- Created on Thursday, 05 December 2013 20:07
- Published Date
- Written by naorem nishikanta singh
- Category: Cinema
- Hits: 764
A Manipuri documentary film “Gun and a God”, by a young filmmaker Sonia Nepram, projects the issue of the status of women in Manipur. This film won the Jury’s Choice Award at the prestigious Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival (MWIFF) held in October this year.
Behind the Scene
Sonia Nepram was born and brought up at Thongju, Imphal East in a humble yet huge family. She is presently residing at Uripok. She studied at Little Flower School and Human Resource Development (HRD) Academy in Imphal. She completed her graduation and later, Masters in Mass Communication from Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi. Since then, she has been working on films, based on varying themes such as gender issues, survival of women in a patriarchal society and against domestic violence, the negative effects of law and order and so on.
Previously, Sonia had received special awards for her student film “Limited Edition” at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. The film also won a Silver award at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and bagged the second prize in the Students’ International Film Festival held in Indraprastha College, New Delhi. This film was screened in the Jeevika Asia Livelihood Film Festival, 2010. The young emerging filmmaker had also recently participated in the Film Appreciation Course in Pune, which was jointly organized by the Film and Television Institute of India and National Film Archive of India. She also dabbles in still photography.
Sonia has been exposed to documentary films on different cultures and traditions. The new wave of documentary filmmaking has been a source of her inspiration.
The Gun, the God and the Film
Back home in a local daily, Sonia came across an article — about Purnima, a former insurgent from Manipur, born to a mentally unfit mother and an unknown father. This triggered the inception stage of her acclaimed film, “Gun and a God”.
It was very difficult for Sonia to convince her subject to be a part of this film. It took her almost a year, and she had to put in tremendous courage to go ahead with such a subject and do justice to it simultaneously. It was very difficult to find crew members for her production in Manipur. Then, she consulted her cousins, was introduced to Akee Sorokhaibam and together, they formed a small crew for the project.
The best moment during the production of the film was when Sonia went to meet Purnima’s mother, Kunjeshori, while the latter was under treatment. This film has not been just a documentary — but had gone beyond control — it had no script or dialogue. It seemed as if the project was documenting the real things, much more than making a film. Nobody could guess what would happen the next second.
The film shows the struggle of a solitary, forbidden and betrayed woman. Sonia contends that the women of Manipur have been glorified for their movements against all kinds of injustice. Yet, prejudices rule the roost. Her films can be an eye-opener for the womenfolk.
The film was released on YouTube to get more exposure. The appreciation and audience response have been beyond her expectation, she adds.
During the project, she encountered shortcomings during post production. The subject and the story were so strong and touching that she did not want to cut out any part of the interview footage. Another challenge was being a woman filmmaker in Manipur. For instance, she had to convince her mother when she had to work at night.
Sometimes they went beyond the scheduled time so as to cover the important clips and to grasp the facts. They even carried power generator to interview spots to overcome the power cuts. Her mother had figured out the budget of the film. She has no commercial motives or financial benefits from the film. What Sonia wanted was only the audience response.
The best part of the project was her involvement in all the stages from inception to promotion. She was involved in all the pre- and post-production activities, from framing the camera and light, to transportation. This 31-minute long, One Inch Production film took one year to complete and the post production was completed at the Heima! Films.
The Way Ahead
Sonia Nepram is currently working on her second film, based on Manipuri Fanek.
She admits she loves to work on women’s issues in Manipur. She welcomes all kinds of suggestions and feedbacks. She is as well closely associated with women’s organizations in Manipur. She aspires to create more awareness and bring about a change in attitude and behavior of people towards women.
In her words, “Our society is very rigid towards women. However, I have to fight against all odds”.
Original Podcast is available at FindingTheVoices.com by MONICA INGUDAM (Episode-38)
- Created on Thursday, 07 November 2013 21:18
- Published Date
- Written by naorem nishikanta singh
- Category: Cinema
- Hits: 536
Source : Finding The Voices
Bhumenjoy, the emerging animation filmmaker from Khundrakpam, Imphal has been sharing his ups and downs of life and how he remained glued to multimedia and took up the challenging job of making Keibu-Kei-Oiba, the first Manipuri animation film based on a popular folktale. This story has been dwelling in the folklore of Manipur since olden days.
No Child’s Play
The successful production of the film was the outcome of team work of five likeminded persons. The project of making an animation film was not a child’s play although the film basically focused on children, he recounted. Manipur is a place of different shortcomings and the team had to produce a standard film with limited softwares and hardwares, which were available in hand at that time. Bhumenjoy put up the proposal on the desk before his companions –Ailan, Sirish, Dominic and Satyen, who were his work-mates and close friends. They discussed in detail of the project. The company of five eventually stuck to the final resolution wherein Bhumenjoy took the major initiative while his friends were ready to help him financially. He started the process of making the film at the cost of his job in 2007.
The maiden step of Bhumenjoy was a big challenge of making an 84-minute animated film. He already had the experience of making short commercials and short films of few seconds and few minutes. But this time the whole project was based on his knowledge, and the production duration went beyond the expected time. Film production needs great involvement of many professionals – scriptwriter, music composer and dialogue writer etc, and above that, making an animation film need drawings, animation, voice-over etc. Bhumenjoy recruited three students from Manipur, and brought them to Pune to accompany him in drawings. The students were trained for 2-3 months and made them learn computer and its applications with the vision that it might be an initial step for their career in multimedia. The team put in a lot of effort in making the movie consulting and researching many things so that it could be articulated well in terms of music and dialogue.
Challenges on Bhumenjoy’s Way
The first obstacle in this project was the remaking of storyline. There was no written volume of Keibu-Kei-Oiba’s story. Bhumenjoy had to develop the story of the film from the folktale. It needed thorough understanding and great efforts in creating the characters to visualize the tale within a storyline. The story was then reproduced in drawings. So he needed a strong script which could bring lives to the characters drawn either on the paper or in the computer. He did research on every single detail that came up in the story. The interesting thing in his project was that no video-camera was used in making the whole film. The characters and scenes were drawn in different camera angles, which was really exhausting physically and psychologically, he added.
Keibu-Kei-Oiba was a unique character of a human-tiger. And this half-man-half-tiger creature had to deliver dialogue in the film. The facial structure was made a little bit contorted from the real tiger to adjust with human voice and the action of speaking during the process of digitalization. And it came as a big challenge to Bhumenjoy in visualizing the characters of Keibu-Kei-Oiba, the conjoined character of a man and a beast. The production team did use faded colours while drawing to fiddle with the story.
Creation of Thabaton’s Character
Creation of seven brothers and the youngest innocent pretty sister, Thabaton was another challenge. In the story, Thabaton’s age must be around 16 to 20 years old and accordingly the eldest brother must be 30 or so and a bachelor too. It was hard to develop the facial and physical structures of seven different brothers and a sister of a single family within the age range of 10 to 14 years. Balancing the characters and creating look-alike brothers and sister cost lots of labour, he recounted. Developing Thabaton’s character took lots of time comparing to others as Bhumenjoy was not an expert in drawing women’s portrait. He took references from other pictures and photos of women, kept on trying by keeping in his mind about her hairstyle, eye, height, dress and all until he got the final innocent face of Thabaton.
Regarding background music, Sori Senjam had to work so hard to develop a suitable composition and he faced tough time in engaging musicians as the law and order was too bad at that time in Manipur. At last, he came out with the perfect tunes and beats. With regards to dialogues, Bhumenjoy consulted renowned Manipuri ethnic scholar, Hemochandra alias Khaba. In response to it, Khaba rebuilt the long gone words, traditional style of speaking as well the nature of expression as a part of Bhumenjoy’s research work. The voice over artistes who joined the team with heart and soul were popular artistes, Bishwamittra, Kalpana, and Joseph for the characters like Keibu-Kei-Oiba, Thabaton and the thief and crow respectively. Joseph added a hilarious dialogue on his own during dubbing – “Eikhoi-na khara singba huranba oibagee khut-ta teijabei wani, apangba huran-ba sing-ga oiradi masi khong-na net-ladouni”. Contributions from other artistes from drama and theatre were also remarkable. The voice over of the old grandmother was not of an old woman, Bhumenjoy recounted. The voice over artistes needed to see the animated scenes to harmonize with the pictures, and animation needed sound clips to build up the facial expression. In such circumstances, Bhumenjoy made the artistes visualize the picture of the situation and explained it precisely to them. Actually, voice recording preceded animated visuals production and the engagement of drama and theatre artistes held a great advantage.
Bishwamittra’s fine expression of both human and animal instincts effect on eating fruit and vegetable was really great, Bhumenjoy added. The paramount efforts of production group were less known to the audience but their appreciation, children’s interest and enjoyment when they watched the film were much above all.
Preserving folktales in Visual Medium
Bhumenjoy’s idea of production of Keibu-Kei-Oiba in animated film was to preserve the nearly extinct folktales. “The traditional forms of entertainment, which imbibe moral values, like in the short sequence in “Kekoo Lotpi”, and the narration of folktales by our grandparents as bed-time stories are vanishing from our minds replacing gradually by the taste of the new media. So, I prefer to preserve the folk tales by remaking and presenting it in the visual medium which will remain forever and ever, Bhumenjoy said.
- Created on Friday, 25 October 2013 00:00
- Published Date
- Written by Amukhomba Ngangbam
- Category: Cinema
- Hits: 338
His life was full of hardships and he used to struggle hard for survival. At the very young age, he began earning for his family and education by working as a day labourer in the field. However, Rakesh Naorem has not only braved all those odds in life but also mould himself into a promising writer-film producer.
33-year-old Rakesh Naorem, hailing from Tentha Khongbal, Thoubal district, is the youngest son among his five siblings. Since his father could not look after the family properly, they were mainly brought up by their mother Naorem Ongbi Borni with her meagre income earned from selling fish. His mother used to catch fish from Ikop Lake and sold it at Wangjing Bazar.
When he was young, their family had enough property and a vast paddy field. However, almost all their family estate was sold out due to extreme poverty. Now, the family does not possess even a piece of paddy field, Rakesh revealed while talking to Manipur Times.
In the journey of his film career, Rakesh Naorem has so far produced four non-feature films under the banner of Ipak Films - Kathokpagi Shaklon(documentary film released on 20 January, 2009), Sageigi Sanarei (short film released on June 6, 2009), Tollabashingi Tollen (documentary film released on June 6, 2009), Numit Mana Tadringei (short Film released on September 27, 2009) and three feature films - Shakhenbi Iteima (released on June 5, 2012), Phongdoknadringei (released on January 7, 2013), Ngaina Ngaina (released on May 13, 2013).
At present, three Manipuri feature films - Leiyisigi Wangmada, Thamoida Kiramba Kishi and Eegi Khongul are under process for release before January, 2014.
Rakesh’s Past Life
Sharing the hardship days of his past life, he said, “There were two staff namely Iche Premila from Khurai and Iche Abe from Singjamei. The duo used to collect bulk quantities of fruits like Heikru (Amla) and Heitup from Pallel and Chandel town. They prepared packaged pickles from the fruits and sold them to me at Rs8 per dozen. Afterwards, the said packaged pickles are sold to the shops of Kakching Keithel, Wabagai Lamkhai, Langmeidong, Sekmaijin Thongkhong, Uchiwa Lamkhai, Mayang Imphal and Shamurou Bazar by riding a bicycle. In fact, it was big struggle for me for survival. I have never told these hardships of life even to my family”.
Moreover, he along with his friend Milan from Kakching, on every Sundays, went to various nook and corner of Bamon Leikai, Singjamei areas to sell household items such as pan, gas lighter, belt, spoon as company salesmen.
He worked as a collector of a private bank, Manipur Financial Institute, for some time as well. The bank paid him Rs350 a month. In 1999, he went here and there as a private tutor by staying at Kakching.
Narrating a tragic story of his life, Rakesh said, “We lived in a thatched house. A tall Yongchak tree was there at the backside of our house. One day, a violent cyclone uprooted the tree and fell on our house. My brothers and sisters escaped unhurt luckily. The incident took place when my mother went to market and father was out of station for earning. My family, being unable to build a new house, had to take shelter at the Mamang Sanggoi (extended outhouse) of Pabung Iboyai. Now all my sisters and brothers have got married. I am also married and blessed with two daughters namely, Sinthoi and Athoibi”.
How Rakesh Started Writing
Before entering into filmmaking, Rakesh began his career as a writer. One day some organisers of Loktak Festival visited the private bank in which he was working for donation bringing some pamphlets. After reading the pamphlets, he wrote an article about the degrading condition of Loktak Lake. The article under the caption “Chaba Thaklaga Phee Mulliba Loktak Project” was sent to Sangai Express. The said newspaper published it widely which encouraged me more to write more and more articles afterwards. In course of time, Rakesh met many writers of Kakching such as Naorem Kalimohon, Pukhrambam Rajen, and Naorem, Gunadhar.
He joined Kakching based Chingkheihunba Khorjei Lup and Macha Chanu etc. After meeting with the members of these organisations, he was inspired to write more and more. Oja Shri Lekhak, who was the Advisor of the two organisations, guided the young writers.
Rakesh also learnt theatre under Kha Manipur Dramatic Union, Kakching under Theatre Gurus like Kalimohon and Utamkumar. In a play entitled Lakpa, he essayed the role of Biren. From 1999 to 2003, he did many works by staying at Kakching. He started contributing articles, short stories, poems etc for newspapers like Hueiyen Lanpao, Ireibak, Iramdam etc. He also presented many short stories and poems on Naharolgi Khonjel programme of All India Radio, Imphal. Basically, Kakching is the second home of Rakesh as his life has a close relation with the environment of Kakching.
Rakesh said, “A big turning point came in my life right from the month of March, 2003. This is the period during which all my brothers got married and began searching for better opportunities for their lives. I started earning as a private security guard under New Generation Career Consultant located at Canchipur, opposite to Manipur University main gate”.
Rakesh worked as a security guard at Sika Higher Secondary School and special regular English School, Nambol. He got Rs1,500 only as monthly salary from the job.
“Sitting on the chair at the school gate, I wrote many articles, short stories. In 2004, under the guidance of OC Meira from Lamlai, I joined Kangleipak Loinsillon Apunba Marup (KLAM), a writers’ group in Manipur. For the first time in my life, a short story book entitled Washaktugi Cheina was published under the guidance of K Sanahongba Mangang, president of KLAM. After this, Ekhenglakta Kangleipak (Sumang Kumei) was published in 2008”, recalled Rakesh.
Under the aegis of Patriotic Writers Forum, Manipur, Inamma (Radio play, 2009), The Shining Star (Biography of Laishram Nabakishore, 2009), Ningshinglubada Tripuragi Khongchat (2011) were published.
In 2008, he left the job of security guard as film director OC Meira suggested him to produce some films. He was afraid of the suggestion in view of his poor family background. After a deliberate discussion, a documentary film entitled Kathokpagi Shaklon based on the life of Padamashri Laishram Nabakishore was released on January 20, 2009 at MDU hall. For producing a Manipuri feature film, a producer normally invests Rs5 lakh to Rs10 lakh, Rakesh said.
Manipuri Film Industry
Regarding present trend of Manipuri film industry, Rakesh said, “The market of Manipuri film is limited that almost all the producers hardly get profit. With the number of cine goers in cinema halls is decreasing day by day and production of less number of quality films, the fate of Manipuri films is uncertain. While the fate of Manipuri films is uncertain, piracy culture has started making havoc to film production as well. The present revenue collection of Manipuri film producers is so less that the total expenditure of hiring charges of cinema halls and government taxes is higher than that of the revenue collected from screening a film in the cinema halls of Imphal. So far, film activists in Manipur hardly get facilities from Manipur Film Development Corporation (MFDC). When a producer releases a film in MFDC auditorium, the corporation charges a producer Rs35,000. For other programmes, it charges Rs17,000. MFDC does not permit a producer to use its equipment outside Manipur for shooting as well. Until and unless a film policy is implemented by the government, Manipuri film industry will not enjoy its due promotion. The growth of Manipuri film industry is slow due to the present market condition”.
“I dream to be one of the successful producers so that I can contribute more towards the development of Manipuri film industry. We need to respect each other and work for building up a society of equals. Support from our people is a must for future survival of Manipuri cinema”, observed Rakesh.
- Created on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 21:38
- Published Date
- Written by naorem nishikanta singh
- Category: Cinema
- Hits: 379
Source : Finding The Voices
Determination and passion always bring success to everybody. The extraordinary determination of Bhumenjoy Konsam is the major factor why he could mould his passion into a successful career. Born to a government school principal and a housewife hailing from Khundrakpam, a small town located 8 km away from Imphal, Bhumenjoy is the youngest among four siblings – one sister and three brothers. He studied at Tiny Tots Unique School, Dewlahland up to 10th Standard and completed his higher secondary education from Manipur Public School, Koirengei.
Bhumenjoy opened up on how he chose multimedia as his career after studying Chemistry in B. Sc. and M. Sc. Although, he got admission for M. Sc. Chemistry in Pune University, his passion for art since childhood never moved him away from getting into multimedia. After three months of his enrollment in M. Sc. in 1997, he was still indecisive about his career. He could not frame a clear picture of his future with the stepwise academic process. Bhumenjoy was in complete dilemma – he neither had the right answer to the question over his career nor had anybody to guide him. He got negative responses from those who didn’t have any idea of his passion when he talked about discontinuing his M. Sc. Even though it was really difficult to follow his mind as many of his friends and relatives raised eyebrows when he talked about giving up the conventional education, Bhumenjoy followed his passion with his father’s support.
Photo Credit : Courtesy of Finding The Voices and Bhumenjoy Konsam
Being a teacher, his father did not object the wish of his son and asked him to go ahead if his heart had the trusted. At the same time there was nobody to guide him and he never got any idea regarding his career and job prospects by pursuing M. Sc. So he ended his path of pursuing M. Sc. and Ph. D.
FINALLY, HE GOT INTO MULTIMEDIA
He joined a One Year Diploma Course in Multimedia at Arena Multimedia Institute. But still he was unable to answer the question, which was lingering in his mind since many years back. He established an alternative answer to it. He compromised himself and to his near and dear ones by stating that he was preparing for competitive exams. He said that he did not know why he chose that path. Forget multimedia, he did not have any knowledge about computer then. Drawing was his passion and he used to draw everything that came in his mind. He got influenced by the pictures in the comic books when he was young and he kept on doing that alone. He never went for drawing or painting classes in any school or art centre, but his great enthusiasm of art could make him a good painter or artist. And this strong passion helped him in taking the daring step of leaving M. Sc.
ANOTHER CROSSROAD TROUBLED HIM
God helps those who have the will to do something. The first competitive exam which Bhumenjoy cracked in his life was Combined Defense Services (CDS) Exam. All his friends and relatives wished him and asked him to join the army job as it was the best chance and it was not easy to get a good government job which would provide a secured life.
The tradition for insisting to grab a good job and live an easy life was adopted by the elders/parents no matter what was in the minds of their children regarding their interest, desire, passion, devotion and enthusiasm. And it is still a difficult situation to compromise, which is still prevailing in our society. At the completion of six months of his diploma course, he got a job offer in a multimedia company. Bhumenjoy was in dilemma again, standing at the crossroad of two different paths; one presumably went towards a secured life while other went to his passion. At that time too, he did not leave his passion, he picked the multimedia job even though the package was meager.
LIFE IN MULTIMEDIA
He put a step ahead in his long time dream by doing the job in the multimedia industry and it was his wish too. But he faced troubles there in the industry too, he recounted.
Life before getting a job is a struggle, and after getting a job is a battle. The industrial experiences he faced were numerous no matter how big or small it was. He had to follow the schedules, go forth and back from work as if the time was governing his life every day. He could not share the happy moments with his friends like he did during college life neither he could sleep nor wake up late and bunk the job. After experiencing such new environment for around two-three years, he adapted himself to his new world.
Bhumenjoy said, “No matter how good a job is, if the person is not willing to do it then it is the worst job”. He began to shift his job from one company to another along with better position in his career and better experience. His creativity of art and making animation began improving gradually, he said and it was due to the experiences he got from his work-mates and different companies.
In 2007 he took a crucial decision to leave his job searching for a better profession. And it was the second time he faced similar insistences not to do it from his friends and family members as his position in the multimedia industry was good. Whatever he did and worked were for others, not for self recognition and his long-dream passion. Bhumenjoy is a man of strong determination, so he decided to leave the job. He took that extreme risk after persistent analysis but not just blindly.
LIFE IN ANIMATION
Bhumenjoy then began to work for commercial animations and other short films which was the initial point of making Keibu-Kei-Oiba. He began to work on designing and animation for new media like i-phone and its application, human interface applications and user interaction programmes. Now he is working in Clear Points Learning, an American based e-Learning company experimenting User experience design. He deals with both 2D and 3D animations in which he prefers 2D for having broad market. According to him, making of 3D animation is costly, complex, time consuming and need involvement of many new software and hardware.
Bhumenjoy shares his thought that if you are well passionate about multimedia, then follows it. One can set up a good career in multimedia. Nobody should walk on the path somebody pushes to if he doesn’t like.
- Created on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 00:00
- Published Date
- Written by James Khangenbam
- Category: Cinema
- Hits: 226
Television and cine foundation Manipur is a forum for film producers, film makers, film artists, actors, technicians, critics to bring about a better film culture and film movement in Manipur in both feature and non-feature category.
Learning through interaction, through seminars, through workshop is the main objective of the forum. Establishing a film institute where one can learn the art of film making properly is one goal of the forum.
Earlier the forum is known as Television Producers Association Manipur TVPAM. The members are only the empanelled producers of Doordarshan that time. Few months back the forum had chip in anybody associated with film. Now it has around 50 members and every second Saturday an international acclaim feature film and a non-feature film is screen at the MFDC theatre preview.
Sanzu Bachaspatimayum present president of the forum has to say about the forum – “We need to watch film to bring a film culture in Manipur and to bring film movement. Alternate cinema or parallel cinema needs audience. We need to know how to relish a film, we need to watch together learn together. Grooming audience and space for an intellectual forum of film makers for alternate cinema (documentary, short films etc.) through discussions on present trends, global trend is a must.
Local talents and products needs to be accessed and tabled to analysis and discussions for better production and suggestions. We can analyse through our own forum. Earlier we do not have a space to screen film we do have a mobile projection unit with a sound system where we go to clubs and screen movies. We proposed the authorities of MFDC a year ago and they agreed to us now we have been screening films at MFDC since a month back”
Romi Meitei eminent film maker has to say about the forum – “It is a good initiative. Films like this are not screened in any cinema hall. It serves as a platform for screening certain films. Moreover after a film is screened there are discussion hours with the film maker which gives a real taste of watching the film. It is like an original time. We can get the real thought of the film maker thus audience can get the exact meaning of the film. It is a big leap. For me I like it and it is useful”.
Gyanaranjan film producer and founder member of the forum has to say – “during 1997 it was a TV producer’s forum later film was included. Indian government chalk out a 5 years plan for North East and Kashmir region where they sponsor film production. Through the forum we come together to face challenges if any issue arises that was the main region of formation of the forum besides other issues.
We try to be independent. We did not meet up often. From last year we try to extend our member from the empaneled commissioned producers to promote film and to bring out good film.
Prominent film makers like Late. MA Singh, Aribam Syam, Haobam Pawan, Sanzu BM, Romi Meitei, Oken Amakcham, O.Gautam and other serious film makers gather together here and lots of brain storming sessions are conducted. So it is very good.
Mini auditorium where 50 people can come together at MFDC is our new platform. We bought a projector costing Rs.35 thousand and sound system costing Rs 50 thousand at the early onset and started screening films at the residence of our members. That is how we struggled through and it is maturing with time”.
Amarjit Maibam general secretary of the forum spoke that the forum also screens any work in progress film just to share inputs before the actual finalization of the film. Interested film makers do share their films and discussed on the production with the members of the forum. Non feature mainly - documentary, short film, short feature, music video album, and a internationally acclaimed film are screened regularly.
“Fence People a documentary by Bobby Wahengbam on Bangladesh and India border issue got screened last Saturday. Another international acclaimed film Father was also screened on the same day.
Other films which got screened include – Curfew, Coma, Ras Lila, The suppression, Kungyee, Guns and God and films by renowned film makers are screened so far.
The forum works for the welfare of the artists, technician and everybody involve in the film making. Felicitation programme of our internationally acclaimed film maker Aribam Shyam Sharma is another work we did.
In future we would like to take up film workshop and organise film festival. We have screen 24 films every second Saturday till now as we revive the forum a year back”.
- Created on Friday, 18 October 2013 00:00
- Published Date
- Written by Shamurailatpam Gautam Sharma
- Category: Cinema
- Hits: 366
Song after songs runs from the pen of a Lyricist, for films or music video albums. But, what really a Lyricist might be doing and thinking, minutes before he writes or at the point of writing his song?
For a lyricist, a note-pad is a canvas for painting his romantic thoughts and emotions, where he puts his strokes in papers with aesthetical words that promise to bestow a lasting sensational impression to audience. This is what the emerging young lyricist, Ajit Ningthouja, usually experience to create his masterpiece.
"The task of writing a song is quite demanding and more often, not easy to be done anytime or any moments of a day. As, it has its own moment, a mood, to write off... and it's very hard to penned with a deadline or within a fixed timeline for finishing", said Ajit Ningthouja, during an exclusive meet-up with Manipur Times, at his rented residence located at Konung Mamang Purielomba Leikai, New Checkon.
At a young age, he has penned more that 50 Manipuri songs including the hit film song 'Watta Padabi Leirangni' of Manipur Express, that have reached a viewer ship of more than 64,000 in YouTube within a short span.
The young lyricist has geared himself fully with Scripts, Lighting fixtures, HD CCDs Camera and lenses to occupy the seat of film director, and currently spending most of his time in and around the shooting-sites with his crew.
This 28-years-old upcoming director, songwriter is of the view that lyrics and its music are a potent means for a better expression of inexpressible feelings of love, and intangible emotions of beauty that could tug at heart.
Ajit Ningthouja real name is Nithoujam Ajit, the eldest of three siblings, where his father works in a government department and his mother is an Agalwadi worker. Ajit spent his early years schooling in his own birthplace Narenseina Maning Leikai of Moirang, of Bishnupur district of Manipur.
And after completing his high school exams, he came to Imphal to pursue his higher secondary education. After securing his admission at City Montessori school, he began staying at a rented room in Keisampat, where his interest to write songs grew.
From his early age, Ajit began writing songs though it was sung by none. He has also approached many singers of that time to contribute his lyrics but their responses and attitudes disappointed him. But Ajit didn’t lose his heart but he continued writing with an expectation that someone might sing his songs someday.
Besides Ajit’s interest in writings, he also has an interest in film-making, and later he joined a film-editing course in Imphal. It was during this time he got an opportunity to introduce himself to film makers.
His first meeting happened with one of the popular film maker from the state, Oken Amakcham, where he provided him a chance to enter the film industry.
It was then after meeting him, Ajit’s lyrics were made known to audience by helping him reach the audience. His first song 'Lonna-Chikna.." was directed by Oken Amakcha, and sung by two popular singer Rabir Thouna and Pusparari for the film 'Tellunga Mamei'. It was the first film for Ajit, under Oken Amakcham's direction, where he contributed few of his lyrics, and beside this, he was also provided a chance to assist him in the film's direction.
Later, Ajit began to work at 'Dasu Film' as an assistant for film-editors. Aside from films-editing jobs and assisting Oken Amakcham,Ajit have also worked with popular film personalities from the state and few of them are Boby Wakengbam, RK Lalmani, Irom Meipak (cinematographer) and O Gautam. He have worked with O Gautam (Director) for more the four-films, the recent one being 'Manipur Express' where he worked as a Video-editor; an assistant-director and also a Lyricist for three songs.
Current he owns a home-base-digital studio for films-editing called 'Melei Digital World' at his rented residence, located at New Checko, where he carry out film-editing with few of his assistants. Besides editing, he also works as director for films and music video albums and a Lyricist too.
Now Ajit Ningthouja is in full-swing to climb the stairway to fame and fortune in cinematic world. he said, he charges around Rs 2000 for a single song lyrics; Rs 5000 for Directing a single music video (with VFX) and Rs15-20000 for a film direction and Rs 40000 for full film editing.
Challenges, Family Life & Career
Though during his struggling days, Ajit spent years working behind the screen with many film makers, popular film personalities, as a learner; as editing staff; as an assistant for directors with a minimal honorarium.
He finds difficulties in balancing life between career and family at times. Both his parent and two-brother lives in his birth place, Moirang, and he lives at New Checkon rented house with his better-half and child.
As an eldest son, he frequently visits his parents and his father has not been keeping well off late. During his initial periods of his career, his family also faced financial problem, though both of his parent are salaried, and most shares of their earning and saving goes to his father treatments.
He plans to create a mark in film making career in future too, as Director, Editor and Lyrics.
Ajit spends most of his time in editing, shooting sites, and writing songs. Currently working for two films, one is 'Shathiba Danger' as a director starring Kaiku, Bala and Abeynao and is expected to release end of this November. And another film is titled as 'Warning' as a Director, Editor and Lyricist produced under the banner of Kangla Film's Premjit Noarembam, the said film will Danny, Sonia, AB, Susmita and Kokfhai in the cast.