A 52-minute documentary, Highways of Life, directed and scripted by Amar Maibam won the Best Film in the international competition of the 8th Liberation DocFest Bangladesh-2020 held from June 16-20 in Dhaka.

The film, which had its world premiere on June 18, in the festival, journeys a group of truckers as they maneuver through the perilous highways in Manipur, putting their lives on the frontline, ferrying essential commodities to serve the people of the state, said Meghachandra Kongbam, President Film Society of Manipur.

The film, produced by Films Division, tells the story of a highway truck driver as he ferries essential commodities for the landlocked state amid blockades and violent protests. “They (drivers) are the unsung heroes of a landlocked state in the service of three million people,” the film’s theme said.

In the concluding ceremony held at Dhaka on June 20, Festival Director Tareq Ahmed said that a total of 1,800 films were submitted in the 8th DocFest till late March and 200 were selected from the list till last April. And finally a total of 83 films were screened throughout the five-day festival.

Kim Young Woo, Programmer and Chair at the DMZ DOCS festival, South Korea and a jury member of the international competition announced ‘Highways of Life’, a film from India by director Amar Maibam as the winner in the section. Amar will receive 1,000 USD, a crest and a certificate.

Highways of Life, the only selected entry from India was pitched against seven documentaries from Belgium, Slovenia, Germany, Argentina, UK, Italy and Iran in the International competition section in the 5-day virtual festival streamed at www.liberationdocfestbd.org.

The film that was shot in five years from 2014 to 2018 already bagged four top awards – Best Non-Feature film, Best Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Editing in the Manipur State Film Awards this year. The film is edited by Biju Das and the sound is designed by Partha Halder.

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