India’s lone entry Haobam Paban Kumar’s ‘Joseph’s Son’ to world premiere at Shanghai film festival

In search of his missing son in ethnic clashes.

Imphal: Haobam Paban Kumar’s third narrative feature in Manipuri language- Joseph’s Son is set its world premiere at the 25th Shanghai International Film Festival 2023 in the main competitive section for Golden Goblet Award to be held from June 9 to 18, 2023 in China. The screening of the film is on Tuesday, the 13th June 2023 at Shanghai Film Art Centre.

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The India’s lone entry Haobam Paban Kumar’s Joseph’s Son will vie with 11 films namely Japanese veteran filmmaker Yoji Yamada’s Mom, Is that you?!, another Japanese title Yoko directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, three Chinese titles- Liu Jiayin’s All Ears, Jonathan Li’s Dust To Dust and Chen Shizhong’s Good Autumn, Mommy, four European titles namely Spanish Director Marta Lallana’s Muyeres, Belgium director Dominique Deruddere’s The Chapel, Italian filmmaker Paolo Genovese’s The First Day Of My Life and United Kingdom director Connor O’Hara’s Kindling, Russian and Georgia film Nina by Oksana Bychkova and Iranian film The Annoyed by Mehdi Fard.

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Joseph’s Son is about the journey of a highlander Joseph in search of his missing son in ethnic clashes. During the course of the journey, his fear grows deeper: a fear born of constant conflict of past and present to which a personal fear is added. David, a passionate footballer has not come home. His mother persuades Joseph, his father to go and look for him. After no luck with David’s friends, Joseph goes to the police. The body of a teenage boy lies in the morgue in Imphal, and they tell him the only way to know whether it is or isn’t David, is to go there to see for himself. Reluctantly Joseph sets out on the long journey.

About the film, Paban Kumar states, “My film might be among the few Indian films to talk about the ethnic and armed conflict that is unique to my birthplace Manipur, a State in Northeast India bordering Myanmar. As a storyteller, it’s very important that my films reflect my contemporary realities. Manipur is home to the majority community Meiteis and 35 different tribes, each with its own language, culture and traditions. Today, there is huge unrest in Manipur various ethnic groups fighting for their identity, land and forests. This is a story about the fear and uncertainty of people living in places torn by decades of insurgency and ethnic division.”

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Guru Rewben Mashangva is the main protagonist of the 83-minutes long film- Joseph’s Son produced by National Film Development Corporation Limited and co-produced by Oli Pictures. The film is based on the original story written by Sahitya Akademi Award winner Sudhir Naoroibam. Camera is handled by Joydeep Bose, Sound by Sukanta Majumdar, Editing by Sankha, Art Director by Ch. Inaobi, Casting Director by Victor Thoudam, Screenplay by Sudhir Naoroibam and Haobam Paban Kumar and Direction by Haobam Paban Kumar.

This Manipuri film consists of different languages in Manipur namely Tangkhul, Meitei, Thadou Kuki and Rongmei languages. There are different characters from various communities of Tangkhul, Meitei, Thadou Kuki, Rongmei and Bihari in the film.

The Main protagonist Guru Rewben Mashangva, Director Haobam Paban Kumar and the Executive producer PP Math has been invited to attend the film festival at Shanghai.

(Source: Film Society of Manipur)

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