In what could foster the growth of documentary filmmaking in Manipur, some of the state’s homegrown entrepreneurs have started financing as many as eight documentary film projects.
The film projects in their initial stage of production were polished and refined through different sessions with acclaimed mentors during the 4th edition of Documentor Imphal, which was jointly organised by Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS), Documentary Resource Initiative, Kolkata, TC Foundation and WIN Foundation from April 24 to 28 at MSFDS, Imphal.
The projects were later pitched to the financers among which one of the state’s most successful entrepreneurs, Dr Thangjam Dhabali; educationist and entrepreneur, Konica Khuraijam, her husband Wahengbam Brajamani and Network Services Proprietor, Radheshyam Oinam vowed to assist the documentary film production.
The entrepreneurs handed out the financial assistance to the filmmakers on Saturday during a function held at MSFDS preview theatre in Imphal.
Speaking on the occasion, retired bureaucrat, RK Nimai, under whose initiative the Documentor Imphal began in 2014 exuded confidence that all the projects will be successful films in the near future.
Nimai lauded the efforts and dedication of Manipuri documentary filmmakers in producing acclaimed documentaries with limited technical and financial resources.
He further said that Manipuri filmmakers push themselves most of the time without much financial support. He termed the 4th edition of the Documentor Imphal as a landmark in the sense that it has delivered finance to the filmmakers.
Noting that documentary films are a powerful tool for social change, RK Nimai exhorted the filmmakers to make the support count for further growth and support of documentary filmmaking in the state.
Meanwhile, prolific entrepreneur, Dr Thangjam Dhabali vowed to sponsor film projects in the future as well.
“I primarily deal with healthcare and hospitality. Since I have started financing documentary films, I might as well not step back,” he stated while also announcing his plans to set up auditoriums and sponsor feature films as well to promote films in Manipur.
The financial assistance was extended in three categories. Out of the eight films developed during the Documentor Imphal, five were provided production grants of Rs 50,000 each.
An amount of Rs 2.5 Lakh was conferred to ‘Beyond the Trails’ directed by Khaba Maimom, which was named the Best Project.
Two other films namely, ‘Battlefield Imphal’, directed by Borun Thokchom and ‘On the Crossroad’, directed by James Khangenbam, were selected as the promising socially engaged project and promising culturally engaged project respectively and handed over a cash award of Rs 1.5 Lakh each.