Imphal: The 17th Mumbai International Film Festival which opens with ‘Meirem’, a Manipuri documentary film by James Khangembam on 29th May at Nehru Centre Auditorium, Worli, Mumbai will pay homage to Manipur’s ace Cinematographer, Irom Maipak who passed away during the Covid pandemic in 2021.
National award winning Manipuri cinematographer, Irom Maipak is amongst those filmmakers from documentary and animation genre, to be remembered with special screenings under ‘Homage’ section.
Besides Maipak, legendary Pin screen Animator from Canada, Jacques Drouin; first female documentary filmmaker of Italy, Cecilia Mangini; Indian veteran Buddhadeb Dasgupta and multi-faceted Sumitra Bhave may be mentioned, said a statement by Sunzu Bachaspatimayum, Secretary, Manipur State Film Development Society here on Tuesday.
Also known as MIFF, the 7-day festival pegged as the largest documentary film festival of the world, presenting a kaleidoscope of World Cinema promises to induce qualitative as well as diverse content in the current edition, featuring 808 film-entries from 30 countries. Apart from the 120 Films in ‘Competition’ and ‘MIFF Prism’ category, an array of special film packages, masterclasses and workshops has been curated for the film lovers.
Another interesting feature is the Netflix original series “Mighty Little Bheem: I love Taj Mahal” episode which will make its World Premiere at MIFF 2022. The first animation film co-produced by India and Japan ‘Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama’, will also have its special screening at MIFF.
Even though MIF, organized by Films Division of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, felt short to announcing Manipur as a focus State of the festival, the State which began its cinematic journey from 1972 with ‘Matamgi Manipur’ finds a prominent space in the international film festival, featuring altogether 8 documentary films.
Besides the much deserved homage to Irom Mapiak, the state’s only national award winning cinematographer, the tales of the 50 years of Manipuri Cinema finds a space in the festival with a 15-minute production by Manipuri State Film Development Society (MSFDS), named ‘Glimpses of 50 years of Manipuri Cinema’, scripted by Rajesh Salam and directed by Haobam Paban Kumar.
While ‘The Monpas of Arunachal Pradesh’, directed by Aribam Syam Sharma (for which Maipak won the national award) ‘Thang-Ta’, directed by Ronel Haobam and ‘Phumshang’, directed by Haobam Paban Kumar, to be screened in the Homage section, James Khangembam’s ‘Meirem’ (which opened the Festival), Borun Thokchom’s ‘I Rise’ and ‘Pabang Syam’ by Haobam Paban Kumar are in Competition, Sunzu Bachaspatimayum added.