Phum Shang, a documentary, has won the Best Medium Film award at the 18th International Environmental Film and Video Festival. The film festival was held in Goiás, Brazil. Haobam Paban Kumar is the filmmaker behind this documentary. Paban had taken the documentary film world by storm when his AFSPA 1958 won the Best Documentary Award at the 56th National Film Awards in 2008.
This 52 minute documentary focuses on the eviction drive carried out by the government and the plight of the fishermen, many of whom are jobless now.
In the film, the filmmaker does not comment on the government move, but simply captures the normal life of the community. And how they were devastated by the government action, and their unending struggle to hang on.
Today only around 300 members of the fishing community are resisting the government’s attempt to evict them, by reconstructing phum huts in different parts of the lake.
Life on Loktak Lake
Director Kumar said, ‘Phum Shang narrates how life on the Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the Northeast, is like.’ The legendary lake has a unique floating biomass ‘phumdi’. It is the primary source of livelihood for the local fishermen. ‘The film not only covers the rich and abundant bio-diversity of the Loktak but also delves into serious issues as fallout of development induced poverty.’
Multiple Award Winner
The documentary has won several awards, including Rajat Kamal for the Best Investigative Film, Golden Conch, Royal Bengal Tiger, Cinema of Resistance and Bala Kailasam Memorial awards.
Source: Khelen Thokchom