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Featuring in 53rd IFFI means upscaling Manipuri Cinema

As many as 10 Manipuri films, five each of feature and non-feature were screened at the prestigious international film festival. 

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Imphal: The 53rd edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), 2022 winded up Monday and so is its special Manipuri cinema package titled “Golden Cinemas of Manipur” with the screening of ‘Ilisa Amagi Mahao’ directed by Ningthouja Lancha and ‘Loktak Lairembee’ directed by Haobam Paban Kumar at INOX, Panaji. 

As many as 10 Manipuri films, five each of feature and non-feature were screened at the prestigious international film festival. 

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On being given a platform at the 53rd IFFI and given due recognition to Manipuri Cinema in its golden jubilee year, noted filmmaker Ningthouja Lancha said that the way forward for Manipuri Cinema is to put maximum efforts to be able to join the film movement across the globe. 

In other words, Manipuri Cinema must be able to occupy a place in world cinema, he stated. 

He maintained that Manipuri Cinema being featured in 53rd IFFI as a special section makes us deliberate on the trend of Manipuri films. 

“We feel that such an opportunity is the new beginning of a film movement in Manipur,” he added. 

Lancha went on to note, “even people of Manipur hardly watch Manipuri films, yet, despite its small audience, Manipuri Cinema is being given due recognition at an international level for which we are extremely grateful and feel proud. This will become a parameter and encouraged Manipuri filmmakers to make films for a wider audience with global appeal instead of confining to the small audience at home.”

Loktak Lairembi director, Haobam Paban Kumar said that featuring Manipuri Cinema at IFFI means showcasing Manipuri Cinema and raise awareness in major film festivals across India.  

He exuded confidence that the screening of Manipuri films in big movie theatres as part of the festival will help raise awareness about reviving movie theatres in Manipur as well. 

Paban also expressed gratitude to the National Film Development Corporation and MSFDS for giving Manipuri Cinema a platform. He added that he feels good over his ‘Loktak Lairembee; being screened for wider audiences. 

Meanwhile, filmmaker and editor Oinam Gautam recounted that Manipuri Cinema was featured only when they are selected for Indian Panorama or in the Northeast section. 

Now that this year’s IFFI featured special section for Manipuri Cinema, it inspires us to produce or make more good films. 

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