Aribam Syam Sharma | Eminent Film Maker from Manipur |

About Aribam Syam Sharma

Aribam Syam Sharma, a film director, actor and music director from Manipur came to limelight with his award winning film Imagi Ningthem (My Son, My Precious) that received the grand prix at Festival des.....
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1974     Lamja Parshuram
1976     Saaphabee
1979     Olangthagee Wangmadasoo
1981     Imagi Ningthem
1983     Paokhum Ama
1990     Ishanou
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Home » Critics Review » Displaying items by tag: Imagi Ningthem
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Displaying items by tag: Imagi Ningthem
A.    Feature
  • 1.    Lamja Parsuram, 1974
  • 2.    Saaphabee, 1976, National Award
  • 3.    Olangthagee Wangmadasoo, 1979, National Award
  • 4.    Imagi Ningthem, 1981, National Award for the film and also National Award for the Best Child Artiste. Awarded the GRAND PRIX at the Festival des trios Continents at Nantes, France in the year 1982
  • Participated in many International Film Festivals at Calcutta, New York, Denver, Locarno, Montreal, London etc.
  • 5.    Paokhum Ama, for Films Division, Mumbai. Participated  in the TYNESIDE film festival, U.K. in 1984. Won the State Film Award for  Best Actress
  • 6.    Ishanou, 1990 (Doordarshan), National Award for the film and also Special Mention for the leading Actress
  • A SECLECTION OFFICIALLE in the 44th CANNES Film Festival in the section UN CERTAIN REGARD in 1991.
  • Participated in various International Film Festival including London, Hawaii, Singapore, Fribourg, Seattle, Vancouver, Festival des Trios Continents, etc.
  • 7.    Sanabi, 1995, (NFDC-Doordarshan), National Award
  • Shown in the Indian Panorama section of IFFI, 1996
  • Invited to the Cairo International Film Festival
  • Awarded V. Shantaram award for Best Direction (1997)
  • 8.    Shingnaba, 1998 for Films Division, Mumbai
  • 9.    Paari, 2000 for Children’s Film Society of India
  • Participated in the International competition section of the 12th International children’s Film Festival of India, 2001 held at Hyderabad
  • 10.    Ashangba Nongjabi, 2003 for DDK, Imphal
  • 11.    Crossroads (English), 2008 for PPC (NE), Doordarshan, Guwahati
  • 12.  ‘Arambam Samarendrana Eeba Lila Khara’ (13 episodes) for DDK, Imphal, 2011, viz-  Miraang (4 episodes), Dasha (4 episodes) and Leipaklei (5 episodes)

B.    Non-Feature

1.    Sana Leibak Manipur,
2.    20 Points Programme.
3.    Towards A Better Way of Life.
4.    Tales of Courage for Films Division, Mumbai
5.    Sangai- the Dancing Deer of Manipur 1987-88, produced for the Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi. Bagged five Merit awards in the 12th International Film Festival of Wildlife held at Montana, USA in 1989. The film bagged the citation “Outstanding film of the Year -1989” from the British Film Institute, London.
Participated in the London Film Festival. Participated in the Bombay International Film Festival 1989.
6.    Keibul Lamjao National Park, 1988 produced by the Govt. of Manipur
7.    Koro Kosii, 1988, produced by the Manipur Film Development Corporation, Ltd. Participated in the International Film Festival of India in1989
Shown at the Indian Film Week at Hungary  
Bombay International Film Festival in 1989
8.    The Deer of the Lake, 1989, produced for the Indian National Trust for Cultural Heritage, New Delhi.
National Award (1990) for the Best Environment/Conservation/Preservation Film
9.    Indigenous Games of Manipur, (1990) produced for Doordarshan.
National Award for Best Exploration/ Adventure Film
10.    Meitei Pung, 1991, for Doordarshan
National Award in 1992 (Special Jury Award).
Shown in the Indian Panaroma section of the IFFI
11.    Geet Govinda, 1991, for Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.
12.    Lai Haraoba, 1991 for IGNCA. Shown in the Indian Panorama section of  IFFI
13.    Orchids of Manipur, 1994. Shown in the Indian Panorama section of  IFFI
National Award for Best Environment Conservation/ Preservation Film in 1995
Participated in the International Wildlife Film Festival at Morocco in 1996
14.    Yelhou Jagoi, 1995 for Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi
Opening film of the Indian Panorama in the 1996 International Film Festival of India. National Award in the year 1996.
15.    “Loktak – the Dying Lake of Manipur?”(1998). A film produced by Lok Seva Sanchar Parishad of Doordarshan and funded by The Ford Foundation.
16.    The Marams, 1999 for the Directorate of Tribals and Backward Classes, Government of Manipur. Selected in the Indian Panorama section of IFFI 2000 and also participated in the Mumbai International Film Festival,2000 in competition section. Participated in the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, 2000.
17.    Thang Ta – Martial Arts of Manipur, 1999, 35mm Colour for the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi. National Award for Best Arts/Cultural Film) 1999.
18.    The Monpas of Arunachal Pradesh, 2001, 35mm Colour for Films Division, Mumbai. Won the National Award for Best Anthropological and Ethnographical film. And also National Award for the  Best Cinematographer
19.    Autobiographical Film on M.K. Binodini Devi for Sahitya Academy, New Delhi in 2002.
20.    The Golden Hands of PSBT, 2002, New Delhi.
21.    M.K. Binodini for PPC(NE), Doordarshan, Guwahati, 2003
22.    Ojha N. Khelchandra for PPC (NE), Doordarshan, Guwahati, 2003
23.    Nilamani: Master Potter of Manipur for PPC (NE), Doordarshan, Guwahati, 2003
24.    Rani, the living legend for PPC (NE) Doordarshan, Guwahati, 2003
25.    Guru Laimayum Thambalngoubi Devi for DDK, Imphal, 2006. Shown in the Indian Panorama section of  IFFI 2006, National Award for Best Biographical/ Historical Reconstruction /Compilation Film
26.    Rajarshri Bhagyachandra of Manipur, 2007, 35mm Colour  for Films Division, Mumbai, Shown in the Indian Panorama section of  IFFI 2007
27.    Mr. Manipur for DDK, Imphal, 2008
28.    Leirol (3 episodes) for PPC (NE) Doordarshan, Guwahati, 2008
29.    “Sankirtan of Manipur” (2009) for Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi    
30.   “Leaders from the below” (4 episodes) for PPC (NE), Doordarshan, Guwahati,                                         2011
31.   Manipuri Pony for Films Division, Mumbai, 2012


Critic- Gene Moscowitz
“Variety” -published in New York

Every once  in a while a seemingly little film, made without means and technically wanting, turns up at a film festival where its contents and treatment easily overcome its technical side. This is such a film. It has a poetic feel, a human impact, sans sentimentality that should see it making the festival rounds.
It is from a northern part of India near the Burma border where the people are Mongol in appearance. Only a few films have been made there, and this one should cast a spotlight on the area and director Aribam Syam Sharma.
A teacher comes to a village and an old man asks her to tutor his grandson who is sickly. She does so likes the boy and his grandfather. She finds out his mother has been seduced by a man and died in childbirth.
It turns out that the father is the husband of her cousin. She gets her cousin to visit and the boy gets an idea she is her mother. The woman is attracted to him. She comes again and decides to take the boy with her while her husband is absent.
Though knowing it is her husband’s son and having a older boy away at school, she begins to love rather than philandering her husband’s bastard child.
The relationship is adroitly built and developed. The husband comes and objects to  the boy there and will not hear  of adoption. He does not know it is his son. The grandfather wants to take the boy back and she will not have it and ultimately will keep the boy.
Touching without being sentimental, the film makes a statement on human relations that transcandsits  to hit a universal impact. Already invited to the third Nantes World Film Fest in France, it could also find theatrical outlets with proper handling, treatment and placement to allow its merits to speak for themselves.

Derek Malcom, Film critic of THE GUARDIAN, London
In symposium-Cinema in 2000 during Filmotsav’82, Calcutta

“…………………. one of the best films I have been at this year’s panorama, for instance, was in Manipuri-Aribam Syam Sharma’s “Imagi Ningthem” (My Son, My Precious). Technology? You must be joking. The film stock looked as if it was reconstituted waste paper. The imagws flickered almost if they were ashamed of themselves. Nobody seemed to be able to be decide at what speed to run the projector. With the consequence that even the female characters began to walk like Charlie Chaplin. Yet My Son, My Precious seemed to me something quite apart from its technical deficiencies and the exigencies of its simple plot-line. Ladies and Gentlemen, it was about real and not invented people. About India, not about east-west land in between. It expressed something true and honourable and exiting for, all its faults. And its very differences from the films of West were what helped to make it fascinating to me. Am I patronizing to this very little film, in a language I have never before encountered in the screen? Well, perhaps I am as is the habit of Western critics faced with something they do not completely understand. But I insist on my point about the film’s essential purity……………”

In “THE GUARDIAN”, LONDON (January 29,1982)

“……………. The biggest surprise of all was My Son, My Precious from the little state of Manipur, which produces about six films ayear as compared to Bombay’s 250 or more. Made by Aribam Syam Sharma on film stock that looked as if it had been rescued from a rubbish tip, its story of a little boy pulled hither and thither by family conflict was acted with a natural pace that belied all its technical shortcoming…………”

“……this much admired film…………. that was beautifully acted and absolutely authentic looking”

John Warrington in Films and Filming (March,1982)

“A discovery was from Manipur. Technically, the film is a mess, a postage old stock, badly printed and shot on an ageing 16mm Bolex with sound equipment, that would be a BBC technician’s nightmare. An amateur effort………but it is a big but.

The story, the direction and performance are so closely observed that they glow through all the technical imperfections.

Here are real people who, without saying anything specific about their society, say so much, it is a minor master-piece with a splendidly natural performance by the boy Leikhendro who plays Thoithoi and I am glad to say that it will be appearing as my critic’s choice at the next London Film Festival.”

New York Times, April 21 1982

“Imagine a very simple, heart felt but threadbare KRAMER VS  KRAMER like story sent in a remote corner of India, My Son, My Precious is something along these lines and something genuinelessly and effortlessly touching……….
The setting is in the Manipur region near the Burmese border, and neither the actors nor the directorial style is typical of Indian Cinema.

Many of the players, particularly the women, have the beauty of south sea islanders, there are times when the film suggests Gaugin, even though its in black and white. And Aribam Syam Sharma, the director makes this usually plain and unencumbered drama.

In fact, it is almost primitive at times, there’s nothing about the crude cinema   work or rough editing to recommend this film an technical terms. But, it’s story is told so plainly and persuasively that it cannot help but have an appeal. The film ends on a slightly ambiguous note, but it seems to endorse a position with which the audience may not agree. In any case, Mr. Sharma tells this story in a manner that’s both elegant and crude.

The characters lack the strict manners usually evident in Indian films, but they are instinctively stately, even when squatting in the dirt of Thoithoi’s village. No less interesting than the film’s narrative is the courtliness of its characters, and the dignity with which all but the worst of them greet a trying situation.


“Aribam Syam Sharma’s My Son, My Precious made in the northeast Indian state of Manipur, on the Burmeese border looks like it was shot in 1932 on army surplus stock,(considering that Manipuri is a language spoken by less than a quarter of a percent of the Indian population, it’s no surprise that only eight films have been produced in the region since, 1972, half of them by Sharma).

There’s an unassuming ethnographic modest to this story of a teacher in a remote village who unwillingly discovers an illegitimate child fathered by her cousin’s husband. Surviving an awkward shift in protagonist, the film goes on to detail the betrayed, wife’s obsessive love for her husband’s bastard a passion which is deftly to the mythological in the moving final scene.”


“This gentle, compassionate film from Manipur is a worthy successor to the early work of Satyajit Ray. A village school teacher brings together the motherless child of an adulterous alliance and the wife of the dead mother’s  seducer.”