MUMBAI: Minister for Information & Broadcasting Ambika Soni said the endeavour of the Directorate of Film Festival in promoting non-mainstream, regional cinema, and in taking cinema beyond the metropolis has evoked popular response across the country. Such festivals have created a spirit of appreciation for good cinema across the country. This has not only encouraged the growth of cinema, it has also promoted national integration. A case in point was the three day Odia Film Festival which provided an opportunity to the film lovers in the capital to view the thematic and diverse heritage of Odia Cinema covering a period of 75 years.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said although Odia Cinema had been around for such a long time, very little was known about its achievements, its contributions. The release of the first Odia Talkie Sita Bibah in 1936 was a defining moment for ethnic film movement and added a new dimension. The second Odia film Lalita was made in 1949. In the last 75 years, the Minister said, the Odia Films had given a new identity and flavor to the film movement in the country.
Soni also said, the Directorate of Film Festival had cleared the backlog of National Film Awards by organizing 3 (three) National Awards in a record time of 12 months and thereby updating the Awards calendar. At the same time the initiative to hold mini film festivals in different parts of the country had given a spurt to the film movement in the country.
The three day festival from 15 – 17 April, 2011 showcased a number of films such as Jatra Jeevan Jeevan Yatra, Klanta Aparahna, Dhare Alua, Indradhanura Chhai, Nilamadhab, Dhauli Express, Jianta Bhuta and Adi Mimansa. The Festival opened with the screening of the inaugural film Maya Mriga directed by Nirad Mohapatra.