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2 filmmakers feted at IFFI

Assam’s Manju Borah and Manipur’s Haobam Paban Kumar felicitated for their contribution to the Indian cinema

By Abdul Gani in Guwahati
  • Published 1.12.19, 1:39 AM
  • Updated 1.12.19, 1:39 AM
  • a min read
Director Manju Borah being felicitated in Panaji. Picture courtesy: PIB

Two filmmakers from the Northeast were feted at the closing ceremony of the 50th International Film Festival India (IFFI) in Goa recently.

Assam’s Manju Borah and Manipur’s Haobam Paban Kumar, alongside some legends, were felicitated for their contribution to the Indian cinema.

Borah’s film Land of the Poisoned Women was screened at the Indian Panorama, a flagship section of the IFFI that showcases the best of contemporary Indian works, along with two other films from the region — Pradip Kurbah’s Iewduh and Utpal Datta’s Bohubritta. “It is an honour to be felicitated alongside Ilayaraja, Birju Maharaj, Prem Chopra and other big names at the IFFI. Now I am more motivated to continue my filmmaking journey,” Borah told The Telegraph.

So far, she has made 11 feature films and won nine National Awards as a director and a producer. Land of the Poisoned Women in Pangchenpa dialect is based in Arunachal Pradesh. The film depicts the story of a superstition in the Pangchenpa community that women have poison in their nails and men die slowly or immediately after being served food by women. The film sheds light on how the modern educated generation is trying to eradicate the superstition.

Kumar has dealt with some crucial issues, from human rights to environment degradation. “It’s a huge honour to be counted among the best,” he said. Kumar’s debut feature film Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the Lake) won the National Award for Best Film on Environment Conservation/ Preservation at the 64th National Film Awards 2016. Six of his films have been screened at different editions of the IFFI over the years. Among others, his documentary AFSPA 1958 turned out to be one of the highly critical and widely appreciated films in 2006. The documentary depicts the harsh reality of the ill-effects of the Arms Forces (Special Powers) Act in Manipur.