Manipur filmmaker Mayanglambam Romi Meitei

Manipur filmmaker Mayanglambam Romi Meitei has bagged the best director award for his debut non-commercial film ‘Eikhoigi Yum’ (Our Home) at the 19th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in Kazan, Russia.

In August, he won the best feature film in Manipuri in the language specified in the Schedule VIII of the (Indian) Constitution category for the same flick at the 69th National Films Awards 2021, a DIPR report said.

A whooping 127 feature films from across the world vied for various award categories during the five-day Kazan film festival that culminated on September 9. Despite bagging the famed award, Meitei didn’t express his fullest elation, considering the unceasing ethnic conflict besieging Manipur, the report also said.

“I would be happier winning this award had there been no conflict in Manipur. The ongoing clash has rendered thousands homeless, and in this situation bagging award seems meaningless,” he said while praying for restoration of peace normalcy in the state.

Some of the Russian audience, who are aware of Manipur conflict, even said they would pray for normalcy to return to the state very soon, said Romi, a resident of Kongba in Imphal East district.

The 89-minute ‘Eikhoigi Yum’ revolves in and around Loktak Lake, the biggest fresh water lake in the Northeast India region. With the fishing community facing eviction notice from the government, the film is a narrative on the impact of globalization on a small remote village which causes the residents to move away in an attempt to eke out a livelihood, the report added.

Meanwhile, Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS) secretary Sunzu Bachaspatimayum said: “Despite the turmoil whirling in Manipur, Manipuri cinema continues to make its mark with Shri Romi Meitei’s ‘Eikhoigi Yum’”.

Among other hordes of honours, Romi’s ‘Eikhoigi Yum’ also won the best feature film award at the 14th Manipur International Film Festival held in Imphal in 2022, he said.

“A big congratulations to Shri Romi and ‘Eikhoigi Yum’ cast and crew. Shri Romi Meitei has made Manipur proud again winning the best director’s award,” added Sunzu.

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