U Manik Raitong - the first Khasi coloured film

Manik Raitong (Manik the Miserable) - is the first coloured film in Khasi language of Meghalaya. The film was directed by Ardhendu Bhattacharya. It won the Indian Panorama 1984 Award (from amongst 21 Indian Feature Films).

The movie was made in the year 1984 and was about 149 min in duration. It was made under the banner of Neo Cine Production. The movie was screen played and directed by Ardhendhu Bhattacharya and the storyline was from Rishan Rapsang which was based on one of Meghalaya's earliest legends. The music for the film was composed by a Japanese musician Kazu Matsui. Skendrowell Syiemlieh rendered his voice for Manik Raitong and in 1991 he received the 'U Tirot Sing Award'.

The lead actors in the film were William Rynjah, Sheba Diengdoh, Gilbert Synnah, Veronica Nongbet, Benjamin Kharkongor, Diamond Matthew and Assamese female actor Chetana Das. It was also the first movie for Sheba Diengdoh's who acted as Lieng Makaw, the female lead in the movie.

The movie represented the Indian Panorama at the Tokyo Film Festival. It also won the Appheia Award.

(The first Khasi film 'Synjuk Ri ki Laiphew Syiem' (The Alliance of Thirty Kings) was directed and produced by Hamlet Bareh Ngapkynti.)

Ardhendu Bhattacharya - Bhattacharya holds a postgraduate degree in philosophy at the Visva-Bharati University in Shantiniketan and then went to the Film and Television Institute of India to study further. He made documentaries in Bombay, Guwahati and worked alongside as a philosophy lecturer at 'Gauhati University'. He directed two famous movies, Indira in 1980 and Manik Raitong in 1984.

(Ref - IMDB) (Photos taken from - koushiklahiri.blogspot.com; marbaniang.wordpress.com; smoothvibes.com; bishnupriyamanipuri.wordpress.com)

Poster of Manik Raitong, Kazu Matsui, Chetana Das and Skendrowell Syiemlieh
Photo: Poster of Manik Raitong, Kazu Matsui, Chetana Das and Skendrowell Syiemlieh