Manipuri films projecting Manipuri culture and way of life have always drawn global attention and that has not changed a bit throughout the 50 years long journey of Manipuri Cinema till today.
Secretary of Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS), Sunzu Bachaspatimayum said the same during a press conference with Manipur delegates attending the ongoing 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.
He pointed out that the internationally acclaimed Manipuri films such as ‘Imagi Ningthem’, ‘Ishanou’, ‘Loktak Lairembi’ or ‘Look at the Sky’ are projections of Manipuri society, culture and way of life.
The MSFDS secretary expressed gratitude to the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry, National Film Development Corporation and IFFI for duly recognising and honouring the 50 years old Manipuri Cinema by giving a special section in the 53rd IFFI.
He noted that Manipur has celebrated the golden jubilee of its cinema one year ahead since April 9, 2021 and the ministry, Directorate of Film Festivals under the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry, have financially supported and assisted the yearlong golden jubilee celebration.
Throwing light into the history of Manipuri Cinema, Sunzu said that Manipur had attempted its first feature as early as 1948 in Hindi language considering the commercial aspect.
The attempt failed and over 20 years later in 1971, SN Chand took the risky step to make the first Manipuri feature film. However, another film titled ‘Matamgi Manipur’, which was produced by a businessman named Karam Monamohan and directed by Bengali filmmaker Debkumar Bose was released in 1972 ahead of ‘Brojendragee Luhongba’, the film by SN Chand.
SN Chand’s film was released in 1973 some months after ‘Matamgi Manipur’ was released. However, SN Chand is now remembered as the father of Manipuri Cinema as he is the first Manipuri film director.
Taking part in the press conference, Film Facilitation Officer (Eastern Region) of NFDC, Alexander Leo Pou stated, “Our films are the window to our culture, politics, economy and exotic way of life.”
He also exuded confidence that writers, producers, directors and those associated with filmmaking of the sensitive state of Manipur will continue to make films that speak beyond the frame.
Chairman of Film Forum Manipur, Laimayum Surjakanta; renowned Manipuri actor, Kangabam Tomba; renowned filmmaker Oken Amakcham; director of ‘Look At The Sky’, Ashok Veilou; grandson of first Manipuri film director, SN Chand, Sapam Rajiv were also present during the interaction with media.