Guwahati: In a bid to promote indigenous documentary film productions, four Manipur entrepreneurs provided cash awards of Rs eight lakh to eight documentary filmmakers.

Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS), Manipur’s Television and Cine Foundation Foundation as well as Win Foundation and Kolkata-based Documentary Resource Initiative took the first-of-its-kind initiative to encourage local filmmakers to make documentary films on contemporary issues and subjects.

MSFDS Secretary, Sunzu Bachaspatimayum, said ‘Beyond the Trials’, a documentary film on extreme sport as an expression of freedom by Khaba Maimon, was conferred the best film bagging the highest cash award of Rs 2.5 lakh.

He added that the film ‘On the Crossroad’ is based on the issues confronting Manipur regarding the transition from the Bengali script to ‘Meitei Mayek’ by James Khangenbam and the film ‘Battlefield Imphal’ on the continuing impact of second world war in Manipur were conferred the promisingly culturally engaged film and promisingly socially engaged film, respectively, with cash awards of Rs 1.5 lakh each.

Five other documentary films — ‘Andro Dreams’ (Meena Longjam), ‘Anonymous Dance’ (Tushar Nongthombam), ‘Eche Sharmila’ (Manoj Kshetrimayum), ‘Bidyapati — The Lady Everest Summiter’ (Paonam Birjeet) and ‘We are the Water’ (Grace Rephung L) were also conferred project development cash awards carrying Rs 50,000 each.

The cash award distribution ceremony was held at the Preview Theatre, MSFDS, in Imphal on Saturday evening.

Bachaspatimayum, a national award-winning filmmaker, said at a time when documentary filmmakers are struggling to raise funds to make their socially relevant documentaries that arouse the consciousness of society by imprinting time in existence, the support of cash awards is a watershed initiative by the entrepreneurs.

In April 2022, the first edition of the ‘Eikhoigi Imphal International Film Festival’ was organised in Imphal to mark the completion of 50 years of Manipuri cinema.

The five-day non-competitive festival supported by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry was organised as part of the year-long golden jubilee celebration of Manipuri cinema, MSFDS Secretary added.

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