As the saying goes ‘better now than never’, Manipur, which boasts of a vibrant film production, will soon see a leap in the growth of Manipur Cinema as a creative economy with the government of Manipur, finally notifying the much awaited, ‘the Manipur State Cine Policy 2020’, bringing it into being in the state to the delight and relief of the state’s film fraternity.
“This is good news for Manipuri Cinema. The ladder to reach the goal of an identity and footprint around the world has been made,” said the grand old master of Manipuri cinema, Aribam Syam Sharma.
“It has long been the hope and aspiration of the community. Finally, the government has acknowledged Manipuri cinema with this policy. This is a great start,” added Aribam Syam whose films ‘Imagee Ningthem’ and ‘Ishanou’ put Manipur cinema into the world map with critical acclaims at Nante and Cannes festivals respectively.
Former Art & Culture Commissioner and retired IAS officer, RK Nimai Singh who played a significant role in drafting the policy heaved a sigh of relief upon the notification. “It’s good that it has been notified at last after bureaucratic bungling had delayed it for nearly four years,” said RK Nimai.
At first glance, the policy reveals a thrust to formalize film studies by introducing cinema as a subject and mooting for a department of film studies in universities and upgrading the state owned ‘Manipur State Film and Television Institute’ to an academy of higher studies on cinema. These aspects of the policy is classified as the ‘cine cultural policy’ while the other focus of the policy is on the economic front of propping up a ‘creative economy.’
Filmmaker, Ningthouja Lancha who strongly stressed for the ‘economic cine policy’ said that filmmaking and the media content industry has proven as a major revenue grosser the world over and this prospect should be tapped.
“The future of Manipur cinema lies in international co-production and to realize this, we need to formalize film education. Besides skilling in the craft of filmmaking, we need to induce industrial structure of cinema in order to transform it into a creative economy and bring in cultural industrialization in the state,” asserted the critical acclaimed filmmaker whose ‘Mami Sami’, is a commercial film par excellence in contemporary context.
The drafting committee member pointed out that the core of the Manipur State Cine Policy 2020 is the pyramidal structure of Manipur Cine Commission and Manipur Cine Corporation at the top of the economic front while the Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS) and Manipur State Film & Television Institute (MSFTI) lead the cultural and educational aspect.
The Cine Commission will oversee the enforcement of the policy and aid the government in formulating new provisions in the policy while the Cine Corporation will be responsible for the provisions of industrial infrastructures for all aspects of production, marketing and sales like City Cine Complex, Cine City, Content Industry and Co-Production Platform, Cine Distributive Division etc. The MSFDS will continue organizing film festivals, establish Cine Archive & Museum, Cine Library and conduct documentation and publication besides its responsibility of honouring and rewarding achievers in the field. The onus of providing technical and theoretical knowledge lies with the MSFTI.
Ashish Hamom, a freelance digital content creator reacting to the notification of the cine policy said he is very buoyant and happy and hopes for opportunities for his talent. “I hope this policy will bring a big change in promoting good cinema in our state. Kudos to everyone who made it a reality.”
Filmmaker and commentator