A short film based on the life of boxer Laishram Sarita Devi, I Rise, bagged the Best Documentary award at the 9th Mumbai Short International Film Festival (MSIFF) on Sunday. The 52-minute-long film is directed by Imphal-based filmmaker Borun Thokchom. The film was chosen from a list of 19 documentaries, a total of 392 films from more than 55 countries took part in the festival this year.
I RISE directed by Borun Thokchom & Produced by FILMS DIVISION, MUMBAI official Selection @mumbaifilmfest 9th Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival-2020, India https://t.co/YaUoLFaJeW pic.twitter.com/e59vnHvwn6
— Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival (@filmfestmumbai) November 26, 2020
“I feel happy for the recognition. But I wanted to give credit to the entire team of I Rise and Sarita’s family for their full cooperation,” said the National award-winning filmmaker Thokchom on receiving the award.
Notably, this year in October, I Rise bagged the Best Film on Women Outstanding Achievement Award at the Tagore International Film Festival 2020 in West Bengal.
Devi is an eight-time Asian Championships medallist – five of them gold. The 38-year-old has three World Championships medals — a gold in 2006 and a bronze each in 2005 and 2008. The film starts with the 2014 Asian Games (Incheon) incident when she refused to accept her bronze medal in protest after a controversial loss to host Korea’s Park Ji-Na. Later, AIBA suspended the boxer from Manipur for the “disrespectful” act. She was banned for a year after that for the protest at the podium during which she handed her medal to Park.
Now, she fights in the 60 kg category, had earlier lost in the trials of the Olympic qualifying event in Jordan in March this year. Last year, she was elected as a member of the first-ever International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) Athletes’ Commission. She has made the country proud in various platforms, including the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games when she won silver. As a veteran, Devi always means to generate a buzz around issues related to women’s boxing. “The well-being of women boxers is a primary concern for me and I will try and be their active voice in AIBA,” she had said, News18 reported.
The gold medalist from the 2006 World Championships is running an academy in Manipur for the last five years. “I can never be away from boxing. After retirement, I will keep on working on producing good boxers for the country,” she had said to Sportstar last year. The mother of one assured that she is not deciding on her retirement anytime soon.
Meanwhile, I Rise is Thokchom’s second documentary. He earlier made The Silent Poet based on the life of the Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila, which won the National award in 2011.
Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times