Romi Meitei :: On a mission to develop Manipuri film industry

Romi Meitei

He is today popularly acclaimed by the audience for his outstanding movies like "Angangba Kurao Mapal", "Inga Nonglakta", "Khuji" and many more.... But the journey was not an easy task, said Romi Meitei and at present he is on the mission to develop the Manipuri film industry and make its little space in world arena...

Romi Meitei
Name: Romi Meitei
Date of Birth: 19th September
Address: Wangkhei Pukhrambam Leirak, Imphal East, Manipur.
Educational Qualification: Graduate in Sociology
Hobbies: Playing with children ... Day Dreaming!
Profession: Director and Lyricist
How many movies he has directed so far: 27 (twenty seven)
How many are line up to release: More than 4 (four).
First movie: Angangba Kurao Mapal in the 2004-05.
Marital Status: Married and have two children one boy and a girl.
Film Works: Angangba Kurao Mapal, Inga Nonglakta, Thoiba-Thoibi, Ayuki Likla, Khuji, Thengmankhre Thabalse, Chandra, Akhunba Mani, Red Rose, Mikithi and many more...

On a mission to develop Manipuri film industry

Brief Introduction: Being brought up in a family who are fond in films, songs and music, Romi Meitei from birth was also fascinated by the entertainment and always wanted to make film. After graduating in Sociology, he worked as a part time in Graphic Designing and various other work related to film under the guidance of his brother.

However, the very decision of making film came into his mind when he, for the first time, watched a Manipuri digital film along with his friend, which was a total contrast to the present society which the people of Manipur are living. According to him, that film portrayed in such a manner that the culture or tradition which was highlighted was not similar with the one of Manipuri. Therefore, after that disappointment and pain from that film, he put into his inspiration of making film as his career and decided to bring changes in the industry.

Finally, he, for the first time directed a movie titled "Angangba Kurao Mapal" in the year 2004. Fortunately the film also turned out to be the most incredible cinema in the Manipuri Digital Film Industry of that time and was widely praised by the audience for his outstanding movies which he kept making year after year.

Though he was recognized by the audience, he wishes to explore more about filming. But with the lack of unavailability of single Film Institute in the state he had to face various problems. And that was the reason for he had to search the information regarding the film from a website through internet and he expressed it as his guidance to cinema.

Today he has gain various information about film but still he is not satisfied and keeps putting all his effort to make the film industry completely develop and make its little space in the world arena.

Comment on present trend of Manipuri cinema: There was a time when the Manipuri Digital Film market was going high but today the market is declining due to so many factors. Some of them are lack of film institutes in the state which cannot bring out new faces in the industry and cannot produce new story concept.

And another reason is that most of the filmmakers in the state are not competent with each other as well as the law and order situation prevailing in the state is also another big factor that the Manipuri film cannot develop yet.

And other important reasons are failure of sanitation in cinema hall and easy availability of piracy cassettes in the market. Henceforth, if all the filmmakers and people of Manipur as well as State government can co-ordinate with each other then Romi Meitei is sure that the Manipuri film industry could develop in a short period of time.

Celluloid or Digital movie which one is better: There are no differences between the celluloid and digital and it all depends on the situation/trend which both the filmmakers and audience like the most.

Which actor/Crew do you like to work most: For actor it will be Priyogopal (male) and Hemabati (female) and according to him both of them are outstanding and many things can be learn from them. And as far as crew is concerned he would like to work with his own Production House Crew "Mayum Network".

As a director of the state, what do you think - Manipuri Digital Film industry is developing or underdeveloped? : Interviewing by e-pao to me (Romi Meitei) is the simple example of development of the digital era..... (He laughs!!!).

Do you receive any restriction/objections while filming? Is that true that a director cannot decide whatever he wants during the making of a film in the Manipur context: Well in that case we are struggler and struggling with all our efforts to promote our identity as well as our tradition and culture which could be recognized through out the world.

How far are we behind comparing with other film industry: We are now just in the initial stage and we have long way to go and many more to explore and have to expand the industry.

Social Message: I don't want to say anything but just few words that is the Government of Manipur should at least encourage and support the film industry in order to produce several outstanding movies in the state which will also have the social message as it is fact that film is the mirror of the society.

Future plans: To develop the industry and increase its market by working with expert from outside the state and to learn new techniques and skills from them.

This was webcasted on April 1st 2010.


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