Working still from 'Semkhor'

Manipur-based Haobam Paban Kumar’s documentary ‘Pabung Syam’ (non-feature) is one of the five films from the Northeast which have been selected for the Indian Panorama section of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be screened during its 52nd edition in Goa.

The documentary is a tribute to Manipuri cinema’s father figure Aribam Syam Sharma.

“Manipuri cinema’s golden jubilee is around the corner and it has already made its mark in world cinema, largely to the devotion of one man Aribam Syam Sharma,” Paban Kumar told The News Mill.

“I was lucky to start my career as an assistant to him with the film Shingnaba in 1996. ‘Pabung Syam’ or the father figure as we fondly called him has been involved right from the first feature film of Manipur – ‘Matamgi Manipur’ till date.”

Paban Kumar, a multiple-national award-winning filmmaker himself says that this film takes a look at the life and work of Pabung Syam through the eyes of one of his admirers and student.

Apart from ‘Pabung Syam’, four films from Assam have also been selected for the Indian Panorama. Out of these, three are features.

‘Semkhor’ (Dimasa) by Aimee Baruah, ‘Boomba Ride’ (Mishing) by Biswajeet Bora and ‘Sijou’ (Bodo) by Vishal P Chalia have been selected in the feature section. Kishor Kalita’s documentary ‘Veerangana’ has been selected in the non-feature section.

The festival is being organized by the directorate of film festivals of India, Union ministry of information and broadcasting in collaboration with the state government of Goa, from November 20-28.

The selected films will be showcased to all the registered delegates and representatives from the selected films during the 9 days long film festival in Goa.

The primary aim of the Indian Panorama is to select the feature and non-feature films of cinematic, thematic, and aesthetic excellence for the promotion of film art through the non-profit screening of these films under different categories. Since its inception, the Indian Panorama has been completely devoted to showcasing the best Indian films of the year.

The selection jury comprised of eminent filmmakers and film personalities from across the Indian cine-world. The eminent jury panels, both feature, and non-feature exercise their individual expertise and contribute evenly to the consensus that leads to a selection of Indian Panorama films.

A total of 25 feature films have been selected to be screened during IFFI. Selected from a wide pool of 221 contemporary Indian films, the package of feature films reflects the vibrancy and diversity of the Indian film industry. There are 20 films in the non-feature section.

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