Manipur has been the hub of sports persons as well as artists. These two groups of people make Manipur proud in the world. While there has been many film personalities who make Manipur popular, sport is something which make the land even more famous.
What do you feel when film makers and sports persons join hand to hand to not only entertain people but also motivates people in their lives? Well, there has been at least four occasions when films were made on that basis and the response was awesome! These films not only entertained people but also encouraged them to work harder in their walks of lives. The films brought changes not only in Manipur but also in the world. There has been many other films which were made based on the lives of Manipuri athletes, however following are some of the films which were made on the popular sports persons of Manipur.
Maipak, Son of Manipur
The first film on a Manipuri athlete was of a documentary type. The film was based on the first Mr India holder Nongthombam Maipaksana. The 10 minutes long film screened in 35mm black & white which was produced by Karam Monomohan and directed by Debkumar Bose centered around the achievement of ‘Mr. India 1970’ title in bodybuilding. The film was shot at Calcutta after Maipak returned to the city after the Mr. Universe contest of 1971 in Paris. The film titled ‘Maipak, Son of Manipur’ was shown on November 9 of 1971 at the Pratap Talkies, Imphal in both Manipuri and English. The film is also the first ever documentary film of Manipur.
Another interesting and motivating film was Mr India. The film was another documentary film which was centered around the brave-heart story of Khundrakpam Pradipkumar who is an HIV positive person and won Mr Manipur 2007 title in men’s 60kg category thereby becoming the first ever person in the to win a bodybuilding title after becoming an HIV positive. The film focuses on the early life story of Pradipkumar, social stigma and discrimination he faced afterwards and determination to win bodybuilding titles.
The film is made in Manipuri with sub title in English. The 46.38 minutes long movie is produced and directed by renowned film maker Haobam Paban Kumar who finally produced the movie in 2009. The film was widely acclaimed and screened at the 41st International Film festival of India 2010 in Goa and won the Swarna Kamal Award in the 57th National Film Festival 2009-10 for the Best Film On Social Issues in non- feature film category. The film was also screened at the Kos International Health Film Festival Ippokratis in Greece in 2010. Paban who made the film along with cameraman Irom Maipak, Avijit Nandy, editor Sankha, production manager Deva Laishram and assistant director T Helendro said that he made the film “to salute the never say die sprit of Pradipkumar”.
Besides the film made by Paban, three films documentary films were also made based on his life. They are Mr India by Aribam Shyam Sharma, Meirilakshida by ISTV and Challenge (Shingnaba) by Orchid Project got National Film award in 2009.
And now let’s come to the his achievements, Mr Pradip is South East Asia Bodybuilding 2012 champion which was held at Ludjiana in Punjab. Later he gave the biggest achievement to India when he won bronze medal at the WBPF World Body Building Championship 2012, Bangkok, Thailand. He became the first ever man on planet to win a medal in world bodybuilding championship. His achievement was the achievement of mankind.
The film has been the most popular film based on a Manipuri athlete. Based on the true life story of 5 times world champion and Olympic Games bronze medallist MC Mary Kom, bollywood film director Omung Kumar and producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali made the fim in association with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures. Unlike the earlier two movies, the film was shown nation wide and became one of the most successful films based on Indian sports persons. Former Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chopra played the role of Mary Kom in the movie and trained for more three months to come to the physique of real Mary Kom before actually acting in the movie. The film which depicted the early life and struggles of Mary Kom to become a boxing champion was released on 5 September 2014.
The film won several awards and recognition. Both real Mary Kom and reeled Mary Kom i.e Priyanka Chopra received several accolades at award ceremonies across India. Priyangka was nominated for the Best Actress category at the 60th Filmfare Awards.
The film became the first Hindi film to be screened on the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival 2014, Canada. The film won the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment award at the 62nd National Film Awards and was nominated at the 60th Filmfare Awards in the Best Film category. After the successful venture of the movie, Mary Kom expressed that if part two of Mary Kom came, she would play herself her own role.
Kanglei Athouba Mapari
This is another documentary film made on the life story of multi championships winner Dr. Ngangbam Shantikumar Meetei. The film entitled ‘Kanglei Athouba Mapari’ meaning ‘The Great Son Of Kangleipak / Manipur’ focussed on the life and achievements of of a Manipuri bodybuilder who has won IFBB Senior Mr. Asia, INBA Mr. World, INBA Mr. World Cup, INBA Mr. World Cup 2 Overall titles and INBA Mr. Natural Olympia.
The 33.58minutes long film produced by Thoy Rebati and Thangjam Rolivin is made in Manipuri language with English sub title. The film was released on 20th July 2014 at a function organized by International Meeteis Forum at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound Imphal.
The bodybuilder who is now a Taiwanese narrates his early life struggles in the film which will definitely make the watcher and listener so emotional. However, the film is not to make emotional but to make a successful person.