Aribam Syam Sharma
Aribam Syam Sharma

Imphal: A Manipur organizations devoted to film has urged the Centre to confer Dadasaheb Phalke Award upon legendary Manipuri filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma.

Film Forum Manipur (FFM) Chairman Laimayum Surjakanta Sharma in a letter to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said that with active support from the Directorate of Film Festivals, Manipuri cinema has recently through a yearlong celebration celebrated 50 years of its cinematography having being released the first Manipuri feature film on April 9, 1972.

“If the government considers to confer Dadasaheb Phalke Award upon Syam Sharma it would be a fitting tribute to Manipuri Cinema on the eventful year of 2022 (1972 – 2022),” the letter said.

The film body said that credit for the milestone is largely due to Syam Sharma for his brilliance and dedication in creating masterpieces that have moved international audiences, furthering the growth of Indian cinema as a whole.

Apart from his films, Syam Sharma has also been the force to install an ecosystem for the growth of committed filmmakers and technicians in Manipur.

The FFM said that Syam Sharma is the ground-breaking doyen of Manipuri cinema who has been working relentlessly in portraying the cultural and emotional nuances with a humanitarian vision through cinematic storytelling with utmost simplicity and distinctive artistic signature.

He is considered the lighting lamp of creative Manipur, as one of the great masters, who has put the Indian cinema into the global discourse through his five decades of cinematic excellence making the native essence of life as an immersive experience beyond the regional cultural boundaries.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Aribam Syam Sharma would also help bridge the cultural gap and integrate Manipur and northeast emotionally with the national ethos, it said.

The film body said that Syam Sharma’s ‘Imagi Ningthem’ and ‘Ishanou’ feature in the 100 greatest Indian films of all time. Considering his contribution in all of the three genres of cinema – Art, Commercial and Documentary, national award-winning film critic, Meghachandra Kongbam, referred to him as the ‘Genius of India Cinema’.

The FFM said that at the age of 86, the veteran Manipuri filmmaker is busy scripting for his next production.

So far, he has directed 15 feature films and 31 non-feature films and scored music for 25 films.

Nearly all of his films have been screened at the ‘Indian Panorama of the International Film Festival of India.

With 15 national awards – six for feature films and nine for non-features – a rare feat by any standards, Syam Sharma is an internationally acknowledged filmmaker of artistic excellence, the film organization said.

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