Manipur, April 10: Manipur observed the golden jubilee of the Manipuri Cinema. The first Manipuri film Matam Gi Manipur directed by Devkumar Bose was released in 1972.

The colourful function was held in the auditorium of the Manipur State Film Development Corporation in Imphal.

Chief Minister N. Biren, presiding over the function, said the government had taken steps to preserve materials related to the growth of Manipur Cinema. “Cinemas reflect the culture and other aspects of the people,” he said. He distributed pension to film personalities. The celebrations will last one year.

Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar said, “Of late the number of filmgoers has significantly decreased. Film personalities should look into this.”

Noted film critic Meghachandra Kongbam said, “Manipur films had bagged several national and international trophies in keenly contested events. But now Manipuri films are plunging down and something ought to be done before it is too late”.

Following the total ban on Hindi films by one insurgent group, Manipuri films were hard hit. Several cinema halls had closed down and were converted into schools, shopping malls, and other facilities.