National Film Awardee MA Singh (Maibam Amuthoi) is no more

March 10 2013

National Film Awardee MA Singh (Maibam Amuthoi)
National Film Awardee MA Singh (Maibam Amuthoi)

Renowned Manipuri Filmmaker and national awardee, Maibam Amuthoi Singh, popularly known as MA Singh, is no more. He passed away at BM Birla Heart Institute, Kolkata at 8:30 pm on 9th March 2013. Shri MA Singh was undergoing treatment after he was diagnosed with Deep Venous Thrombosis on his left leg. He was first treated by Dr. Kh Kala Singh of RIMS, Lamphel who performed a Thrombectomy on 8 January 2013 to clear the blood clot to restore circulation on the affected leg.

After the emergency surgery proved unsuccessful, the next available medical step was amputation but considering his withering health and diabetic condition, doctors remained skeptic. As a last attempt, cardiologist, Dr. Sachindeva, referred him to BM Birla Heart Institute, Kolkata where he was admitted on 11 January 2013. After undergoing two amputation surgeries on 25th March and 28th March, he went into a coma never to gain consciousness. On 9th March 2013, he breathed his last at 8:30 pm.

Shri MA Singh is the first Manipuri to be technically trained in film craft at the prestigious national film and television Institute of India, the FTII, Pune. In fact he went on to earned another distinction of being a double graduate of FTII. After completing his diploma in film-editing in 1971, he continued pursuing film studies and completed the diploma in Direction in 1974.

Shri MA Singh is particularly known for his path breaking Manipuri feature film ‘Sana Keithel’, that went on to bagged the prestigious National Film Award with President’s Medal in the 31st National Film Festival in 1984 as the Best feature film in Manipuri. Edited and directed by him, Sana Keithel followed the neo realistic tradition of the new wave era with MA Singh daring to shoot the entire film with real character (non-actors) placed in real settings, a formula that produced the everlasting enigma of Sana Keithel.

Over and above the numerous documentary films he made, he also directed and edited the first Manipuri Colour feature film, Langlen-Thadoi produced by KP, Films, Imphal in 1977.

Besides his filmmaking activities, he served in various capacities. He was a Jury member for Script Board for NFDC for three consecutive years. He was an approved producer and director of Prasar Broadcasting Corporation of India, he was an empanelled producer of Doordarshan Imphal Kendra and Programme Production Centre, North East. He served as visiting lecturer of media study centres of different Institutes and also ran a full-fledged media course, entitled ‘Media & Media Personalities’ that produced new talents in the field of News-reading, Public Announcement, public speaking, Interviewing and Acting technology and filmmaking. During 1975 to 76, he associated with Publicity Department of Government of Manipur and compiled & edited 9 (nine) newsreels on news events in Manipur. He also worked in Mumbai film industries, Mumbai Doordarshan and Satellite Project (ISRO) Ahmadabad.

Believing that a film culture is necessary of the development of Manipuri films, Shri MA Singh played catalytic role in forming and running Cine Club Imphal and the Manipur Film Council which later became the Manipur Film Development Corporation.

Born on 18th October 1941, MA Singh, a resident of Kwakeithel Akham Leikai, Imphal, is survived by his wife and four sons and one daughter.

* This info was sent by Sunzu Bachaspatimayum who can be contacted at sunzubm(at)gmail(dot)com
This Press Release was posted on March 11, 2013.

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