Manipuri film ‘It’s not my choice’ becomes the first Indian short film to be adapted into Thai

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The highly acclaimed 2015 Manipuri short film “IT’S NOT MY CHOICE,” written and directed by prominent Manipuri actor and filmmaker Priyakanta Laishram, which shed light on transgender issues and featured Miss International Queen India 2016, Bishesh Huirem, has caught the attention of Thai filmmaker Tim Chaiyasing. Chaiyasing, a newcomer to the industry, is set to adapt the film into Thai, making it the first-ever Indian short film to be officially adapted into the Thai language.

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The Manipuri film has garnered praise and recognition at various film festivals since 2015. Notably, it also became the first short film from Northeast India to reach one lakh views and one million views on YouTube in 2017. Filmmaker Chaiyasing, who attended the screening as an audience member and was intrigued by the film and its message, first learned about the film that was recently exhibited at Rajabhat University in Thailand.

“There are a lot of parallels between Manipuri and Thai cultures, traditions, lifestyles, and eating customs. I’m not surprised that this movie got to me. I’ve been thinking about the movie ever since I saw it, and I deeply want to adapt it to my native tongue and culture because I noticed a lot of parallels between Manipuri culture and my own,” said Chaiyasing.

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On being asked what it feels like to see his picture adapted in another language in another nation, Priyakanta Laishram responded, “It’s Not My Choice, is a film very close to my heart. With this film, I entered the second phase of my film career, which took me to greater heights. It is very astonishing that eight years later, the film is still leaving an influence on people. I’m thrilled that my film will be adapted into another language, and I hope the new director will discover how fruitful the adaptation can be.”

The story “It’s Not My Choice (Manipuri: Eina Khankhiba Natte)” delves into the challenging realities faced by Sanathoi, a young transgender individual. Trapped in a world where her father denies her education and she endures mistreatment and bullying from those around her, Sanathoi’s journey is one of resilience and self-empowerment. Despite the adversity, she finds the strength to embrace her true identity and fight for her rights.

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Indian Medical Association and Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal hosted the film’s initial premiere on September 1, 2015. After screening at various universities and film festivals, It’s Not My Choice was later premiered on YouTube on January 15, 2017.

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