By Our Correspondent
From 1936 to 2016, it’s a long journey the Odia cinema has indeed traversed. From the black and white ‘Sita Bibaha’ to the colour and shining ‘Agastya,’ the Ollywood has travelled a long path full of ups and downs.
In between, many developments have happened. Many talented actors, directors and producers have left their footprints in enrichment of Odia cinema. Some actors and directors have even earned their name and fame in national and inter national arenas.
However, this Ollywood industry is now the centre of controversy because of some black ships. Around 2000, some real estate developers and chit fund firm owners entered the industry in the name of making films. They were lured away by some senior artistes who promised them hefty returns on their investments. These artistes also allegedly trapped the producers by ensuring them company of glamorous girls – both old and the new entrants.
Allured, many chit fund firms, mining mafia and builders made a sudden jump into the water and splurged money on actors like water, without caring for interests of the investors and depositors
Actors who deserved one lakh rupees were paid ten times more and the normal budget of commercial movie increased manifold. This forced good and genuine film makers to keep themselves away from the industry.
Previously, producers had fair idea about the nitty-gritty of film production. They knew a little bit of editing, script writing and post-production work. Their all-round skill gave Odisha some ever-green movies.
Dhira Biswal’s Dharitri and Ei Aama Sindura, Subash Rout’s Suna Panjuri, Laxmanarekha, Jeevana sathi, Keshab Rout’s Suna Chadhei, Suna Sansara and Bhisma pratigyan, Basanta Nayak’s Danda Balunga, Jahaku Rakhibe Ananta, Nagen Sahoo’s Aarati and Kaberi, Debabrata Kar’s Ulka, Baje Bainsi Nache Ghungura, Amiya Patnaik’s Pua Mora Kala Thakura, Hakim Babu, Batakrushna Nayak’s Phula Chandana, Rajani gandha, Arun Mohanty’s Ghara Mora Swarga, Biswanath Pradhan’s Kalamanika, Babu Parsuram, Basudev Tripathy’s Basudha and Sabitri are still etched in the mind hearts of Odia film lovers.
Similarly, Phelu Patnaik’s Bidhata, Eithi Swarga Eithi Narka, Bijaya Kandoi’s Katha Deithili Maaku, Matrusakti, Pradyumna Lenka’s Puja Phula, Sathire and Gundagiri, Rabindra Sahoo’s Kulanandana, Bastraharana, Sanak Debata’s Maa Gojabayani, and Pua Mora Jagata Jita are considered as classic Odia movies.
The period from 1960 to 1990 will go down in Ollywood history as the golden period. However, now one wonders if this period will again return to the industry. Professional film makers are not in a position to hire artistes who have unreasonably increased their price beyond their net worth.
There is total confusion all around. Ollywood now stands at the crossroads. Experts with knowledge of Ollywood say that either the actors have to cut down their prices or the producers have to take the risk of groom new faces to save the industry from what it faces now – a total eclipse.