Manipuri documentary ‘Phum Shang’ gets Golden Conch Award at MIFF

Mumbai, Feb 3 (IANS) Manipuri documentary film “Phum Shang” won the coveted Golden Conch Award for the best documentary at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) which ended here on Wednesday.

Swiss film “My Name Is Salt” and an Indian film “Placebo” shared the Gold Conch Award for the best feature length documentary film, an official said.

Directed by Hao Bam Pabankumar, “Phum Shang” critically examined the serious ecological problems encountered at Loktak Lake, the largest fresh-water lake in northeast India.

Characterised by its unique floating biomass called ‘phumdi’, Loktak Lake is considered a dying lake due to unchecked human activity.

Pabankumar, an alumnus of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in Kolkata, won the Golden Conch Award and a cash prize of Rs.3 lakh.

Mumbai-born but Zurich-based Farida Pacha directed “My Name Is Salt”, the saga of the journey of thousands of families in the Rann of Kutchh in Gujarat to extract the whitest salt in the world.

The film also won the best cinematographer award for Lutz Konermann.

Chandigarh-based filmmaker Abhay Kumar’s “Placebo” explored the stress and pressures faced by medical students in the country.

The film also bagged the best editor and the most innovative film award in the competition section.

In the animation category of international competition, Debanjan Nandy’s film “Chhaya” bagged the top prize.

Mumbai filmmaker Devashish Makhija’s “Agli Baar” shared the best short fiction film honours with British entry by Ingo Putze “Solo Finale”.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Best Debut Film of a director went to Denmark-based filmmaker Nitesh Anjan for his film “Far From Home”.

In the national competition category, Vadodara-based filmmaker Hardik Mehta’s documentary “Famous In Amdavad” bagged the best documentary award.

Bengaluru-based filmmaker Chandrashekhar Reddy’s “Fire Flies In The Abyss” bagged the best feature length documentary award.

The best short fiction fgilm award was shared by Mumbai’s Payal Kapadia for her film “Last Mango Before The Monsoon” and Chennai’s Satinder Singh Bedi for his film “Alice”.

The IDPA Award for best student film went to Jharkhand filmmaker Niranjankumar Kujur for his presentation “Going Home”.

The international jury for the MIFF included renowned filmmakers like Don Askarian (Germany), Jesper Andersen (Denmark), Mathiue Roy (Canada), Siddharth Kak and Gitanjali Rao (India).

The national jury comprised Mike Pandey, Uma DaCunha, Biju Dhanapalan, Audrium Stonys (Lithuania) and Jane Yu (Taiwan).

The week-long MIFF showcased over 385 films under the international and national competition categories, MIFF Prism, Indian Premiers, Jury Retrospectives, Animation and Award winning films, Children’s documentary Films, North East Package, Films Division, Public Service Broadcasting Trust, films, homages, etc.

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