Manipuri film “Lady of the Lake” slated for its European Premiere at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival 2017
Indian Panorma 2016 Manipuri ﬁlm “Lady of the Lake” slated for its European Premiere at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival 2017: Satinder Mohan, Jury Member, Indian Panorma 2016.
I had the honour to be the part of Jury of Indian Panorma 2016. Out of 230 feature ﬁ lms put to the Jury for selection of Indian Panorma ﬁlms , 22 ﬁlms were selected. “Lady of the Lake” was very much liked by all the members of the Jury and was immediately selected because of it’s intensity. There was very good response of the ﬁlm at 47 th International Film Festival of India held at Goa in Nov 2016.
Haoban Paban Kumar’s award-winning debut feature in Manipuri language ‘Lady of the Lake’ will make its European Premiere at the 67 th Berlin International Film Festival 2017, one of the world’s most celebrated ﬁlm festivals to be held from 9-19 February 2017.The movie made its World Premiere at the 21st Busan International Film Festival, 2016 and Indian Premiere at 18th Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), where it won the Golden Gateway Award for the Best Indian Film.
The ﬁlm will be screened in the ‘International Forum of New Cinema’, which is considered to be the most daring section of the Berlinale featuring avant-garde, experimental works, political reportage and yet-to-be-discovered cinematic landscapes.
The lady of the Lake starring real life couples Ningthoujam Sanatomba and Sagolsam Thambasang is a story about a depressed ﬁsherman, Tomba who gets a gun accidentally. He marvels with the gun as his power of self-protection. He transforms himself to an assertive man who believes that guns can solve all problems. The movie was shot entirely in Loktak Lake – the largest fresh water lake in North East India, which has a unique ecosystem, where people live on ﬂoating huts, built on ﬂoating biomass called Phumdis.
Directed and produced by Haoban Paban Kumar, ‘ Lady of the Lake’ made its World Premiere in the category Asian New Currents (Competition Section) at the 21st Busan International Film Festival 2016.The ﬁ lm was screened in over 10 prestigious international and national ﬁ lm festivals and won 4 awards including Golden Gateway Award (For the Best Indian Film) at 18th Mumbai Film Festival 2016 (MAMI), where it had its Indian Premiere and was selected in the Indian Panorama at 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa. The ﬁ lm won NETPAC Award (Asian Select) at the 22nd Kolkata International Film Festival, 2016 and recently won the Special Jury Award at the 15th Pune International Film Festival 2017.
Delighted on Berlinale being the 11th Film Festival of his debut feature length movie, award-winning documentary ﬁlmmaker Haoban Paban Kumar says, “I have been making documentaries for the last 10-12 years. But when you do your ﬁrst ﬁction feature ﬁlm you are under lot of pressure. I am lucky that my ﬁlm got its World Premiere in the Competition section of the prestigious 21st Busan International Film Festival 2016 and now it is having its European Premiere at the prestigious 67th Berlin International Film Festival 2017.”
Loktak Lake is a unique ecosystem where ﬁshermen lived in huts built on ﬂoating biomasses. In 2011 the authorities, in the name of protecting serenity of the ecosystem, burnt down hundreds of these crumbly huts leaving thousands of ﬁshermen homeless. Tomba, one of the victims, lives with a harrowing nightmare of looming displacement since then. He is haunted by seamless fear of further intervention of authorities that would make him homeless forever. Conﬁned in his makeshift hut, Tomba senses the spirit of evil around, while his wife Thambalsang works hard to make their living. One ﬁne morning Tomba accidentally ﬁnds a gun hidden within the biomass. He marvels with the gun as his power of self-protection. He transforms himself to an assertive man who is looking for an appropriate offense. One day an old lady who mysteriously wanders in the lake, knocks at his door in the middle of the night. Fearful Tomba, anticipating the lady as the spirit of all evils, chases her and commits an unintended crime.
Haobam Paban Kumar is one of the leading documentary ﬁlmmaker of the country. He has a 3 Year Post Graduate Diploma in Direction & Screenplay writing from Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata. Haobam came to limelight with the documentary ‘AFSPA 1958’ winning the International Jury and FIPRESCI award at the 9th Mumbai International Film Festival 2006. The ﬁlm also won the ‘Swarna Kamal’ for the Best Documentary at the 56th National Film Awards 2008. Some of his other notable ﬁlms are ‘Ngaihak Lambida’, ‘A cry in the dark’, ‘The ﬁrst leap’, ‘MR India’, ‘Ruptured Spring’, ‘Nupishabi’ etc. Haobam has 5 National Film Awards and 6 Indian Panorama Selections to his credit. His last documentary ‘Phum Shang’ is one of the successful Indian ﬁlms in recent years sweeping won the prestigious Golden Conch for the Best Documentary at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival 2016. The ﬁlm Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the lake) is his debut ﬁction feature ﬁlm.
I Congratulate Haobam Paban Kumar on the great grand success of Lady of the Lake , which happens to be his ﬁst debut feature ﬁlm. I wish him greater success in his future endeavors.