The year-long golden jubilee celebration of Manipuri Cinema concluded during a function held on Friday at the Palace auditorium of Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS) in Imphal. Around 23 film pioneers comprising directors, producers, actors and singers and celebrities were also honoured for their outstanding contribution during the closing day function.
Speaking on the occasion, legendary filmmaker, Aribam Syam Sharma reminisced the demise of pioneers of Manipuri Cinema and expressed best wishes for the holistic growth of Manipuri Cinema.
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He said that the film movement in Manipur started without any assistance from the government. Saying that hostility within the small film community in Manipur will not yield any benefits, he exhorted all concerned to work collectively towards upscaling the quality of films produced in Manipur. He also said that no other state with a meagre population like Manipur has sustained films produced in its own language for 50 years.
However, Manipuri films went downhill after films were produced on a mass scale in amateurish manner during the VHS era. As such, professional training is required to avoid such mistakes in the future, he added.
Syam Sharma then lamented that the Manipur University of Culture, conceived to promote the rich Manipuri culture, is in a dormant state. Noting that the annual budget for the Art and Culture department is only around Rs 4 crore, he questioned how such a limited amount will help Manipuri culture thrive.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP, Sanajaoba Leishemba who was the chief guest of the function said that Manipur, being a poor state, is struggling to produce world class films. Nevertheless, the present generation should never forget the sacrifices and contributions of the pioneers. Manipur, despite its small area, has a rich cultural heritage owing to the contributions of the pioneers, he also said.