Imphal: The 17th Mumbai International Film Festival opened with ‘Meiram’, a Manipuri documentary film by James Khangembam on May 29, Sunday, at Nehru Centre Auditorium, where homage was paid to ace cinematographer Irom Maipak who passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.
The national award-winning Manipuri cinematographer was amongst those who were remembered with special screenings under ‘Homage’ section. Besides Maipak, legendary Pin screen Animator from Canada Jacques Drouin, first female documentary filmmaker of Italy Cecilia Mangini, Indian veteran Buddhadeb Dasgupta and multi-faceted Sumitra Bhave were also mentioned.
Also known as MIFF, the seven-day festival pegged as the largest documentary film festival of the world, presenting a kaleidoscope of World Cinema promises to induce qualitative as well as diverse content in the current edition, featuring 808 film-entries from 30 countries.
Even though MIFF, organized by Films Division of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, felt short of announcing Manipur as a focus state of the festival, the state, which began its cinematic journey from 1972 with Matamgee, has a prominent space in the international film festival, featuring altogether eight (8) documentary films.
Besides the much-deserved homage to Irom Maipak, the state’s only national award winning cinematographer, 50 years of Manipuri Cinema also finds space in the festival with a 15-minute production by Manipuri State Film Development Society (MSFDS), named ‘Glimpses of 50 years of Manipuri Cinema’, scripted by Rajesh Salam and directed by Haobam Paban Kumar.
While ‘The Monpas of Arunachal Pradesh’, directed by Aribam Syam Sharma (for which Maipak won the national award), ‘Thang-Ta’, directed by Ronel Haobam and ‘Phumshang’, directed by Haobam Paban Kumar, will be screened in the Homage section, Khangembam’s ‘Meiram’ (which opened the festival), Borun Thokchom’s ‘I Rise’ and ‘Pabang Syam’ by Haobam Paban Kumar are in competition.
Apart from the 120 Films in ‘Competition’ and ‘MIFF Prism’ category, an array of special film packages, masterclasses and workshops has also been curated for the film lovers.
Another interesting feature is Netflix original series “Mighty Little Bheem: I love Taj Mahal” episode will make its World Premiere at MIFF 2022. The first animation film co-produced by India and Japan ‘Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama’ will also have its special screening at MIFF.
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