TODAY -

Representing Collective Anxiety
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: November 27 2015 -

Aribam Syam Sharma
Aribam Syam Sharma :: Pix - TSE



At the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2015 in Goa, ace Manipuri filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma, who is also the Chairman of the Feature Jury of the Indian Panorama section was given a red carpet welcome while coming to attend the screening of his internationally acclaimed work “Imagi Ningthem” at the Maquinez Palace theatre, INOX, Goa.

“Imagi Ningthem” brought Aribam Syam Sharma international recognition when the movie received the Golden Montgolfiere in the Nantes film festival in 1982.

The film has been screened at the IFFI as a part of Focus on North East Cinema. While addressing an audience in Goa, he expressed his delight at being honoured by the Indian film fraternity.

At an interactive session of the Open Forum organised by Federation of Film Societies of India, Syam had to speak on what are the qualities that made a filmmaker a good director.

While doing so, he also expressed an anxiety which has always been buried deep within the minds of most people hailing from the region and those who are engaged in the art and craft of filmmaking.

During the interaction, the Manipuri filmmaker asked if Indian films were made only in Hindi or “Bollywood” and wanted to state his views on what actually is an Indian film.

To further illustrate his thoughts like a true filmmaker, he commented that whenever he represented the country in many international film festivals, he was always called an Indian filmmaker.

However, the situation was different the moment he returns to India.

Back in his home country, State based film directors of Aribam Syam Sharma’s calibre are always called “regional filmmakers”.

And obviously, the maestro of Manipuri film direction had to state that this kind of treatment actually pinched his conscience.

The director’s comment in many ways represents the collective anxiety of at least three generations of the people of Northeast region on one hand and on the other the necessity of reviewing the notion or even the idea of what Indian cinema is all about.

It may be mentioned that IFFI 2015’s Focus on North East cinema includes fourteen claimed films of Syam and other films by seven new directors from the Northeast region.

He is not only a filmmaker but also a music composer of merit. Aribam Syam made his screen debut in the Manipuri film as an actor in the movie “Matamgi Manipur.”

In 1974, he directed his first movie “Lamja Parshuram.” In 1990, his film “The Chosen One” was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.



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