Movie on Manipur’s Loktak lake enters Mumbai film fest

Imphal, Dec 18 (IANS) A non-feature film made on the famous freshwater Loktak lake of Manipur has made it to the international competition section of the 14th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF).

Manipur-based film maker Haobam Paban Kumar’s “Phum Shang” (“Floating Life”) has been selected in the international competition section for the ‘Documentary Film under 60 minutes’ category of the 14th edition of MIFF, which will be held between January 28 to February 3 next year in Mumbai.

“‘Phum Shang’ depicts Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in northeast India characterised by its unique floating biomass ‘phumdi’, which is the primary source of livelihood for the fishermen who live there. The film covers not only the rich and abundant bio-diversity of the Loktak area but also delves into serious issues as fallout of development induced poverty,” Kumar said.

This is the second time that Kumar has got a film in the international competition of MIFF. His film “AFSPA 1958” was awarded the International Jury Award with a prize money of Rs.100,000 and the prestigious International Fipresci Critics Award with certificate of merit in the international competition for documentary films in 2006.

This time, films made in India and abroad, between September 1, 2013 to August 31 this year, are eligible for the festival. Entries were previewed by the Pre-selection Committee and then the shortlisted films were again previewed by the Selection Committee to select the final films for the competition sections.

Five films, namely “Hard To Believe”, directed by Ken Stone from the US, “The Deer, Tree and Me” by Teena Kaur from India, “Tashi and the Monk” by Johnny Burke and Andrew Hinton from Britain and “The Boy From My Window” by Kesang Tsetan from Nepal, apart from

“Phum Shang”, will vie for the Best Documentary Film Award in the category.

It carries the Golden Conch and Rs.300,000 for the director and the Golden Conch and Rs.200,000 for the movie’s producer.

The festival will have, apart from international and national competition, screening of films in MIFF Prism, Jury Retrospectives, Animation and other packages from different countries and festivals, children’s documentary films and many more, making it a wholesome viewing experience for the delegates.

First organised in 1990, MIFF is considered an important event in the calendar of festivals for films in the documentary, short and animation genre.

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