Priyakanta's 'Oneness' steals spotlight at Pride Film Fest


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By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 20 : Manipuri filmmaker and actor Priyakanta Laishram has taken the Kashish Pride Film Festival 2024, South Asia's largest queer film festival, by storm with his Manipuri film "Oneness".
The film, which premiered at the festival in Mumbai on May 17 at the Cinepolis Cinema Theatre in Andheri West Mumbai, received applause from a global audience and earned a spot in the prestigious Elle India's top 8 films to watch and Midday's top 10 films watch list.
Priyakanta, accompanied by the film's producer, Roushil Singla, graced the opening red carpet event.
Additionally, Priyakanta participated as a panellist on the festival's second day, May 16 at the iconic Liberty Cinema.
During the panel discussion on LGBTQ+ narratives in regional cinema, Priyakanta shed light on the challenges faced in bringing the first Manipuri film centred around same-sex relationships to fruition.
Priyakanta emphasized the importance of representation and inclusivity in cinema, stating that Oneness aims to break stereotypes and promote acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community in Manipur.
Oneness tells the story of two young men, Ivan Martin, played by Priyakanta Laishram himself, and Pamheiba Hijam, played by actor Suraj Ngashepam, who navigate their forbidden love in a conservative society.
The film explores themes of identity, love, and the struggle for acceptance, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful landscapes of Manipur.
"Oneness marked a significant milestone for Manipuri cinema and the LGBTQ+ community in the region. Priyakanta's dedication to telling authentic stories and challenging societal norms was widely appreciated, with many praising his courage and vision," said Roushil Singla, the producer of the film.
The success of Oneness not only brought attention to the talent and creativity of Manipuri filmmakers but also sparked conversations about the need for more diverse and inclusive narratives in Indian cinema.
The film catalysed change, inspiring other filmmakers to explore untold stories and challenge societal norms, and marked a significant milestone for both Priyakanta and Manipuri cinema, paving the way for more inclusive and diverse narratives in the future.