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Film organizations petition CM Biren to save Manipuri film industry

One of the major points of the memorandum is bringing back the subject of Film to the Department of Information & PR from the Department of Art & Culture and Establishment of Manipur Film Finance and Development Corporation Ltd.

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Imphal: Action Committee for Manipur Film Industry comprising of three film organisations namely, Film Forum Manipur, All Manipur Film Producers Association and United Cine Exhibitors Association in association with Manipur Film Journalists and Critics Association on Monday submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, N Biren Singh praying for a review of the present system of handling of Manipuri Film Industry.

One of the major points of the memorandum is bringing back the subject of Film to the Department of Information & PR from the Department of Art & Culture and Establishment of Manipur Film Finance and Development Corporation Ltd.

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The two issues are interrelated as the Biennial Information Ministers Conference of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in the latter part of 1970s, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had instructed all the States and UTs for setting up State Film Development Corporations to bring a vibrant film industry in the country.

In a film industry, three sectors namely- Production Sector, Distribution Sector and Exhibition Sector are equally important as per the policy of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

Starting from the early 1970s Manipur became the largest film producing State among the Tibeto-Buiman speaking states in the country.

The digital film started in Manipur in 2016 with the release of Paban Kumar’s Loktek Lairembee..

Manipur cinema achieved 35 national awards- 17 in feature films 18 in non-features amd three n wiling on cinema. Films like- !magi Ningthem /sham, and Loktak Lairembee moved around the globe and brought laurel of the country.

On film exhibition, starting before World War II, there were more than 60 cinema halls in Manipur in 200.

With the advent of Cable TV and Video as well the ban of Hindi films in the State, the number of cinema halls was sharply decreased due to lack of patronage from the government

In the Digital era where all the mass communication media-Press and Electronic media like Radio and TV had switched over to digital technology, there is no single cinema hall in Manipur having digital cinematographic apparatus.

Stating that the film industry can not provide employment to the youths, be a great platform for enhancing human talent and creativity, the memorandum asserted, it could also be a major source of revenue for the government.

The Stale government could earn more than Rs one 1 crore as revenue from the amusement lax in 1995.96, 1996-97 and 1997-98.

The memorandum also drew the attention of the Chief Minister to the fact that the State Cabinet had approved for setting up a film city in the State in the year 2015 but is yet to be realised. Manipur State Film & Television inaugurated in August 2016 is yet to start any classes to date.

The Art and Culture Department had announced a Manipur State Cine Policy 2020 but has no any financial provision for the revival of existing and defunct cinema halls in Manipur as well as for giving any subsidy or any incentive for the production of Manipuri films.

 In view of all these factors, the memorandum called on the Chief Minister to bring back Film from the Art and Culture Department to the Department of Information & PR. Set up a Manipur State Film Finance and Development Corporation Limited under the Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Manipur. Without a Film Finance Corporation the film industry in Manipur cannot be viable, the memo stated

Finally, it urged the State Government to prepare a detailed project on the prevailing situation of Manipuri Film Industry for a special financial package from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India to bring alive a vibrant film industry In Manipur. 

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