Imphal: The Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS) informed Saturday that ‘Beyond Blast’, a Manipuri documentary film on Konthoujam Maikel Meitei, a bomb blast victim, is selected as part of the prestigious Indian Panorama Official Selection, paving the way for the 52-miniute long, Manipuri documentary film to be screened at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2022, to be held from November 20 to 28 in Goa. The Indian Panorama is a flagship component of the IFFI.
“The jubilant news came on Saturday when the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, New Delhi made the announcement of the Indian Panorama Official Selection for this year’s IFFI,” said the MSFDS in a statement. Kannada feature film, ‘Hadinelentu’ will open the Indian Feature Film section while English language documentary, ‘The Show Must Go On’ is the opening film of the non-feature film, the statement added.
The MSFDS stated that, out of 242 non-feature films that competed for the national selection, only 20 made it to the list. And from northeast India, only two made the cut, namely Saikhom Ratan’s ‘Beyond Blast’ (Manipur) and Kripal Kalita’s ‘Hatibondhu’ (Assam). In the feature film section, 354 feature films vied for the selection and only 25 made it to the official selection, the MSFDS also said.
Director of ‘Beyond Blast’, Saikhom Ratan is an award winning freelance video journalist and a well-known Manipuri cinematographer and filmmaker, having shot many award winning films. The biographical documentary is produced by Konjengbam Sushila Leima, a prolific writer and film producer, said the statement. Beyond Blast is her second film that has made to the Indian Panorama Official Selection. Her Eigi Kona, a Manipuri feature film, made the cut at 52th IFFI, 2021.
Another feather in the cap of Manipuri Cinema is Manipuri filmmaker, Oinam Doren heading the jury of the non-feature film of Indian Panorama as its chairperson, comprising five other members, it added.
MSFDS congratulated then Saikhom Ratan, K. Sushila Leima and Oinam Doren for bringing such crowning glory for Manipur Cinema and made the state proud.
Before the Indian Panorama selection, ‘Beyond Blast’ won several awards at different prestigious film festivals. It won ‘Best Documentary Film in Social Issues’ at the 14th Manipur State Film Awards 2022 organized by MSFDS, Directorate of Art & Culture, Government of Manipur, Official Selection at Sign International Film Festival Kerala, 2022, Official Selection at 13th Film South Asia (FSA), Nepal, Best Documentary (India) in Port Blair International Film Festival, Best Documentary (India) at Filmshor International film festival Kerala 2021 and Honourable Mention award in Reels International film festival 2021 Aurangabad.