(Last Updated on : 09/12/2010)
Orissa movies did not emerge in the era of silent movies. It was not before 1934 that Oriya films managed to hog the limelight. The film was Sita Bibaha, a mythological drama by Mohan D Goswamy. The plot of the film is inspired from Ramayana
. Sita Bibaha was a landmark film
in the history of Oriya cinema
. The pace of making the Oriya films was rather slow. Almost after 15 years of the release of Sita Bibaha another Oriya film in the serious stream was released in 1966, Matira Manisha. It bagged the National Award. This film was directed by Mrinal Sen
. His example was an encouragement enough for other film directors to follow suit. An awareness for serious filmmakers also received a boost. Social melodramas and mythological films were made in the meantime for the regional audiences.
One of the most sensitive films made in the 1900s was Malajanha (1965). It was directed by Nitai Palit. This Oriya film is a sensitive melodrama about an unmarried couple in which the woman ends up committing suicide because of the persecution of the people of her village. Another musical drama, Arundhati (1967) also made an impact with the audiences. It was directed by Prafulla Sengupta.
But the first Oriya film that bagged the National award was Sri Lokenath in 1960. This film too was directed by Prafulla Sengupta. This was a great achievement as far as Oriya films were concerned as the industry till then was in a nascent stage. In this very year Prasantha Nanda also fetched the National Award as best actor for the film Nau Bau. With two National awards in its kitty the Oriya film industry appeared on the national level. Prasantha Nanda went ahead and became one of the most celebrated stars in the Oriya film industry. He was an actor, director, screenplay writer, and lyricist and even as a playback singer. He has contributed greatly to the development of the Oriya films.
Since then several talented Oriya actors
have served the film industry. It is due to their contributions and the efforts on the part of the Oriya directors
that the Oriya films received recognition. Some of the Oriya films are Lalita (1949), Saptasaiya (1950), Amari Gaan Jhua (1953), Kedar Gouri (1954), Mahalakshmi Pooja (1959), Nua Bou (1962), Sadhana (1964), Manikajodi (1964), Amada Bata (1964), Malajanha (1965), Kaa (1966), Adina Megha (1970), Mana Akasha (1974), Abhimaan (1977), Punar Milan (1977), Jalal Adeni (1977), Agni Pareeksha (1980), Akshi Tritiya (1981), ), Jwain Pua (1982), Babula (1985), Bagula Baguli (1986), Jorjar Mulak Tar (1987), Ashok Sharma (1988), Kanyadaan (1988), Andha Diganta (1989), Akasar Akhi (1989), Asuchi Mo kalia Sune (1989), Dora (1993), Jibana Dhara (1995), Jhilli (1996) and others.