A strong message about the mother-son relationship against the backdrop of insurgency and drug-ravaged Manipur has been adjudged the best feature film in Manipuri, as well as winning its heroine the best supporting actress award in the National Film Awards 2011.
Phijigee Mani was not the only award-winner from the state or the region in the film awards announced on Wednesday.
Assam's Manoj Borpujari won the prestigious Swarna Kamal for best film critic, while Manipur-based journalist Borun Thokchom received the award for best debut film of a director in the non-feature films category for his Manipuri documentary film The Silent Poet.
The 111-minute Phijigee Mani ("The only jewel" in Manipuri) was produced by Takhelchangbam Ongbi Medha Sharmi and directed by Oinam Gautam Singh.
"Phijigee Mani tells the story of a young girl Yaiphabee, who sets out on a journey to bring some changes and happiness in her family. On the way, she is also disturbed by the past memories of her home and her family," Oinam Gautam told IANS.
Leishangthem Tonthoingambi, who played the character of Yaiphabee, was selected for the best supporting actress award.
The film was also selected in the Indian Panorama section of the India International Film Festival 2011 in Goa. So far, at least ten Manipuri feature films had already bagged Rajat Kamal for the best regional film in the national film awards instituted by the Union ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
"Manipur did really well in the awards this year. I am happy for my award as well as for the awards bagged by Phijigee Mani," said Borpujari, a journalist by profession and a jury member at several renowned film festivals in India and abroad.
"The present day situation in almost all the states of the northeastern region has great potential for arts like films and visual media like films can present the problems and aspirations of a particular situation or state or the people to a greater audience in the best convincing manner," he added.