Imphal: Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS) felicitated director of ‘Beyond Blast’, Saikhom Ratan and producer Konjengbam Sushila at its auditorium on Wednesday. The film was selected for screening at International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2022 edition. The function was followed by an interaction session with media persons.
MSFDS also felicitated Oinam Doren who was selected as Chairman of Jury at The Indian Panorama Festival and director Romi Meitei whose film ‘Eikhoigee Yum’ got selected for the Indian Film Festival of Kerala. Chairman of Film Forum and renowned filmmaker Oken Amakcham also took part in the interaction.
Secretary of MSFDS, Sunzu Bachaspatimayum stated that the felicitation was held to encourage producers and directors of the state who love films. He said that most people in the State do not acknowledge the importance of films in society.
‘Beyond Blast’ is a biographical documentary film based on the life of Konthoujam Maikel Meetei, an artist who is a victim of armed conflict in quest for peace. He was injured in a IED blast at Pourabi on December 16, 2007 which claimed seven lives besides injuring over 30.
Among the injured artists, Maikel Meetei lost his leg. However, he overcame his suffering and wanted to swipe away the dark and fear psychosis among the people through his paintings. The harrowing incident of bomb blast brought an unprecedented change in Maikel’s psyche and the strokes of his brush on the canvas. A winner of various state and national awards, Maikel now paints consistently on a quest to spread his inner message of peace to the world.
Konjengbam Sushila, the producer of ‘Beyond Blast’ is a writer, producer and retired Director of the Department of Art and Culture. She has penned two books namely “Eigi Khangatlaba Wareng Khara” and “Cyclical Odyssey”. She has also produced films such as Kumbeire, Eigi Kona who bagged Best Manipuri Feature film at National Film Awards, 2019.
She said that she had seen the strength of Maikel and how he overcame his difficulties in life and decided to be the producer of the film. She said that there is a need to sacrifice for the better good as there is a need to encourage film makers in the state.
Saikhom Ratan had the desire to spread the idea of peace and the incidents in the State which has affected the lives of many people and once he met Maikel on different occasions, he decided to make a film on his life story as both of them through certain motive had the desire to spread peace.
He bagged Special Jury Award and best editing award in the 7th Manipur State Film Festival 2010 and Best cinematography award in 8th Manipur State Film Festival 2013. His documentary film ‘SOS’ was selected for the MIFF (Mumbai International film festival) and UFO 0110 IDFI (International digital film festival) 2012.
Saikhom Ratan was the Director of photography of the multi award winning factual Documentary film AFSPA 1958, “Shingnaba” and “Heart to Heart” which has won the Rajat Kamal for Best Exploration/Adventure Film and Best Film in Science and Technology” respectively at the 56th and 58th National Film Awards given by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India. As a freelance video journalist he received the prestigious NETV Viewers’ choice Award for best Video Journalist in 2005. He produced and directed many documentary films and TV series.
Oinam Doren who was selected as Chairman of Jury at The Indian Panorama Festival stated that it is an honour for him to be a jury of one of the most popular film festivals of the country. He said that 242 films were screened for non featured category among which two documentary films from Manipur were included. He said that the two Manipuri films had a high cinematic aesthetic as compared to the others.
Doren said that 380 films were screened for the featured category and a few Manipuri films were also included. He lamented that many of the jury members have opined that despite the strong content, the production quality of the films were low and lacked financial assistance.
Director of “Eikhoigee Yum”, Romi Meitei stated that he had chosen the narrative of the film on the issues of Loktak Lake through a neutral perspective neither from the government nor the people. The film is about a boy named Chaoren belonging to an isolated fishing community in the Loktak Lake who makes the best use of his exclusive existence by excelling in school. When the canoe he uses every day to attend school has to be sold off because of his father’s illness, his spirit is not dampened. He beats the long distance from his shanty floating hut to school by swimming his way through.