NE filmmakers bring `positive` stories of HIV victims to IFFI

Panaji: Two documentaries, narrating powerful and inspiring stories of the triumph of human spirit in the face of deadly HIV/AIDS, will be screened at the IFFI, scheduled to commence today.

Both documentaries by filmmakers from the North East, for the `Indian Panorama` section in the non-film category have already had the delegates chattering.

While `Mr India` (2009), a documentary gives a window into the life of K H Pradip Kumar Singh, who battled HIV to rebuild his life and sculpt his body, `Going The Distance` (2010), a digital film in Nagamese that revolves round the life of a lady Nukshinaro, who is living with the deadly disease. It is an attempt to portray her life`s journey, physical, emotional and spiritual, as she moves ahead in life.

In `Going the Distance`, documentary director Tiainla Jamir effectively utilises the 24-minute duration to convey Nukshinaro`s journey right from the day when she discovered her HIV positive status in the month of June 2005.

"From then onwards, life was not the same for her. However, she courageously decided to step up and walk towards her own destiny. Her status made her even bolder and emotionally stronger. Today, she is living a normal and positive life leaving behind all her past deeds. The central theme of the documentary is `Journey`," a statement issued by the IFFI organisers said.

The issues of stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV have been effectively dealt with in the film.

`Mr India`, a Manipuri film of 47-minute duration is a story of life of Khundrakpam Pradip Kumar Singh after he discovered that he was infected with the virus in March 2000.

"I was too young when I committed the mistake of taking drugs and sharing a syringe. But should you let one mistake spoil your entire life? I didn`t want to," says Singh. Defying doctors who had warned him against rigours of body building, Pradip joined a gymnasium. Nine years down the line, he has several achievements to his credit, including the `Mr Manipur` title in 2007.

Resolved to win the `Mr India` title, Pradip is an inspiration for thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS in his home state of Manipur.

The director and producer of the film is Haobam Paban Kumar, an alumnus of SRFTI, Kolkata and has won several awards.

The ten-day film extravaganza will begin this evening.