Ode – 6 : To Ms. Tonthoi & Manipuri Films


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JUNE 05 , 2012           00.45 A.M.

Does the name Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi ring a familiar bell ?

Does even Tonthoi ring a familiar sound ?

Does this photograph even remotely remind you of anybody ?

Tonthoi

Tonthoi

I know the answer is , NO .

Now just go through this photo of 59th National Film Awards .

Tonthoi Receiving Best Supporting Actor's Award

Tonthoi Receiving Best Supporting Actress Award

Who is the girl receiving award from Vice President of India ?

I know , the answer will again be a firm , NO .

And this is unfortunate . This is shameful . This is disgusting , to say the least .

I would like to add that when I say this , I don’t exclude myself . My crime is greater . My sin is rather unpardonable . Because I belong to film fraternity . I train actors . And I am doing this job since 1990 . If I , in spite of being a part of the film industry for 22 long years , do not know or recognize  Tonthoi , the National Award winning actress from Manipur , what could I expect from common public ?

When the 59th National Film Awards were announced , I went through the list . I was happy for Vidya Balan . But I did not care to know or remember that the National Award for Best Supporting Actress went to a Manipuri actress , Ms. LeishangthemTonthoingambi Devi a.k.a. Tonthoi . Everyone knows that Vidya Balan won the award forDirty PictureBut ask even the connoisseurs about Tonthoi and her film . Even they will fail to name the Manipuri film for which Tonthoi won the award . I came to know about the film through a recent article of Times of India . Name of the Manipuri film is ; ” Phijigee Mani ” .

Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi

Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi

Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi

Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi

It is unfortunate . We are appalled when we hear some voices of cessation  in some North – Eastern state . We squirm when we hear that 7 states of North East India is different from India and should be allowed to secede . At that time we become nationalists . But a 24-year-old actress from Manipur wins National Award for her film and we fail to know the name of the actress and her film .

I don’t know about others but I am ashamed and I cannot pardon myself . Through this blog I offer an open apology to Tonthoi , Manipuri film industry and people of Manipur .

Tonthoi

Tonthoi

Of late Manipuri film industry is a robust industry . It produces 30 / 40 films per year . To not know about Manipuri film industry is shameful .

History of Manipuri Films

Manipuri movies were properly made from 1972. Earlier these were mostly documentary in nature. Feature films came into vogue much later.

The first Manipuri movie was ” Matamgi Manipur ” [ 1972 ] . It was directed by Debkumar Kumar Bose. It was one of the Manipuri movies that received the President`s Medal in 20th National Film Festival in 1972.

Some of the other notable Manipuri movies are as follows:

” Brojendragee Luhongba ” [ 1972 ] : Directed by S.N Chand the film won the Best screenplay Award in the 1st state Film Festival in 1984.

” Lamja Pasuram ” [ 1974 ] : This flick was directed by Aribam Shyam Sharma.

” Ngak-E-Ko Nangshe ” [ 1974 ] : It was a S.N. Chand film.

” Saphabee ” [ 1976 ] :  Directed by Aribam Shyam Sharma it bagged Rajat Kamal for Best Regional Film at the National award ceremony in 1976.

” Olangthagee Wangmadasu ” [ 1980 ] : 4 years later history repeated itself with this film when it bagged Rajat Kamal for Best Regional Film in 1980. This particular Manipuri movie was directed by Aribam Shyam Sharma.

” Imagi Ningthem ” [ 1981 ] : another film by Aribam Shyam Sharma , it grabbed the Rajat Kamal for Best Regional Film at the National Awards ceremony (1982), Best Feature Film Award in the 1st Manipur State Film festival, Grand Prix Award at Nantes International Film festival in France (1981) and National Award for Best Child Actor (Master Leikhendra). The film was also screened at several international film festivals.

Other Manipuri movies are : ” Khonjel ” [ 1981 ] , ” Wangma Wangma ” [ 1981 ] , ” Paokhum Ama ” [ 1983 ] , ” Sanakeithel ” [ 1983 ] , ” Thaba ” [ 1984 ] , ” Langlen Thadoi ” [ 1984 ] , ” Yairipok Thambalnu ” [ 1984 ] , ” Iche Sakhi ” [ 1986 ] , ” Kombirei ” [ 1989 ] , ” Ishanou ” [ 1990 ] , ” Ingallei ” [ 1990 ] , ” Paap ” [ 1991 ] , ” Khonthang ” [ 1992 ] , ” Sambal Wangma ” [ 1993 ] , ” Thambal ” [ 1993 ] , ” Madhabee ” [ 1993 ] , ” Mayophygee Macha ” [ 1994 ] , ” Sanamanbi Sanarei” [ 1995 ] , ” Sanabi ” [ 1995 ] , ” Khamba Khamnu ” [ 1995 ] , ” Kanaga Hinghouni ” [ 1996 ] , ” Khamba Thoibi ” [ 1997 ] , ” Chinglensana ” [ 1997 ] .

Amongst these ” Sanakeithel ” [ 1983 ] , ” Ishanou ” [ 1990 ] , ” Sambal wangma ” [ 1993 ] , ” Mayophygee Macha ” [ 1994 ] , ” Sanabi ” [ 1995 ] , won National Awards (Rajat Kamal) .

[ I have taken information about Manipuri films from various sources and sites available on internet . ]

I have very little connection with Manipur . I have just one student from the province . His name is Prasanjeet Sinha .

Prasanjeet Sinha

Prasanjeet Sinha

I hope to rectify this error soon . I would be visiting Manipur in near future . I promise to interact with the Manipuri film industry . This blog is a baby step in that direction .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

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4 Responses

  1. indeed it is sad that Manipuri films which has won several awards still does not register much attention. While the filmmaking in the past has been much expensive for the filmmakers in Manipur, digital mechanisms seems to have encouraged several to make their attempts in the craft of film. You have certainly given a long list of films, but i dare say it has not included my favourite one in the more recent times – Mami Sami.

    Like

  2. Hi Vidur,
    Its heartening to see the amount of research you have put in. Another film worth mentioning in your list would be “Madhabi”. Udit Narayan had sung few songs for this film (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxao-zpz4W8)

    Like

  3. VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE.
    WAITING FOR YOU IN MANIPUR.
    MANIPUR “A PLACE WHERE ALL PEOPLE HAVE TALENTS BUT HAVE NO CHANCE TO EXPOSE”

    Like

    • Hi Sendash ,

      Thanks a lot for liking my blog post. I do wish to make documentary on Manipur and visit the place. Let us pray it happens soon.

      Like

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