Aribam Syam Sharma
The Northeast India AV Archive (NEIAV) had the privilege of collaborating with Aribam Syam Sharma, a highly regarded filmmaker from Manipur, renowned for his critically acclaimed and award-winning films. Over the course of one year, from 2021 to 2022, NEIAV and the team members of Aribam Syam Sharma worked tirelessly to digitise and catalog the extensive body of work created by this talented artist.
As a result of this collaboration, NEIAV is now in possession of a vast collection of Aribam Syam Sharma's documentary films, which includes the majority of his significant works. The archive is proud to have contributed to preserving and safeguarding the legacy of this distinguished filmmaker for future generations.
Aribam Syam Sharma's films have been celebrated for their unique style and compelling storytelling, providing valuable insights into the rich cultural heritage and social realities of Northeast India. His films have been screened at major international film festivals, including Cannes, and have garnered numerous awards and accolades.
NEIAV's partnership with Aribam Syam Sharma reflects the archive's commitment to promoting and preserving the diverse cultural and artistic traditions of Northeast India. The archive is dedicated to expanding its collections and providing access to a wide range of audiovisual materials to researchers, scholars, and enthusiasts worldwide.
Some of the documentary films can be viewed online using the links below.
Aribam Syam Sharma Collection
Nilamani The Master Craftsperson
Aribam Syam Sharma: A Profile
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 won the Montgolfière d'or at the Festival des Trios Continents, Nantes, France in 1982, a first by an Indian film. Other films of acclaim that attracted world-wide attention include ‘Ishanou' (The Chosen One), the Official Selection (Un Certain Regard) for the 44th Cannes Film Festival, 1991, and ‘Sangai: The Dancing Deer of Manipur’, declared as the ‘Outstanding Film of the Year 1989’ by the British Film Institute.
Associated with the production of the first Manipuri film ‘MATAMGI MANIPUR’ in 1972, as actor and music director for the film, so far he has directed fourteen features and thirty-one non-feature films, and had given music to twenty-five films. His films, though rooted in the socio-cultural milieu of Manipur, have found favor globally due to the universal appeal of the subjects of his films. His films have represented India at many International film festivals. Acclaim within the country has been forthcoming and he had won the National Film Awards fifteen times already. He has to his credit a rare feat of winning the National Film Awards simultaneously in both feature and non-feature categories in the same year, thrice (1991, 1996 and 2013). His tireless work for the advancement of cinema in the North East makes him an involved film personality, who in his various capacities has worked for the promotion of film scenario in Manipur and North-East India. He also managed to find time to work as the first Managing Director of the Manipur Film Development Corporation in order to guide and support the fledging Manipuri film. His 1980 film, ‘Olangthagee Wangmadasoo’ holds the record of being the longest running film ever in the Manipuri Film industry. This record, remains unbroken till date.
Retrospective of his non-feature films was screened at the 6th Mumbai International Film Festival, 2000. Retrospective of his films have been screened at various International Film Festivals. To mention a few, special screenings of his films were organized at Brooklyn Academy of Music, USA in 2001. In 2007, a tribute to Aribam Syam Sharma’s cinematic journey, titled as “…And Miles to Go”, was included as a special section at the 38th International Film Festival of India, Goa.
At the 46th edition of the International Film Festival of India, 2015, a retrospective of fourteen of his films was screened.
Aribam has been honoured by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India by conferring the most prestigious award in the field of short and documentary filmmaking in the country, ‘Dr V.Shantaram Life time Achievement Award’ in 2008. He is the first recipient of the award from North-Eastern India.
He was also awarded the ‘Kamal Kumari National Award for Arts and Culture’ in 2009. In 2011, he was elected as ‘fellow’ of the Manipur State Kala Akademi.
The Government of Manipur awarded him ‘The Manipur State Lifetime Achievement Award for Film’ in 2010. The Manipur State Film Development Society and the Film Forum Manipur conferred him with the ‘Jewel of Manipuri Cinema’ Award in 2015.