Manipur filmmaker Mayanglambam Romi Meitei has achieved international recognition by clinching the Best Director award at the 19th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in Kazan, Russia.
His debut non-commercial film, 'Eikhoigi Yum' (Our Home), garnered this prestigious honor in the midst of stiff competition, with 127 feature films from around the globe participating in various categories.
However, despite this remarkable achievement, Meitei's elation was tempered by the ongoing ethnic conflict that plagues Manipur, his home state. He expressed, "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 an award seems meaningless." His heartfelt plea was for the restoration of peace and normalcy in the region.
Some Russian audience members, aware of Manipur's struggles, echoed Meitei's sentiments and vowed to pray for the swift return of normalcy to the state. Romi Meitei, hailing from Kongba in Imphal East district, was deeply touched by their empathy.
The 89-minute film, 'Eikhoigi Yum,' unfolds its narrative around Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India. Focused on the fishing community facing eviction notices from the government, the film explores the far-reaching consequences of globalization on a remote village.
This economic shift forces residents to relocate in search of livelihoods, highlighting the challenges faced by marginalized communities in a changing world.
Mayanglambam Romi Meitei's recognition on the global stage not only celebrates his artistic prowess but also sheds light on the pressing issues confronting Manipur and its resilient people, yearning for peace and stability.