Imphal: The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has unveiled its list of selected films for the 54th IFFI 2023, to be held from November 20 to 28 in Panjim, Goa with Manipur’s ‘Andro Dreams’ would be the opening film of the Indian Panorama non-feature section.
The event this year will be another shot in the arm of the Manipuri cinema as Meena Longjam’s ‘Andro Dreams’ will be the opening film of the Indian Panorama non-feature section, promising a captivating start to this iconic cinematic journey.
Organised under the aegis of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Indian Panorama segment, considered the festival’s flagship component, will feature a total of 45 films, consisting of 25 feature films and 20 non-feature films.
‘Andro Dreams’ is the third Manipuri non-feature film to achieve the honour of opening the Indian Panorama section. The first film was Aribam Syam’s ‘Yelhou Jagoi’ (1995), after a gap of 21 years, it was followed by Bobo Khuraijam’s ‘Ima Sabitri’ (2016).
Sharing her excitement with Waari Singbul Network, a local online media, Meena Longjam said: “I am extremely happy and it’s great that ‘Andro Dreams’ has been selected as an opening film. I think I’m the first female filmmaker from Manipur to get this honour.”
“I hope this news of ‘Andro Dreams’, showcasing how girls from a small village in Manipur can dream big, will come as a ray of hope for others. I hope we can stay resilient like the protagonists in my movie through this current adversity,” she added.
Another Manipuri filmmaker, Waribam Dorendra, a talented storyteller, who is based in Guwahati, will also make a mark at the 54th IFFI with his non-feature film, ‘Last Meet’. This compelling piece of cinema has earned its place among the selection of films that will grace the IFFI stage.
Dorendra expressed his excitement about the opportunity to showcase his work and contribute to the rich tapestry of Indian cinema at the 54th IFFI 2023, saying: “The film is my own personal journey accompanying my mother to meet my old bedridden uncle in his village home. The movie was not planned beforehand. I was interested in recording the real-life moments unfolding, and yet as a filmmaker, it is possible to take an observer’s position.”
“I am also interested in looking at the physicality of our existence, the relationship we build along the way and the gradual physical decay. The film was shot towards the end of 2016, but final editing was done at the beginning of 2023. In a way, it becomes a family memory album in real-time,” he added.
Dorendra started to shoot the film in October 2016 during his little more than a week’s stay at his uncle’s village in South Assam. However, the editing took a longer time than expected as his machine broke down, and he could complete it only this year after buying a new editing machine.
When asked about his response to the news of two Manipuri films to be honoured at IFFI 2023, filmmaker Bobo Khuraijam, whose film ‘Ima Sabitri’ opened the India Panorama in 2016, said: “I especially welcome Meena to the league of Manipuri’s ‘opening batsmen’ in the Indian Panorama section of IFFI.”