Posts Tagged ‘Oriya Film Industry’
What a way to evolve for Orissa cinema? From touring amphitheaters to large halls that accommodate hundreds; from mythological scripts to urban fantasies; from low budget investments to films running into crores; from an average of one to three films to an average of 15-20 films a year – clearly the journey so far for the Oriya film industry has not only been tremendous but also spectacular.
Long back, in the 1934, a pious man of Puri Mohan Sundar Dev Goswami fist mooted the idea of producing in Oriya Film. Then Orissa lacked the basic infrastructural facilities for the production of film. Neither a good director was available nor was there a well equipped studio. The man with stone grit decides to scribe his own script based on the drama written by Kampal Mishra and with help of Priyanath Ganguli of Kolkatta produced the first Oriya film “Sita Bibaha” which was released in the year 1936, April 28 at laxmi Takies Puri.
The film was a culmination of unflinching faith of Mohan Sundar Dev Goswami who struggled with phenomenal odds to give Orissa a new identity in celluloid form. Oriya films thus did not have a tryst with silent movies. The path was set for talkie films. Produced with an investment of only Rs 30,000, the film had 14 song sequences. The 12-reeled film had in its cast line Makhanlal Banerjee (Ram) who received only Rs 120 for his performance, Aditya Ballav Mohanty (Lakhsman) who got only Rs 35 as conveyance allowance and Prabhabati Devi (Sita) who was paid the highest amount of Rs 150. Despite it being the first Oriya film with several drawbacks in every section of its making, the two-hour-long movie generated great enthusiasm among the people.
However the lack of theaters that could display the films to a greater mass of people meant that the film was a commercial failure. And this put a brake on other financers to put their money into film making in Oriya language. The situation continued for the next thirteen years as no other film was ever made in Oriya till 1948.
Rupa Bharti Ltd, a public limited company was then mooted to produce films in Oriya. The first public limited company in entertainment business in India was thus born in Orissa and provided a solution to the problem of finance by collecting Rs 10 to Rs 100 from general public. The same year another production house waslaunched in Orissa. Named Eastern movies tone Pvt. Ltd, the company presented Orissa with its second movie “Lalita” in 1949. The following year ‘Rupa Bharati Ltd. Company’ after successfully raising capital from the market, produced “Sri Jagannath” – a film based on an episode from Hindu mythology. The film released in 1950 was massively successful and was remade in telugu to be relaunched in Andhra Pradesh where it again went in to make big money
Stage was thus set for Oriya film industry to take a quantum leap from here, The 1951 production ‘Roles to Eight’ was the first Oriya film having an English name. This was the fourth Oriya film and was produced by Ratikanta Padhi. The pace of oriya films was very slow till then but the art of making movies had been learnt by Oriyas.
It was the year 1960 that Oriya film making got its major recognition in national circles as Sri Lokenath became the first Oriya film to get a national award. The film directed by Prafulla Sengupta was just the 11th film to have been produced by the Oriya film industry. The same year, Prasantha Nanda wan National Award as best actor for the film Nau Bau. The iconic film personality who would later leave an indelible impression on the Oriya filmdom had just made a debut as an actor with this film.
The name of Prasanta Nanda would always come while dealing with Oriya films. He was present in Oriya films since 1939, but he became super active only after 1976. Nanda served Oriya filmdom as an actor, director, screenplay writer, and lyricist and even as a playback singer. Such a versatile genius is quite rare in Indian cinema history. Prashant Nanda alone carried Oriya films into the national honor list by winning National Awards for three times in 1960, 1966 and 1969 for his acting in Nua Bou, Matir Manisha and Adina Megha.
Oriya films, especially in 1960s and in 1970s, were highly indebted to Bengali films. Several Bengali directors help their Oriya counterparts to help make films. Eminent director Mrinal Sen even directed an Oriya film Matir Manisha which won National Award for best actor. Prashanta Nanda was the winner.
The Oriya film industry kept growing exponentially in the 1970’s especially after the runway hit, ‘Mamata’ (1975) directed by Bymokesh Tripathy . Though a number of Oriya film were produced no attempt was made to provide the basic amenities to the producers in the state, this inadequacy stood as a major hurdle for producing more films in Oriya language. Consequently the Orissa Film Development Corporation Ltd. was established in the year 1976 as a nodal agency for implementing the state policies with a view to promoting the growth of film industries in Orissa. In seventies Oriya Cinema gave birth to its first colour film “Gapa Helebi Sata” (1976) though ‘Samaya’ (1975) was partially coloured). During the mid seventies, Oriya Cinema lost its direction, films were made with the sole intension of doubling the investments, irrespective of quality. This lead to deterioration of Oriya Cinema,where culture value were thrown the winds, and box office culture of the cheap hindi commercial cinema was imported. Plagiarism become the order of the day. Big budget films came to be made and the decline quality set in.
During the eighties, a total of 119 films were produced on an average of 12 films were made. Most important event of the Oriya film industry in eighties is arrival of three directors of the “Parallel Cinema” and they have brought the Oriya film industry a fair glory. They were Nirod Mohapatra, Manmohan Mohapatra and Sagir Ahamed all from Pune Film and Television Institute. Nirod Mohapatra’s Maya Miriga in 1984 was mile stone in the history of Oriya Cinema.Shagir Ahamed ‘Dhare Allua’ was selected for Indian panorama in 1984 along with ‘Maya Miriga’. On the other hand Manmohan Mohapatra laid the foundation stone of new wave cinema in Orissa in 1982 making his 1st film ‘Seeta Rati’.
Though the Oriya film industry has grown vigorously since the 1990 and the 2000’s, the genre of film making has declined. Of late, Bollywood seem to havegreatly influenced Oriya movies in form and content. Though number of films being released in Orissa has kept growing in numbers, commercialism defines the intent now. But as has always been said that with every cloud there is also a silver lining, it has also meant that Orissa film industry is today exploring avenues that it had never done earlier.
Going outdoors has become frequent even for a few scenes.Wearing beautiful costumes and designer labels and sprinkling the film with beautiful locales has just become the order of the day. A latest release “Mote Bahu Kari Nei Jaa” in fact became the first film in Oriya to have been completely shot in a foreign locale. The viewership has also grown in proportion. Proliferation of television channels and Cds has only aided the rising popularity of Oriya filmdom.
The Oriya film industry on its sojourn to glory has spawned a line of stars who have left indelible impression on the oriya film industry. While Sriram Panda, Prashant Nanda and Uttam Mohanty, as lead actors, and Dukhiram Swain, Bijay Mohanty and Hara Pattnai as villains were uncontested in their respective roles; Jharana Das, Mahasweta and Aparajita were the unchallenged heroines of the classic era.
Today Sidhhanta Mahapatra and now Anubhavhave claimed extraordinary success as lead male pairs. Other actors on reckoning today are Sabyasachi, Buddhaditya, Aakash, Arindam, Archita and Barsha Priyadarshini who have kept on giving regular hitsto Oriya film industry.