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BHUBANESWAR: The newly formed Odisha Films Journalists' Forum (OFJF) has announced the screening of a series of Oriya films considered as classics commencing on the historic day of April 28 – the day the first Oriya film Sita Vivah was released 75 years ago.
OFJF secretary Surya Deo stated that the forum was formed to commemorate the ongoing celebration of 75 years of Oriya cinema. “Film journalists have an important role to play in the growth of our cinema and hence we have come together during this historic year to contribute our best to the film culture and film industry of our state,” he added. The landmark films in Oriya have gone out of access of the people and hence OFJF decided to kick off its activities with Cine-Smruti, screening of a series of such films commencing with Malajanha on April 28 at IDCOL auditorium in the Capital.
Malajanha, made in 1965, is regarded as the first new wave cinema in Oriya. Considered at par with Satyajit Ray's path-breaking Pather Panchali, it claimed the coveted President's Award. While late Netai Palit directed it, living legends like Jharana Das, Manimala Devi and Laxmipriya Mohapatra (the first Odissi dancer of the world and wife of late legendary Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra) acted in it. Similarly, legendary playback singer Pranab Patnaik and veteran lyricist Binodini Devi were also associated with the film, Deo informed. Late legendary singer-composer-lyricist-writer Akshya Mohanty was one of the producers of the film, he added.
Eminent publisher and connoisseur of culture, Mahendra Mishra was instrumental in acquiring the copyright of the film and restoring its prints that went into oblivion for decades, Deo revealed. Mishra would be specially felicitated on the occasion along with the cast and crew of the film who are alive today, he mentioned. A booklet on the film is also being released on the occasion by the OFJF, it was learnt.
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