Manipuri movie “Phum Shang” has won the Golden Conch award for the best documentary film (up to 60 minutes) at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for Documentary, Animation and Short Films, which ended on February 3, in Mumbai.
Swiss drama “My Name is Salt” and Indian entry “Placebo” shared the Gold Conch award for the best feature length documentary film.
52-minute long “Phum Shang”, directed by Hao Bam Pabankumar, who is an alumnus of the Satyjit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata, presents the serious environmental problems faced at the Loktak lake.
Pabankumar also won a cash prize of Rs 3 lakhs.
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony.
Rao said he wished to see a dedicated one-hour time slot in Doordarshan for documentaries and short films, apart from screening of these films in school.
“I urge our minister for education and culture to look into screening of documentaries and short films in schools and colleges in the state…I am sure, exposure to good short films will make the learning informative and entertaining,” he said.
“I urge the authorities to fix a one hour time slot in DD for the screening of best short films… I also feel film appreciation courses should be provided in our universities and I would seek the cooperation of film division and film and television institute of India,” Rao added.
Maharashtra Culture Minister Vinod Tawde said he wants to encourage young filmmakers to try different subjects.
“These talent needs backing from government. Instead of helping feature films, I would like to help documentaries and short films,” he added.
Veteran filmmaker Ramesh Sippy, who was the guest of honour at the event, said documentary and short films are difficult to make as compared to commercial cinema.
“Films in commercial cinema are very glamorous to make. These are the difficult ones. Animation films are also very difficult to do, takes a long time to create that… I think all the encouragement needs to go there… We have come a long way and seem to be going better all the time.”
MIFF brand ambassador and actor Jackie Shroff along with Mukesh Sharma, director general, Film Division of India were also present.
“My name is salt”, helmed by Mumbai born, Zurich based Farida Pacha, is about the journey of thousands of families to the Rann of Kutch to extract whitest salt in the world.
The movie also won the best cinematographer award forLutz Konermann.
Chandigarh-based filmmaker Abhay Kumar’s “Placebo” explores the stress and pressure faced by medical students.
Besides the Gold Conch award, the drama also won the award for best editor and was declared the most innovative film in the competition section.
Debanjan Nandy’s animation film “Chhaya” bagged the first prize in the animation category of international competition.
Mumbai filmmaker Devashish Makhija’s “Agli Baar”shared the best short fiction film honours with the UK entry “Solo Finale”, by Ingo Putze.
Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the best debut film of a director was given to “Far From Home” by Denmark-based Nitesh Anjan.
The international jury comprised prominent documentary makers Don Askarian from Germany, Jesper Andersen from Denmark, Mathiue Roy of Canada, Siddharth Kak and Gitanjali Rao.
Mike Pandey, Uma DaCunha, Biju Dhanapalan, Audrius Stonys (Lithuania) and Jane Yu (Taiwan) are the members of the National Jury.
MIFF 2016 screened over 385 films under sections like international and national competition, MIFF Prism, Indian Premiers, Jury retrospectives, Animation and award winning films, Children’s documentary films, North East package, FD and PSBT (Public Service Broadcasting Trust) films and homages.