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Short film made in Odisha village wins award in COVID-19 film festival

Shooting of the short film taking place.

Shooting of the short film taking place.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Martyapura Re Jamaraj (‘Yamaraj on earth’), a short film produced by a group from the Ankushpur village of Odisha’s Ganjam district has won a special jury award at the COVID-19 International Film Festival 2020. The 13-minute short film in Odia seeks to spread awareness in rural areas on preventive measures to check the spread of the coronavirus through humour. The online festival of short films focused on the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, a group of young people from Ankushpur got together to make the film. Stitadhi Rath, a well-known painter from the district, directed it. Sadanand Sahu, Rabindranath Sahu and Kanhu Behera of Ankushpur played the three major characters in the short film; other youth from the village essayed minor roles. Sanyasi Moharana produced it. Cameraman Basant Maharana also hails from Ankushpur. All necessary precautions were taken during the shooting of the short film, which has been dedicated to frontline COVID-19 personnel.

Showing on the festival’s online platform from May 26, the film has been appreciated by the jury. Mr. Rath said the accolade will provide much-needed joy to the group that made it.

The film relies on humour, satire and mythology, with its story revolving around Yamaraj, the god of death, and Chitragupta, his record keeper, entertaining rural viewers hooked to smartphones during the lockdown, said Mr. Rath. Another important character in the film is Amania, COVID-19 patient Yamaraj is looking for. Amania, the story goes, disobeys all precautions and thus ends up in danger of being infected.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 7:53:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/short-film-made-in-odisha-village-wins-award-in-covid-19-film-festival/article31835127.ece

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