Role of Manipuri film - A students' perspective

Thangminlal Doungel *

A scene from Phongdoknadringei

A scene from Phongdoknadringei :: Pic credit : Ipak Film Production

- The views expressed are solely personal -

The dynamics of our society in transition has brought us to a stage where, today, it won't be an exaggeration to say that one could head count those that are still devoid of glancing on television screen. And Television today has become a mere entertainment, if not luxury for a vast majority of people. But, there are yet few pockets in the country where Television is still an alien invention. Despite this our Country India is known to produce the maximum number of Films in a year compared to any other country in the world. Approximately a whooping 1,600 Films or more are produce annually in different languages. And our state Film industry (Maniwood) is a part of this great discourse.

Most of us from the state, I believe must have at one point of time watched at least one Manipuri film by this time of our age? Let me remind you that it is not an attempt to label Manipuri films above the other local films, but it's only a nudge to look at it from slightly different angle.

The successful screening of the first Manipuri feature film "Matamgi Manipur" on April 9, 1972 marked a milestone as it earned the national recognition by bagging the President's medal at the 20th national film festival. In addition it has walked an extra mile that earned her reputation by bagging several international and national awards, which added a glaring impetus to Maniwood. Hitherto Manipuri Film gained momentum only after a blanket ban on Hindi Films in the state. This step enabled the industry to succeed in maintaining its originality, and that's what makes it a unique genre of its own that's deserves our sincere accolades and appreciation.

The various real life stories depicted in the films and the scene settings and the rural background truly enchants me as a viewer. All these reality brings to me a renewed sense of romance and love for my home state that I have not been to, for the past 3 years. The poverty smitten and distress life depicted in the films in tune with that of mine constantly reminds me not to live life to the extreme against the wishes and dreams of my parents back home. It acts as an alarm for me as a student to live life befittingly so as to reap the fruit of success in future.

For many it may seem too dramatic to watch the Star's in the Film personified as IAS/IPS officers despite family's utter poverty. But for me despite this clear conviction that these are mere Films, It acts as a fulcrum where I find a stronghold to embark on my dreams over again with new vigor affirmatively. And I must appreciate the guts and the ability in addition to the creativity of the directors to be able to showcase the realness of rural homes where majority of us hail from.

Today education with discipline is regarded a paramount importance be it for present or for future endeavor. The much needed synergy to maintain a momentum towards accomplishing something worthwhile exudes from different sources depending on the individual. But for a student like me, watching a good Manipuri Film sometimes propels me to come back to the fore when I am far from the road I should tread. But I am pretty sure students from a purple background might view in different style.

Nevertheless to hold back the impact that a mere Manipuri Film has had in my student life would be a mistake, and more silly if I don't. It is therefore my earnest request to the Film fraternity to continue the splendid job with enthusiasm and bring in more creativity and lessons that students as a viewer can emulate and be encouraged out of it. Because Films viewed at one point of our life act as a reminder cos they tarry longer than just mere talks and readings.

Today the outstanding acting, quality of the stories and the music has attained a status of its own. This has exerted the capacity to allure its viewers despite being a comparatively small industry as compared to those Multi crore industries. And I believe this quality has made the industry thrive against all odds and hardships, if not financial constrains alone.The undying spirit and the 'Lion will' of the Film directors and the artists in the state who always willed despite hardships that seemed insurmountable from every quarters of life has enabled them to forged ahead, cutting out a niche in the world scenario.

In all these flamboyant achievements, there are yet various complexities that the Film industry in the state has been facing. Out of Various unwanted lumpen elements, the ugly practice of distorting the hard earn money of the industry by various UG'S in the state is one big impediment. The recent agitation called by the Manipuri Film fraternity due to demands made by the same is really disheartening. This will be a huge setback for the fraternity and could cripple the path-breaking achievement the industry has so far accomplished.

Despite all these which have jeopardize the accomplishments made by the Film fraternity, the spirit to take it to newer heights in always the forefront agenda. Resolutions are high, but how far can those resolutions take us should also be envisage considering greed that emanates from different angles. It is my plea that the Film fraternity be left alone at the mercy of no one that can thwart the same from accomplishing their commitment they desire to.

Mere hunger for money should not be a reason for all of us to witness the downfall of our Film industry, because Rome too was not built in a day. It will be a mistake beyond repair for anyone to keep poking the industry with the intention to drain the little profits they make, so please abstain. Lastly, I am of the opinion that the only way to unearth the versatility of Maniwood is to only leave them alone.

* Thangminlal Doungel wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on January 10 2016.


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