"Black Rose" blooms on hills of Ukhrul

- First Tangkhul film after 10 yrs -

Source: The Sangai Express *

After a gap of 10 years, a feature film in Tangkhul dialect titled "Black Rose" was released finally drawing a large crowd at the village community hall of Tongou located 51 kms from Imphal along Mahadeva-Tolloi Road in Ukhrul district yesterday.

Directed by MK Wungkathing, a private English school Principal by profession and an enthusiastic filmmaker whose works are already acknowledged by many Tangkhul movie buffs, "Black Rose" is said to be made in a record time of one month.

The fledging Tangkhul film making industry had a natural death some 10 years back after imposition of restriction on screening films at night time by various social organisations on the alleged ground that encouraging such nocturnal entertainment programmes were detrimental to the growth of moral character of the youth while screening of the films during day time was not so profitable.

However, when the influences of films in other languages started having a serious impact on Tangkhul culture, the public and social organisations of Tangkhul community felt the need to rekindle interest in film making in Tangkhul dialect and finally the ban was relaxed.

Tangkhul film - Black Rose

Crew members, actors and actresses and director of Black Rose pose for the lens.

Thus, the movement of film making in Tangkhul dialect picked once again on the picturesque tiny hamlet Tongou , considered as the 'Hollywood of Ukhrul district' under the craftsmanship of MK Wungkathing, who has already directed over 20 films before the ban.

Comprising cast and crew members mainly from among the villagers of Tongou, the new Tangkhul film which was formally released during a function yesterday was attended by president of Information Centre for Hill Areas of Manipur (ICHAM) N Rajendro and Social Worker Ng Phaningshang as chief guest and functional president respectively.

The main theme of the film running over 2 hours is based on the proverbial saying of 'pride comes before a fall' (Watonna Wanglaga Kwakna Phamdeke in Manipuri or Kanana Chuka Hai Akha, Hangkhana Pamdekhaowa in Tangkhul dialect).

The film also deals with the problem of drug abuse among the youth. Interacting with The Sangai Express, MK Wungkathing said shooting of the film was done and completed within the month of June last.

Exhilarated by the response of the people to his first work after a decade, Wungkathing said that he now wants to make a Manipuri film which can reach out to a wider audience. 43-year of age now, Wungkathing's foray into film making goes back to 1990 and since then he directed/produced over 20 films.

Some of his films like 'My last day at Ukhrul', 'Imphal Turel Mapanda', Khipawui Khayon, etc, have won many awards including Best Jury Award, Best Story, Best Camera, Tangkhul's Best film nomination. After 1996, Wungkathing completed dissociated himself from film making until the "Black Rose" comes his way.

26-year old Ng Horthingchong Nulong, who is being cast as a supporting actor in the film, said that although it was her first film, she would like to act in a Manipuri film in future.

Speaking at the occasion of releasing the film, Rajendra stated that if Tangkhul films could reach out to more audience, it would help in better understanding of each other's culture, language and tradition among the people of State.

* The Sangai Express privided reviews for this Tangkhul feature film.
This article was webcasted on September 17th, 2008


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