Cinema of Odisha
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In 1974, the Government of Odisha declared film making and construction of cinema theaters as an industry in the state, and in 1976 it established the Odisha Film Development Corporation in Cuttack.
Odisha has a history of filmmaking, starting from1936. The first Odia film is Sita Bibaha, made by Mohan Sundar Deb Goswami in 1936. Drawn from the Indian epic Ramayana, the story is about the marriage of Sita and Ram. The film plot was made from a drama written by Kamapala Mishra. Prepared with a budget of only Rs 30,000, the film has 14 song sequences. Despite it being the first Odia film with several drawbacks in every section of its making, the two-hour-long movie generated great enthusiasm among the people. It was released in Laksmi Talkies, Puri. The 12-reeled film had in its cast Makhanlal Banerjee (Ram), who received only Rs 120 for his performance, Aditya Ballav Mohanty (Lakhsman), who got only Rs 35 as conveyance allowance, and Prabati Devi (Sita), who was paid the highest amount of Rs 150. This was a landmark film of the Odia film Industry.
The pace of Odia film production in the initial years was very slow. After Sita Bibaha, only two films were produced until 1951. A joint consortium of landlords and businessmen who collected funds after 1948 produced those two movies. The 1951 production Roles Two Eight was the first Odia film with an English name. It was released 15 years after the first Odia film, Sita Bibaha. It was the fourth Odia film produced by Ratikant Padhi.
The same year, Prasanta Nanda won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Odia for his debut film, Nua Bou. His name would always be synonymous with the Odia film industry. He was present in Odia films since 1939, but he became very active only after 1976. Nanda was an actor, director, screenplay writer, lyricist and playback singer. Nanda won National Awards three times, in 1960, 1966 and 1969 for his acting in Nua Bou, Matir Manisha and Adina Megha.
Mohammad Mohsin started the revolution in the Odia film industry by not only securing the essence of the Odia culture but also changing the way the film industry watched Odia movies. Phoola Chandana was written by Ananda Sankar Das. He belongs to Cuttack. His movies heralded the golden era of the Odia film industry by bringing in freshness to Odia movies. His directorial debut was Phoola Chandana for which he won the Odisha State Film Award for Best Director. He had to his credit 16 box office successful movies in his directorial stint. He started as an actor in character roles and gave household names like Raaka to Odisha.
Amiya Ranjan Patnaik, who started his career directing Mamata Mage Mula, changed the dimension of the Odia film industry by producing big budget movies with multiple star casts, which was a new trend at that time. He introduced many newcomers, musicians, technicians and singers from Mumbai and Chennai. He also produced the National Award-winning film Hakim Babu in 1985, directed by Pranab Das. His film Pua Mora Kala Thakura, directed by Raju Mishra, was one of the biggest successes in the Odia film industry, followed by Chaka Aakhi Sabu Dekhuchi and Asuchi Mo Kalia Suna. He frequently collaborated with Raju Mishra, Akshaya Mohanty, Bijay Mohanty and Uttam Mohanty. He started the trend of producing trilingual films in the Odia film industry. Raja Rani, Paradeshi Babu and Parimahal were made in Odia, Bengali and Bangladeshi. He made a comeback as a director and made Tulasi Apa produced by his son Anupam Patnaik. Tulasi Apa was a critical success within many international festivals. This was the first biopic of Odisha based on Padmashree Tulasi Munda.
Uttam Mohanty, whose debut film Abhiman won accolades, was very successful in the 1990s. His wife Aparajita Mohanty is also an actress. Actress Nandita Das, who acted in several Hindi movies like Fire, has an Odia origin. She acted in the Susanta Misra-directed Biswaprakash, which won a National Award in 2000. Critics have named Bijay Mohanty and Mihir Das to be two of the best Odia actors so far. Siddhanta Mahapatra, a new generation star, is also successful. Barsha Priyadarshini is also another successful actress in the millennium era of Odia cinema. Anubhab Mohanty is a well-known name in Ollywood, famous for his action and romantic movies. Mrinal Sen directed an Odia film, Matira Manisha, which won a National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Odia to Prashanta Nanda. Sita Bibaha is one of the movie in Odia Cinema made in 1936 which is almost nearer to the 1st Indian talkie cinema "Alam Ara" made in 1930.
Notable people of the Odia film industry
- Prem Anand
- Akshaya Mohanty
- Prafulla Kar
- Bhubaneswar Mishra
- Balakrushna Das
- Upendra Kumar
- Sarat Nayak
- Odisha State Film Awards
- National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Oriya
- National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress (1987) - Manjula Kanwar for Bhanga Silata
- National Film Award for Best Child Artist (1994) - Tarasankar Misra for Lavanya Preethi
- Filmfare Awards East
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