Follow Us:
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Manipur Film Awards: Bishesh Huirem becomes first transgender to win best actor award

Bishesh Huirem received the award for her sterling performance in portraying a transgender character in the film 'Apaiba Leichil' (floating clouds), which also clinched the Special Mention Award.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal |
Updated: April 9, 2022 9:18:08 pm
Bishesh Huirem received the award from Manipur Governor La Ganesan. (Express photo)

In a first in Manipur, 33-year-old transgender actress Bishesh Huirem was honoured with the Best Actor Award in the prestigious Manipur State Film Awards, 2022. Huirem received the award from Manipur Governor La Ganesan.

Huirem received the award for her sterling performance in portraying a transgender character in the film ‘Apaiba Leichil’ (floating clouds), which also clinched the Special Mention Award. Two other actors, a male and a female each, were also honoured with the Best Actor Awards.

🗞️ Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access the best Election reporting and analysis 🗞️

While third gender persons have long been associated with Manipuri cinema when it comes to make-up and costumes, Bishesh Huirem became the first to be honoured with a state film award.

Best of Express Premium

Explained: LIC’s shares are trading at a discount — but here’...Premium
Explained: What are urban heat islands, and why are they worsening during...Premium
Skyfall in Gujarat, expert says likely debris of a Chinese rocketPremium
Chaos in Kandla after ban: 4,000 wheat trucks in queue, 4 ships half-fullPremium

The award distribution ceremony for the 14th Manipur State Film Awards, 2022 was held on Saturday at the Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS).

In an interaction with reporters, Huirem expressed immense joy over third gender artistes in Manipur being given the much deserved recognition.

She also lamented that third gender actors are often given the role of a comic character in popular films. Nevertheless, she observed that the film industry has also started recognising the presence and contribution of transgender persons as in Shumang Leelas (a traditional theatre play).

Bishesh Huirem is a renowned figure amongst the transgender community with many beauty pageant awards under her belt. She had represented India at the Miss International Queen for Transgender held in Thailand in 2016. She has a degree in professional fashion designs from Garden College, Bangalore.

Bobby Wahengbam, director of Apaibi Leichil, noted that the film is among the few that try to portray the struggles of third gender people in society. He also expressed joy over the film being able to achieve a milestone as Manipuri cinema turned 50 years old.

Sunzu Bachaspatimayum, secretary MSFD said, “Normally there are only two categories in the best actor award, that is male and female. But this time we have decided to include the best actor award without any category following the recommendation of the juries for Bishesh’s outstanding performance”.

Sunzu further said the MSFD will put forward a proposal to the government to include a separate category for third gender from next year.

Meanwhile, speaking during the award distribution ceremony, Governor La Ganesan opined that much of the nation’s history is being imparted through movies. Noting that cinema is a powerful medium, Ganesan exhorted the state’s filmmakers to produce films that showcase the diverse and rich culture of Manipur. He also vowed that he will extend all possible support to facilitate the growth of Manipuri cinema.

The award for the Best Feature Film was won by ‘Eikhoigi Yum’ directed by Romi Meitei and produced by Chingshubam Sheetal. The best Direction Award was handed over to Bobby Haobam for the film ‘Rongdaife’.

As for the non-feature section, the Best Non-Feature Film Award was bagged by ‘Ayekpasinggi Pukkei’ directed by Debendra Thiyam and produced by Brojeshwori Maibam. The film also won awards for Best Film of a Debut Director, Best Audiographer, Best Music Direction and Best Voice Over or narration. ‘Pabung Syam’ directed by Haobam Paban Kumar and produced by Films Division, Mumbai, won the Best Biographical Film. The film also won the award for Best Director.

For all the latest North East India News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard