TODAY -

Highways of Life - best film at 8th Liberation DocFest 2020
- June 16 to 20, 2020 :: at Dhaka , Bangladesh -

*

 A scene from 'Highways of Life'
A scene from 'Highways of Life' :: Pix - TSE



TSE News - 22nd June 2020 edition
IT News - 22nd June 2020 edition

A 52-minute long documentary film "Highways of Life" directed and scripted by Amar Maibam has won the best film award at the 8th Liberation DocFest Bangladesh-2020 held from June 16 to 20 in Dhaka.

The film which was shot over five years from 2014 to 2018 had its world premiere on June 18 in the festival.

'Highways of Life' follows a group of truckers as they manoeuvre through the perilous highways, putting their lives at risk, ferrying essential commodities for the people of Manipur amid two intense and violent public movements played out on the highways.

The film produced by the Films Division of India also tells the story of a highway truck driver as he goes about his job of ferrying essential commodities for the landlocked State amidst blockades and violent protests that often obstruct movement along the highways.

 A scene from 'Highways of Life'
A scene from 'Highways of Life' :: Pix - IT News



The film speaks aloud, "The drivers serving three million people are the unsung heroes of the landlocked State (Manipur)" .

In the concluding ceremony held at Dhaka on Saturday, festival director Tareq Ahmed said that a total of 1,800 films were submitted for the 8th DocFest till late March and 200 were selected. And a total of 83 films were screened during the five-day festival.

Kim Young Woo (Programmer and Chairman at the DMZ DOCS Festival, South Korea), a jury member announced Amar Maibam's 'Highways of Life' as the winner in the 'International Competition' section.

Amar will receive 1,000 USD, a crest and a certificate.

The 'Highways of Life' was the only entry selected from India and it was pitched against seven documentary films from Belgium, Slovenia, Germany, Argentina, UK, Italy and Iran in the International Competition section of the 5-day virtual festival streamed on www.liberationdocfestbd.org.

The documentary film has already bagged four top awards-
Best Non-Feature film,
Best Direction,
Best Cinematography and
Best Editing
in the Manipur State Film Awards 2020 . The film was edited by Biju Das and the sound was designed by Partha Halder.

Interestingly, Amar Maibam used to be a 'bus conductor' before he turned a filmmaker following the footsteps of his late father MA Singh, an ace filmmaker of Manipur. Amar who himself cinematographed the 52-minute film said he was attracted towards documentary films.

"While my father's forte was fiction story telling, I'm inclined towards independent filmmaking for now as it gives more freedom to tell stories of the human experience and how he gets by in this crazy world we all lived in," Amar said.

Amar's debut documentary film was City of Victims (2009) which revolves around extra-judicial killings in Manipur. His second was 'My Generous Village' which won Special Jury Award and Best Music Award in the Manipur State Film Awards 2019 .

His fourth, 'NAWA - Spirit of Atey' follows the journey of a 13-year-old boy and it bagged Best Documentary Award in the 2nd Nagaland Film Festival 2019 . Amar is currently working on a film about international woman weightlifter, Khumukcham Sanjita and her brother and their fight for 'justice' on the doping charge she faced.

On winning the award at the 8th Liberation DocFest 2020, he expressed joy and said, "This win will ensure a wider audience for untold stories of the lives of the highway truckers who are the unsung heroes of landlocked Manipur"


* This news was published at The Sangai Express & Imphal Times on 22nd June 2020
This was posted on 22nd June 2020

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