DOCU FEST Orissa film-makers get together, give a two-day treat.
Better late then never. Realising the wisdom in the saying, documentary and short filmmakers of Orissa came together recently to form the Odisha Short and Documentary Filmmakers’ Association (OSDFA) to further the cause of this marginalised genre of cinema. And within a few weeks of its formation, the association aptly hosted its first festival of short and documentary films in the Capital recently.
The two-day event that aroused considerable enthusiasm from filmmakers and film lovers of the city showcased 22 films made by members of the association.
It included the opening film, Yugashrasta Sachi Routray, produced in 1999 by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, and directed by Bijay Ketan Mishra, the award-winner filmmaker of Ahalya, Cuttack-based filmmaker Soudamini Mishra’s national award winner documentary, Kalahandi, directed by Gautam Ghosh, acclaimed filmmaker Susant Misra-directed Samarpanam that is based on the life of well-known dancer Malavika Sarukkai and this year’s national award winner documentary Jatra Jeeban-Jeeva Jatra by journalist-turned filmmaker Kapilas Bhuyan that was the closing film of the festival.
True, most of the films were propaganda films for being produced mostly by and for the government agencies. Yet, the creativity of the filmmakers was distinctly visible in their works — Mehmood Hussain, Ajit Das, Ajay Routray, Gajendra Behera, Abhay Nayak and Ambuj Satpathy.
The shortest film of the festival, Maa, of four minutes’ duration, made by the youngest participant, Chintamani Biswal, stood apart for its treatment. A painter himself, Chintamani’s artistic sensibility has been the major influence in its making. Jakir Khan’s film on Orissa’s onion cultivation made with a montage of still photographs was also equally fascinating. So also the short animation films of Ranjit Mohanty.
Orissa’s pioneers in the arena of documentary film-making, Ghanashyam and Gopal Ghosh, were specially honoured by the association during the inaugural ceremony.
The festival also hosted Open Forum, a session devoted exclusively to deliberations on the problems and prospects of documentary filmmaking in Orissa.
Besides internationally acclaimed Oriya filmmaker Manamohan Mohapatra, Finance Minister P. C. Ghadei, Industries Minister B. B. Harichandan and Orissa Film Development Corporation chairperson Sitakant Mishra, all connected with the policy making of the film industry, attended the festival and listened to the proceedings.