GUWAHATI: Award winning Manipuri filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar’s debut feature film Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the Lake) has got two nominations at the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in Australia along with ‘Newton’.

Altogether, Indian films got five nominations – two each for Loktak Lairembee and Newton and one for ‘Sexy Durga’.

The film which is made on the famous Loktak lake in Imphal has got two nominations -- APSA Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO and in achievement in cinematography.

APSA acclaims cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the vast Asia Pacific region.

In a unique collaboration, Paris based UNESCO and FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations - brings together this important film event to nominate some of the best filmmakers in the Asia Pacific region.

“This is a great thing to happen not just for my film but for the cinema of the region,” Paban Kumar told The Citizen.

The 71 minute-long movie tells the story of a man who is sick and depressed ever since the authorities burnt his hut after blaming his community for polluting Loktak Lake. He has confined himself at home and lies idle the entire day, terrified of the possibility that the authorities may return to take whatever he has left. One morning, he accidentally finds a gun within the biomass. At first he is confused, but slowly, starts enjoying his newfound toy.

APSA Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO is an award which represents the shared common goals of APSA and UNESCO, to promote diversity of cultural expression and raise awareness of the value of culture at local, national and international levels.

In this category ‘Loktak Lairembee’ will be competing with Centaur (Kyrgyzstan, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands), Dede (Georgia, Croatia, Netherlands, Qatar, United Kingdom), Die Beautiful (Philippines) and Honeygiver Among the Dogs (Munmo Tashi Khyidron, Bhutan).

Kerala based cinematographer Shehnad Jalal who worked in Loktak Lairembee has been nominated for ‘achievement in cinematography’ along with cinematographers from China, Georgia, Russia and Australia.

Director Haobam Paban Kumar has a degree in directing and writing from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute Kolkata. He first entered the spotlight with his film 'AFSPA, 1958' (2006), with which he won the International Jury and FIPRESCI Award at the 9th Mumbai International Film Festival 2006.

Many of his other films, such as 'A Cry in the Dark' (2006), 'The First Leap' (2008), 'Mr India' (2009), 'Ruptured Spring' (2012), were awarded prizes.

Earlier this year, ‘Loktak Lairembee’ has won the national award Best Film in Environment conservation.

Altogether 41 films from 21 countries and areas of the Asia Pacific region have received nominations in 2017, including the first nomination for a film from Bhutan.

Indian films won five nominations which include two nominations for a Manipuri film.

Sanal Kumar Sasidharan has been nominated for best director for the film ‘Sexy Durga’, Rajkummar Rao was nominated for best actor for ‘Newton’ and Amit V Masurkar and Mayank Tewari were nominated for best screen play for ‘Newton’.