Imphal: Amar Maibam’s 52-minute film- Highways of life added another feather on its cap today when the Jury Chairman Anwar Jamal announced the film as the winner of the Royal Bengal Tiger award on the concluding day of the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival 2020. Jaydip Mukherjee and Bidula Bhattacharjee were other two jury members of the Competition on Indian Documentary Films of the Festival. Highways of Life was adjudged the best film among the 10 official selections in the category. The award carries Rs. 3 lakhs.
At the award ceremony today in Kolkata, the filmmaker Amar Maibam said, “I am really honoured to get this prestigious Royal Bengal Tiger Award. I would like to thank the Kolkata International Film Festival and the organisers for organising this great festival. I wish them for the future also. I would like to thank the jury of this competition for acknowledging the struggle of the drivers to serve the people of land- locked state of Manipur, I would to dedicate this film to all the truckers around the glove. I would like to thank to all crew members of the film and the protagonist, without their support I could not make his film”
The film is a detailed look at the high octane lives of Manipur’s Highway truckers. Manipur is literally connected to the rest of the world only through two National highways. But frequent economic blockade lightening general strike, armed ransom extortion, and bad road conditions make these lifeline life-threatening for truckers. The film journeys a group of truckers as they maneuver through the perilous highways, putting their lives on the frontline, ferrying essential commodities to serve the three million people of Manipur. The film is produced by the Films Division.
Amar Maibam is son of legendary film maker M.A. Singh. After learning the nuances of filmmaking from his father and Graduation from Manipur University, he learned a one-year Cinematography course from Kolkata Film and TV Institute. He made his directorial debut with a documentary entitled City of Victims (2009) based on the extra-judicial killings in Manipur. His documentaries– My Generous Village (2018) and Nawa-Spirit of Atey (2019) were acclaimed films. Highways of Life has been recently conferred with the best film award at the Liberation Docfest 2020, Dhaka and shown in competition section of many other reputed film festival including Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival. The film was recently selected for Indian Panorama Non-Feature Section of the 51st International Film Festival of India 2020. He is now doing post production for his latest documentary –All For My Sister.