By Srikanta Mohanty: Odia Film industry, familiar everywhere as Ollywood, shares a great transitional period with the past. Despite the flaws and setbacks, the industry has flourished as budding talents from the state made headlines in various national and international competitions. Pacing with the changes in Hindi film industry, it has also changed remarkably over the years.
The ten most memorable things about Ollywood are as follows;
- As everyone is aware that the first Odia film made in the year 1936 was “Sita Bibaha” but subsequently the next movie made was after 13 years. So in the year 1949, the next Odia film came “Lalita“.
- In the year 1951, the Odia film came with an English name “Roles-28”, was the fifth film of Ollywood.
- The first Odia film was released in “Lakhmi Talkies” of Puri which is one of the old cinema halls in Odisha. The first cinema hall in Odisha, Sri Sitara Villas Talkies, was founded by A.B.Chetty in the year 1927 at Berhampur. The oldest cinema hall screened classic movies like Alam Ara and the silent movie Raja Harishchandra by Dada saheb Phalke.
- Odia film industry had a turning point in its course of History with the production of 11th film- “Sri Lokanath” directed by Prafulla Sengupta. It won the national award in the year 1960.
- Prasanta Nanda-the versatile actor, director, screenplay writer, and lyricist- came into limelight with his national award winning performance in the film “Nua Bou”. He won three national awards successively for his films in 1960, 1966, and 1969 for the movies Nua Bou, Matira Manisa, and Adina Megha.
- The storylines of film-making moved towards newer themes as the era of popular commercial cinema dawned with the arrival of an actor-turned-director- Mohammed Mohsin. Starting his directorial debut with phool Chandana, he continued the stint with successful direction and production of sixteen movies.
- Keeping pace with the winds of change in Hindi cinema, Ollywood began making of big budget and multi-starrer movies in the eighties. Amiya Ranjan Pattnaik belonged to the next generation director, who made such successful commercial movies. Even his films were produced in three different languages such as Odia, Bengali and Bangladeshi.
- Anubhav Mohanty is the only actor in the industry to have a meteoric rise in his career as an actor within a decade. With his debut film I Love You in the year 2004, he has become the highest paid super-star of the industry.
- The first produced film by Anubhav Mohanty, –Something something– in the year 2012 ran for 115 days in Odisha and Bangalore, which is a new record in the industry.
- Many films in Odia language fetched national and international awards. Jianta Bhuta-a film made by Prashanta Nanda on environment and conservation- won National Award as best film in the year 2008. Bhuka- another film made in Koshali language of Sambalpur got the prestigious International Jury award at Gijon international Film festival in 1990.
- Renowned Bengali film director, Mrinal Sen, directed the Odia film- “Matira Manisha”– in the year 1966 that won National Award (Silver Lotus) in the year 1967.