Show more northeast films on Doordarshan: Manipuri director

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Manipuri movie maestro Aribam Syam Sharma on Saturday urged the government to have Doordarshan telecast more films by directors from the northeastern states.

“More of our films should be shown on Doordarshan,” Syam Sharma said after being felicitated at the three-day northeast film festival, “Fragrances of the Northeast”, here where a retrospective of his works is being held.

He said telecast of such films on Doordarshan will give exposure to directors as well as the culture of the region.

He also appreciated the government for holding the northeast film festival, the ongoing one being the second edition.

“This attempt by the government is good for the northeast. Directors and artistes from the northeast will come under focus through this festival.”

Minister of State for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh, who felicitated Syam Sharma, said the Manipuri veteran’s works reflected the cinematic culture of the region.

“Aribam’s work will not only be valuable for future filmmakers but also remain as material for reference for researchers,” he said.

“His films should be sub-titled in languages other than English. This is very much possible in today’s digitised world,” he added.

The felicitation ceremony was held after the screening of Syam Sharma’s 1990 classic “Ishanou” (The Chosen One).

The film shows how the harmony in a family in the Manipur valley is disrupted by the sudden transformation of a gentle, young wife and mother into a violent woman prone to fits of wild visions. She goes in search of a Meibi guru who she thinks has chosen her to be initiated into the sect.

Her pleasure lies in the devotion and love through dance and music. She finds total solace in the vivid and colourful performing arts.

“Ishanou” was one of the official selections in the Cannes Film Festival in 1991.

The film was shown at the Centenary Indian Cinema section of the 43rd International Film Festival of India in 2012 as one of the 27 specially selected feature films and also as one of the 10 selected Indian films at the Festival des Cinemas a Asia de Vesoul, France, in 2013.

Another Syam Sharma classic, 1981 film “Imagi Ningthem” (My Son, My Precious), will be screened on Sunday, the third and last day of the festival.

Based on the life of rural women, the film is about an educated working woman and a housewife, each with a “common similar sense of feeling and understanding”. It portrays their everyday struggles which are different in form and level.

“Imagi Ningthem” received the Grand Prix at the Festival des Trois Continents in Nantes, France, in 1982.

Four of Syam Sharma’s non-feature films are also being shown as part of the retrospective.

“Indigenous Games of Manipur” showcases the traditional games and sports of the state, including Mukna (Manipuri style wrestling), Kangjei (a form of hockey), and Sagol-Kangjei (the precursor to polo).

“Orchids of Manipur” takes the viewer on a journey through the rich forests of Manipur which are home to beautiful varieties of orchids. Around 400 species have been identified so far and some of them are exclusive to Manipur.

“Yelhou Jagoi” narrates an annual festival of Manipur valley that recreates the myth of the creation of the universe such as heaven, earth and life in its manifestations of flora, fauna and mankind.

“The Deer on the Lake” showcases Sangai, the brow-antlered deer found at Keibul Lamjao, the floating national park on the Loktak lake in Manipur.

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