Nila Madhab Panda

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Nila Madhab Panda
Film Maker Nila Madhab Panda.jpg
Born (1973-10-18) 18 October 1973 (age 40)
Sonepur, Odisha, India
Occupation Film Maker, Director
Years active 1998–Present
Spouse(s) Barnali Rath Panda
Relatives Manav Rath (Brother)
Ritu Rath (Sister)

Nila Madhab Panda (born 18 October 1973) ) is a filmmaker and social activist from Dasharajpur, in Subarnapur district of Odisha.[1] I Am Kalam was Panda’s first feature film as a director. It has won him many national and international awards.

Early life[edit]

Nila Madhab was born to a rich family in a village called Dasrajpur, Subarnapur. His father is a village head. Panda is the youngest among his 7 brothers. His family supported him very well for the education as well for his wish to enter into the film making.

Nila Madhab used to give a huge party whenever he come back from his house to his college. Panda always enjoy being with his friends and good at narrating stories and making new friends.

In 1995, then 22 years old, Panda could not complete his graduation in chemistry bachelor degree and ran away from his home and moved to Delhi for his film making dream. He shared a flat with 5 other boys. He did different sets of job during his struggling period.

Real luck strikes him when Panda got a job as a camera attendant and learnt film making and various intricacies of it.

He did a one month certificate course in Entrepreneurship at IIM Bangalore.[2]


In 1998 Madhab founded Eleeanora Images,[3] a multimedia production house producing diverse and cutting edge films from India. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of the India Screenwriting Lab, which focuses on creating quality scripts for Indian Cinema, quality children cinema with the British Council, The royal Netherlands embassy and Saregama, the European Union Media International Programme, Eon Productions, Goethe Institute in Germany, Cinekid in Amsterdam, Children’s Film Society, India. It's a result of his focused efforts, that has started off a sort of a movement towards creating New Wave Indian Cinema and a children cinema movement in India, He also is the Indian Creative Associate for the UK Arts Council funded 'Moti Roti 360 Degrees' and commissioned 60 short films in India-pakisthan and London. He was also selected in the International cultural Leadership programme, by Arts council London, Creative and cultural skills, and Museums, library and archives.

He has produced and directed over 70 shorts, documentaries, television drama and films for national broadcasters, the BBC, Discovery Channel, NGC and private producers. He struggled a lot in Oriya film industry but was a failure. [4] His films have won him several awards. He has also served on the juries of several national and international film festivals. Most of his films have unique insights drawn from his life, which has been a long journey from a village based in a tribal area of India, to metropolitan cities across the globe. A story he encountered while shooting for a documentary, which later on went to take on the shape of a Feature Film called I Am Kalam, become an iconic film in India winning over 27 awards (24 International award, one national award, one film fare and screen award).The film is a new wave world cinema from India. The film has already been highly appreciated by global audiences, with the international distribution channels giving it high priority. Apart from his films and numerous awards, he has also received a UK Film Fellowship and United Nations Media Fellowship, and has been awarded by the British Council's Creative Futures Programme in 2007.

Panda's second feature film Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid, an adventure–thriller, was critically acclaimed as well as well received by the audience and screened at several international film festivals.[5] Panda is now working on his next film 'Love is not Mathematics' based on youth to be released in 2013 .[6]


Feature films[edit]

Year Title Notes
2011 I Am Kalam[7]
2012 Jalpari (film)
2014 Babloo Happy Hai Releasing 7th feb
2014 Broken Hills[8]


  • Swajaldhara (8 min Hindi) – On rural water supply in India and Panchayats involvement, for Ministry of Rural development and WHO.
  • Water — our lifeline (7 min Hindi and English) – A launching film “fresh water year 2005” by Ministry of Rural development, GOI.
  • Smile again (25 min English) – On rehabilitation of orphan children in an innovative way by district administration of Ganjam, Odisha, Government of Odisha.
  • Desert rose (15 min each in English) – A two parts film discovering the perennial new water sources in the desert of Rajasthan, India. For Development Alternatives.
  • Anukampan (20 min English and Oriya) – On disaster preparedness in Odisha. Disaster Mitigation Authority and Odisha Government.
  • Hope again (21min English) – On the rehabilitation and recovery after super cyclone 1999 in Odisha. Government of Odisha and UNDP.
  • Hum Hongekamyab (20 min English) – On the youth and adolescence activism on health. For Creche, NGO
  • 21st century folktale — Bonda tribe (21 min English) – On the indigenous tribe Bonda, whose population was stagnant for past many decades because of high infant mortality and maternal mortality rate, which is growing now after an initiative by an NGO, for Action Aid.
  • Hope rekindles (18 min English) – On one of the biggest success story of 100% sanitation area (Nandigram II) in West Bengal. For Ministry of Rural Development, GOI, Rajiv Gandhi Drinking water Mission and WHO.
  • Climate’s first Orphans (22 min English and Hindi) – A film on the impact of climate change in India, UK High commission and Discovery channel.[9][10][11]
  • Ab Desh Chalana Hey (8 min Hindi) – On women empowerment and women in panchayats of India. Ministry panchayati raj, GOI and the hunger project.
  • I Dare to Dream (28 min English) – A film on the children works in railway lines of India.
  • Brick by Brick (17 min English) – A film on low–cost housing in disaster–prone areas.
  • Letter to Ma (UN Fellowship film) (21 min English) – A film on the usage of information technology in rural areas of India.
  • Sankalpa (18 min English and Oriya) – On sanitation movement in India.
  • ShikshaYatra – On the massive education movement in India by KailashSatyarthi.
  • Breezing Sandunes (17 min English) – On the developmental work by CECODECON.
  • Dancing in times (20 min each in English)– A series of four–part documentary on the dances of Kalahandi area of Odisha
  • Angaan Angaan Kilkari (16 min each) – A two-part docudrama on adolescence.
  • Samaya Sagara Tire – 50 years completion of Hirakud Dam.
  • Boond – Panchayat and Gram Shabha’s involvement in community–based work in villages for UNDP and government.
  • Faces of history – On 50 years of India’s Independence.
  • Swavimaaan – On the success of self–help group in India
  • Chilika – Gets a new lease of life, government of Odisha.
  • Konark – Ministry of Tourism Advertisement and corporate film.
  • We will grow – On Rural development
  • A heart for art – A film on the government efforts to preserve traditional folk art in Odisha.


  • Atmajaa (Hindi TV serial 52 episodes) – The story of this television series revolves around protagonist Mamta, a woman who was coerced by her husband and Mother in law to abort her girl child after the sex of the fetus had been forcibly determined through an ultrasound. But Mamta had secretly managed to save her baby girl who was given up for adoption by the doctor who delivered her. Six years later history repeated itself, as Mamta got pregnant again. But this time she left her husband’s home to save her second child and search for her first daughter. The first phase of the series concluded with Mamta finding her daughter, Atmajaa, in an orphanage and Mamta’s husband realizing his mistake and giving himself up to the law under the PNDT Act. It has also showcased Panchayat’s involvement and gramsabha. For Ministry of Health and Family welfare, GOI and Plan International, USAID and SIDA.
  • Chiraag (Hindi TV serial of 26 episodes) – Village drama on gender and politics. For Ministry of Health and Family welfare, GOI and the Embassy of the Netherlands.

Short films[edit]

  • Lali’s world (40 min Oriya) – Story of Lali, who was withdrawn from the school as the father could not effort to continue. It’s Lali’s struggle to go to school. For Govt of Odisha and UNDP
  • Kinara (40 min Hindi) – On male participation in contraception in India. For Ministry of Health and family welfare, GOI and PFI.
  • Pahel (7 min Hindi) – On different procedure of contraception, for Population services International.
  • Chupee (40 min) – The story revolves around a young school teacher, Jasmine, in a local school in Goa. She is haunted by memories of the sexual abuse and subsequent suicide of her kid sister. A shy withdrawn girl in her class, Khushi, reminds her of her dead sister, who she eventually be friends. For Govt of Odisha and UNDP.
  • Atmajaa (30 min) – The pressure on Ruchi the daughter–in–law of the rich Munjal household and Urmila the maid, to go in for the medical termination of their pregnancies when both of them have conceived girls. The ultimate voice of the film is Dr. Suranya Kumar, Ruchi’s sister-in-law and Urmila’s employer. For Ministry of Health and Family welfare, GOI and Plan International, USAID and SIDA.

Corporate films and public service advertising[edit]

  • 3 TV spot on female foeticide For Ministry of Health and Family welfare, GOI and Plan International.
  • 2 Animation TV spot on sanitation in Hindi, for Ministry of Rural development and WHO.
  • 6 TV spot in Hindi, for Ministry of Rural development and WHO.
  • 3 TV spot on No scalpel vasectomy, for Ministry of Health and Family welfare and PFI.
  • 2 TV spot on Birth spacing.
  • 4 TVC on right to education, with Unesco, care India, save the children fun and Ministry of human resources development.
  • Corporate films for Wapcos (2 Films), Times, Michelin tyre, NIIT, Allahbad bank.


Year Award Note
2002 United Nations Visual Media fellowship
2003 Heroism in Cinematography by THP, New York
2005 UK Film Fellowship
2006 Creative Futures of India (Longest Journey award) by British Council[12]
2010 Excellence in media for fighting the cause Female foeticide
2011 Aravindan Puraskaram best debut director award for I Am Kalam[13]
2011 Odisha icon
2012 Odisha Living Legend Award for Social service films by OdishaDiary[14]

2013- Won Thinkers 50 Award 2013 "Cultural ambassador of Odisha" 2013 Nominated for citizen award 2013 of Odisha.

Film awards[edit]

Year Award
2010 “Best actor work” at the Minsk International Film Festival
2010 Winner of “Best feature film” from the Indian Panorama by the Young Jury at the 41st International, Film Festival of India
2010 Winner of “The Don Quixote Prize” of the International Cine Club Federations at the Lucas International Film Festival, Germany
2010 Winner of “Best feature film” at the Lucas International Film Festival, Frankfurt
2010 “Special Jury mention” CineKid International Film Festivals
2010 “Audience Favourite choice” at the Barbican London Children Film Festival
2010 “International Jury’s Special Mention” at the Ale Kino International Film Festival, Poland
2011 Viewers’ Choice award at IFFLA
2011 Best Feature Film in Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
2011 People's Choice Award at the Montreal International Children's Film Festival
2011 Best Feature Film award at Silent River Film Festival (SRFF), California
2011 Best Director award at Silent River Film Festival (SRFF), California
2011 Best Child Actor award at Silent River Film Festival (SRFF), California
2011 Special Diploma for the Best Actor Work at Minsk International Film Festival Listapadzi
2011 Best Debut Director – Aravindam Purashkaram
2011 Golden Elephant Award for the Best Screenplay at 17th International Children’s Film Festival, India
2011 Special Mention to Harsh Mayar at the 17th International Children’s Film Festival of India
2011 Best Feature Film in CMS International Film Festival
2011 National Award for best child actor
2011 Audience Favourite at Barbican London Children’s Film Festival
2012 Bronze Cairo for Best Feature at Cairo International Film Festival for Children, Cairo
2012 The Prize of the International Centre of Films For Children & Young People (CIFEJ) at the Cairo International Film Festival for Children, Cairo
2012 Best Feature Film, Dream Fest – Slatina
2012 “Jalpari” Got MIP Junior award for best film, Cannes


  1. ^ "The story that Kalam inspired". Hindustan Times. 25 September 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "creative future". British Council. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "About Eleeanora Images". Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Nila's Work". Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Nila Madhab's 'Jalpari' screened at Cannes International Film Festival". IbnLive. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Odisha: Anu Choudhary in acclaimed director Nila Madhab Panda's new youth film". Orissa Diary. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "I Am Kalam: Smile of a dreamer". Times of India. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "India's Film Bazaar Shortlists Co–production, Mentoring Projects". Hollywood Reporter. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Climate’s First Orphans by Nila Madhab Panda". 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  10. ^ "Climate's First Orphans' by Nila Madhab Panda, 'Concern Planet' Initiative to be conducted on a National canvas". Indiatimes. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Child scientist conducts programme on climate change at Kalaigaon". Assam Times. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "Honors". Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Awards". news.fullorissa. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Odisha Living Legend Award conferred on internationally acclaimed Film Maker Nila Madhab Panda". 14 November 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 

External links[edit]