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‘Achoubi in Love’, ‘Bloody Phanek’ to be screened at Film Southasia

IT News

Imphal, Nov 12

The 12th edition of the Film Southasia in Kathmandu is scheduled to begin from 14 November, Thursday and this biennial fest of documentary films from the South Asia region has been made extra special with the selection of two films from Manipur. Dr Meena Longjam’s ‘Achoubi in Love’ is scheduled to be screened on 16 November and Sonia Nepram’s ‘Bloody Phanek’ on 17 November.

According to the organisers, this edition recorded a submission of 2500 films out of which 63 from seven countries have been selected for the four-day fest. The screening will be held at the Yala Maya Kendra, which is spread over three halls in Patan, Lalitpur located 20 minutes away from the Tribhuvan International Airport. It will begin at 10am on 14 November with the specially curated students section. The fest will officially open with the screening of ‘Indus Blues’ at 5.00pm the same day.

At Film Southasia, selected films are judged by a three-member Southasian jury and the best film is awarded the ‘Ram Bahadur Trophy’ for Best Film along with a citation and a cash prize of USD 2,000. The second best film is awarded a citation and cash prize of USD 1,000. There is also a UNICEF Nepal Award for the film that best portrays social/children’s issues, with a cash prize of USD 1,000. Past juries have been headed by well-known Southasian auteur filmmakers like Shyam Benegal, Goutam Ghose, Tareque Masud, Saeed Mirza and eminent journalist Mark Tully.  

Moreover, after each FSA fest, about a dozen films are selected to travel across the subcontinent and the world as the Travelling Film Southasia (TFSA) package. This campaign to promote and popularise Southasian documentaries stops at more than 20 international venues between the parent FSA festivals that are held every two years in Kathmandu. Since the beginning, this was a festival backed and organised by print journalists of the Himal Southasian magazine. This time, the Southasia Trust has taken over the responsibility of organising the fest.

Amongst the two films from Manipur, Dr Meena Longjam’s ‘Achoubi in Love’ tells the story of Achoubi and her love for the threatened Manipuri ponies. Defying the odds of age, ill-health, financial challenges and strained familial relationships, she fights passionately to save these endangered beings from extinction. Previously Dr Meena had won a National Award for the documentary ‘Autodriver’. She is also the proprietor of Airameen Media.

Sonia Nepram’s ‘Bloody Phanek’ was first screened at a global premiere in South Korea. Then it has travelled to several countries including Greece, France, Serbia, Bangladesh as well as numerous domestic fests and special screenings in India. The second documentary from the filmmaker, ‘Bloody Phanek’ blends the personal and the political while exploring how Manipuri women use phanek as a medium of protest and this attire can challenge masculinity. Sonia also runs the Yelhoumee Pictures production house and has started working on her third film.

Maheshwar Gurumayum

William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

1 comment

  • ajo ningombam
    ajo ningombam Wednesday, 13 November 2019 20:35 Comment Link

    Best wishes from my side. Let the world know the real Manipur through your medium...

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