TODAY -

'Leipaklei' makes the cut for S Korea's film fest
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Manipur Info Centre

New Delhi, January 28 2013: Aribam Syam Sharma's latest Manipuri feature film-Leipaklei (2012) has been invited for participation at the Jeonju International Film Festival to be held at Jeonju , South Korea from April 25 to May 5, 2013 .

The Programme Coordinator of the Festival June Yun-kyung Kim informed the film maker Syam Sharma for screening the film in the section- 'Special Section: Beyond Bollywood' of the 14th edition of the international film festival.The invitation came after the Jeonju festival authority selected the Manipuri film in the Kolkata International Film Festival.

Based on the Sahitya Akademi Award winning drama- Leipaklei written by Arambam Samarendra, the film tells the story of a woman- Leipaklei who is separated from her husband and whose life is surrounded by the hard trials of fate and is burdened with sustaining herself and her little daughter.She had a lover once, but he joined the army and went to war.

It was believed that he died in war.Leipaklei gains inspiration from the moments she spent with him and lives in the hope that he will return one day.

He returns eventually, and brings with him a set of dilemmas because they can't live together.

The conclusion is open ended with the two may start living together.

Leipaklei is a name of a flower- a symbol of patience and strength.

National film award winning actress Leisangthem Tonthoingambi is the protagonist of the film.

Leipaklei had an enthusiastic response from the audience and critics when it was screened in the 18th Kolkata International Film Festival held in Kolkata in November 10-17, 2012 and was the inaugural film of the 5th Guwahati Film Festival held at Guwahati in December 10-16, 2012 .

After scoring music as well as acting in the very first Manipuri film -Matamgi Manipur (1972) directed by Deb Kumar Bose, Aribam Shyam Sharma made his directorial debut in Lamja Parshuram (1974) which was a superhit film beating the show running record of Raj Kapoor's Bobby screened at another theatre in Imphal.

His second Manipuri film was Saphaabi (1979), based on a Manipuri folk story and received the national award in regional category.

His third Manipuri film- Olangthagi Wangmadasoo (1980) was a block buster film running successfully more than 30 weeks breaking the record of Ramesh Sippy's Sholay which was simultaneously screened in Imphal at another theatre.

The film also bagged the regional award in the National Film Awards.

Then Syam Sharma never looked back the commercial films and joined the bandwagon of 'New Wave' cinema with the making of Imagi Ningthem in 1981 which marked the first Indian film to have won the top prize of 'Grand Prix' in the Festival of Three Continents, Nantes in 1982.His Ishanou (1990) which was screened in the Un Regard Section of the Cannes International Film Festival in 1991 and travelled in many major international film festivals was considered as another masterpice of Syam Sharma and was screened recently in Indian International Film Festival, Goa in the Centenary Indian Film section among 27 Indian films selected.

Acclaimed as one of the most original film makers of India by international critics, Aribam Syam Sharma, now 73, had won five National Film Awards in Manipuri features and eight National Awards in non-features.

He earned a great repute of a complete filmmaker in the country for his grand success in making all kinds of films- mainstream films, new wave films and documentaries.

While he was a student of the Master Degree in Philosophy in Viswa-Bharati University , Santiniketan, he watched Ritwik Ghatak's Ajantrik which made him an inspiration in making a 'pure cinema' .

A recipient of Padmashri in 2007 and V.Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008; Syam Sharma has been working tirelessly for advancement of regional cinema in North East India.

He was the first Managing Director of the Manipur Film Development Corporation Ltd, a Government of Manipur Undertaking established in 1987.During his tenure, he laid foundation for infrastructure development and film promotional activities like organizing national and foreign film festivals.

He authored an autobiography entitled –Living Shadows which was published by the Guwahati Cine Club.


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