Manipuri documentary film Phum-Shang on 3 February 2016 bagged the prestigious Golden Conch Award for the best documentary film at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Animation and Short Films (MIFF 2016).
The film is directed by Haobam Paban Kumar, an alumnus of the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata.
The 52-minute film critically examines the serious environmental problems faced by the Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in northeast India. The lake is characterised by its unique floating biomass, known as Phumdi, which is the primary source of livelihood for fishermen who live on huts built on the Phumdis.
Paban Kumar was presented with the Golden Conch Award and a cash prize of 3 lakh rupees by the Governor of Maharashtra Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao and State Cultural Minister Vinod Tawde at a ceremony in Mumbai.
Swiss film My Name Is Salt and an Indian film Placebo shared the Golden Conch Award for the best feature length documentary film.
My Name Is Salt is directed by Farida Pacha, It is a film about the journey of thousands of families to the Rann of Kutch to extract the whitest salt in the world. The film also won the award for best cinematography.
The story of Placebo revolves around the stress and pressure faced by medical students due to intense competition.
Other awards given at MIFF 2016
• Debanjan Nandy’s animation film Chhaya bagged the first prize in the animation category of the international competition.
• Mumbai filmmaker Devashish Makhija’s Agli Baar shared the Best Short Fiction Film honours with UK entry Solo Finale by Ingo Putze.
• The Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the best debut film by a director went to Far From Home by Copenhagen-based filmmaker Nitesh Anjan.
• The first ever Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Animation and Short Films was held in 1990.
• The biennial festival is conducted with the active collaboration of Government of Maharashtra and the Indian Documentary Producers’ Association. Mumbai is the permanent venue of the festival.
• MIFF is one of the most prestigious festival in the documentary, short and animation genre at par with International Film Festivals like Leipzig, Berlin, Oberhausen, Cracow and Tampere etc.
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What: Won Golden Conch Award
When: 3 February 2016