IMPHAL, Dec 25 � Four films from Manipur including two on human rights activist and poet Irom Chanu Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike since November 2, 2000 till date to press for the repeal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act which she holds responsible for violence in Manipur and other parts of north-east India, have been selected for the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF), 2012 for documentary, short and animation films.
Sharmila had launched her indefinite hunger strike after she heard of the killing of 10 people by Army men in Malom on the outskirts of Imphal.
The four films are journalist Borun Thokchom�s The Silent Poet (15 minutes) in the international section (40 minutes) category, Saikhom Ratan and RK Suresh�s SOS (21 minutes) in the international information section, Romi Meitei�s Rock and Egg (14 minutes) in the international fiction section (70 minutes) and Chandam Netraj�s April 6th (10 minutes) in the Indian documentary section for the MIFF, 2012 competition to be held on February 3-9 next year.
The MIFF this time around has attracted 791 entries from 37 countries across the globe and it has received 224 films for the international section and 567 films for the Indian section. The Silent Poet has been selected along with one film each from USA, UK, Spain and two others from India while SOS has been selected among six documentaries from Japan, Belgium and four others from India. Similarly, Rock and Egg is among eight others from Romania, Switzerand, Hong Kong, Canada and India while April 6th is among 27 documentaries.
Glimpses of Sharmila�s life under custody and how she has kept her fight alive with a poetic side of her life are part of The Silent Poet while SOS is a brief, yet detailed illustration of Sharmila, a Gandhian struggling against the draconian law imposed in India�s North East and Jammu & Kashmir.
�I�m proud of my film which has been selected for the competition among six international entries at the MIFF,� says The Silent Poet�s young director Borun Thokchom when contacted. �Now I have the confidence to make many films with the success of my first film,� he added.