents from across the globe, Lancha lamented the failure of local creators to tactfully exploit the same in showcasing local content.
“State’s film production capacity is high but lacks aesthetic beauty. The colours of our culture should shine through every production,” he said. As such, he exhorted the people to culturally and spiritually decolonise the creative space and push for fearless artistry in the state.
Prize distribution programme for the filmmaking competition organised in connection with the film festival was also held during the opening ceremony. The theme for the competition was ‘War on Drugs’. Altogether six main prizes and seven consolation prizes were distributed with the film ‘Strange Love’ from Meghalaya taking home the prize for best film. Other awardees include Mana Phanjoubam for Best Script, Ploto Debbarma for best director among others.
Renowned theatre artist RK Sorojini, Booktoux director Ksherimayum Romeo, president of Film Forum Manipur Laimayum Surjakanta among others also attended the event.