Winners of the 15th Manipur State Film Award 2023 were declared on Tuesday.
Unfolding a new chapter in the award’s history, a separate category for Best Music Video has also been added in the 15th edition of the award.
The award has been divided into Feature Film category which has 27 award sections and Non Feature Film category which has 14 sections altogether. There are also the MSFDS Lifetime Achievement Award and Best Critic.
The Best Non Feature Film and Best Film of a Debut Director award in the Non Feature category remained vacant as there were no entries.
The announcement was made on Tuesday at the Preview Theatre of MSFDS, Imphal in the presence of several jury members and the state Arts and Culture commissioner M Joy.
Moirangthem Nilamani will receive this year’s MSFDS Lifetime Achievement award while Rajmani Ayekpam will be awarded the Best Critic Award.
In the Feature Film category, the award for Best Feature Film went to ‘Eigi Nupi Tamnalai’ while the award for Best Film in Dialects other than Meiteilon went to the Tangkhul dialect film ‘I Haonunghaoga’ (Let me return). The Best Direction award went to Ningthoujam Ojitbabu for the film ‘Eigi Nupi Tamnalai’ while KS Awangshi secured the Best Art Direction award for the film ‘I Haonunghaoga’.
The award for Best Actor (Male and Female) went to Kshetrimayum Daya and Ithoi Oinam for their performances in ‘Samadon’ and ‘Tharoi Ahambagi Mahao’ respectively.
Other awards in this category also included Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Audiography and many more.
In the Non Feature Category, Aribam Shyam Sharma’s ‘Khuman Prakash Sharma’ received the award in Best Biographical/Art and Culture film while ‘Iron Women of Manipur’ directed by Haobam Paban Kumar received the award for Best Film in Sports/Issues etc.
The award for Best Short Film went to ‘Eewai’ directed by Khwairakpam Bishwamitra.
This category also included other awards such as Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Voice Over/ Narration and Best Music Video among others.
The award for Best Music Video went to ‘Lairaba’ directed by Gurumayum Bonney Sharma.
Speaking to the media at MSFDS on the announcement, commissioner M Joy stated that film was a peculiar artform which was different from other forms of performing arts.
“Once a film is released, it is very hard to change the entire production. As such the film fraternity has to be extra vigilant in making films,” he said.
He stated that film was a reflective art which amplified the issues and problems which plagued society on a daily basis.
“How these issues are raised is the creative part of film making. Film makers have to strike a perfect balance and sew both in a harmonious way,” he said.
Meanwhile, jury members present at the press event asserted that all films were judged without any partition of dialects or regions.
“The dialect films were judged the same way as the Manipuri films. The judging criteria leaned heavily on film aesthetics and social relevance,” said one of the jury members.
They also emphasised the need to ramp up critical writings on literary works in Manipur.
“Critical analysis of films and other arts is very minute in Manipur. We need to revive this artform so that development in films and other artistic expression can be inculcated,” said the jury members.