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Is Odia Film Industry Losing Its Sheen? It is Time For An Introspection

12/11/2021 at 7:04 AM

By D N Singh

Baring a few exceptions, the general perception about Odia Cinema that prevails is, broadly, not so good. Even the feeling among the Odia cine goers is not that encouraging. In nut shell, when compared to the other regional films, here it all appear like a minnow in the school of whales.

What has emerged is, blind imitations, mainly of Tamil or Telugu remakes or a few copy paste of Bollywood celluloid ‘masala, ingredients.

Reasons can be many but the film watchers and critics in the field mainly prefer to cite the lack of finance, technical knowhow and a proper exhibition facility besides the constructive promotion of contents to woo the viewers. That is attitude on the part of the film-makers.   

And what is, perhaps, conspicuously absent is the intimate blend of the social fine distinctions and values those constitute the core Odia culture and life styles. Plus the worrying dearth of inclusion of new thinking and innovations by plucking themes from within the lives and history.

Efforts by the administrative apparatus to support this industry has been found bit wayward. Neither there has been any serious brain-storming by the film fraternity itself nor has there been any concerted attempt by the supervising government apparatus to    synch with the ground realities and breath steam into this mediocrity.

There was an attempt few years back to incorporate some quality technical up gradation and post production refinement through a joint venture with the Prasad Laboratory of Andhra Pradesh and the state owned Kalinga  Studio with a share equity pattern. Sadly, after an initial euphoria the venture nearly faltered and the said studio has merely remained to showcase greenery and other cosmetic decors whereas, the restructuring of the infrastructure fell flat.

Secondly, the Odisha Film Development Corporation(OFDC), which stood for providing several inherent impetus such as, in  making, a subsidy induced financial succor, the entire process got virtually derailed due to lack of a serious supervision and sincerity by the higher ups in this apparatus.

What practically bugged the OFDC is the improper manning of the corporation as   it was handed over to a lot who were from the official background and suffered from a serious dearth of the creative outlook which is a vital ingredient for quality cinema.

So the Corporation ultimately wore the look of an ex official guild comprised of in-office or retired government servants which made a collage of a reluctant lot, where creativity got a slow burial.

Attitude Of Film-makers Paramount

Why the question about attitude of film-makers arise here. It can be seen as short of version that, so much goes into making a good movie keeping in mind the taste of audience. Notwithstanding the financial constraints here, certain ingredients come into play even at lost cost films.

For example writing of scripts, direction and refinement afterwards can be made subjective according to the taste of audience and later the opinions come from them, which obviously helps a maker to differentiate between good and bad movies.

But the die-hard inclination to depend on borrowed themes and ‘masala’ from others snatches away one’s own creativity or block the makes’ ability to go out of the mind-set of copy paste       

 Almost every movie, in which ever language, gets stronger with a good script and that is where many films face the problems. Or else the entire production designers fail to conceive what all sets and art designs are they supposed to get ready. Same become the problems with the director or even the cinematographer. 

About the Author:

DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.


This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com

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