Pradeep Pattanayak

The Odia film industry, better known as Ollywood, witnessed a series of incidents in 2023. While the industry lost some eminent personalities, it had some good things in equal share as well. The industry also witnessed some controversies that brought disgrace to it. 

New Film Policy Before March 2024

Bringing cheer to the faces of people associated with the film industry, the Odisha government decided to bring a new film policy before March 2024. The decision was taken at an important meeting chaired by Secretary of the Industry Department, Hemant Sharma held on November 28, 2023. 

At the meeting, a decision was taken to simplify the Odisha State Film Policy 2019 and launch a new policy before March, 2024. The policy will focus on film production in the Odia language and the establishment of single multiplexes in rural areas. 

It was also decided that subsidy would be provided to the producers making films with good storylines; subsidies would also be provided to those keen to construct new cinema halls; steps would be taken to advertise Odia films in villages through Mission Shakti and steps will be taken to renovate around 40 film halls which are lying closed. 

Noted Odia Film-maker Chittaranjan Tripathy Appointed As NSD Director 

Eminent Odia actor, movie director, and producer, Chittaranjan Tripathy was appointed as the new director of the National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi. 

Chittaranjan is the first person from Odisha to hold the prestigious position. He hails from Chandbali area in Bhadrak district. Apart from being an actor, director, and producer, he is also a storyteller, screenplay writer, music director, lyricist, and playback singer.

A batch mate of Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui at NSD, Chittaranjan has directed Odia movies like ‘Dhauli Express’ and ‘Mukhya Mantri’. He has also acted in many Odia movies. In 2007, ‘Dhauli Express’ received three Odisha State Film Awards.

‘Pratikshya’ Won The National Award For Best Feature Film In Odia 

After ‘DAMaN’, ‘Pratikshya’ brought glory to the Odia Film Industry by bagging the National Award for Best Feature Film in Odia. 

While eminent Odia producer and director late Amiya Patnaik’s son, Anupam Patnaik was the director of the movie, its star cast included Dipanwit Dashmohapatra, Choudhury Jayprakash Das, Barsha Patnaik, Sreela Tripathy, Susil Mishra, Roopambika Nayak and Sidhant Mohapatra in a special appearance. 

The plot of the film was inspired by a short story written by noted author Gaurahari Das and some true incidents. Noted Bollywood actor Anupam Kher had announced that he would make a remake of ‘Pratikshya’ in Hindi. 

Demise Of Pintu Nanda 

In the year 2023, the Odia film industry lost a versatile actor, Pintu Nanda. He breathed his last at 11.25 pm on March 1 while undergoing treatment at a Hyderabad-based hospital. 

Suffering from liver cirrhosis, the actor was admitted to a Bhubaneswar-based hospital on February 1. On February 7, he was flown to New Delhi and was admitted to the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS). Meanwhile, a family member was supposed to donate liver to him. But that couldn’t be materialised due to mismatching of blood groups and other reasons. 

As per the rules, one can’t get organs from a living person. Organs can only be harvested from a dead person. So he was shifted to Hyderabad’s Yoshada Hospital. His last rites were performed at Swargadwara in Puri. 

Odia Film Industry Mourns Death Of Music Director Swarup Nayak 

Popular music director and composer Swarup Nayak passed away while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Cuttack on October 27, 2023, leaving a void forever. 

Nayak was popular for his contribution to the Odia film industry. His popular works and film credits include I Love You, and Pua Mora Bhola Shankar. Since the 80s, Nayak has been active in Ollywood and carved a niche for himself in the industry.

Apart from composing and music direction, he also acted in some films. Nayak created a sensation with his versatility which was also reflected in films like Premi No.1 and I Love You.

Nayak was also instrumental in helping several actors, especially the debutants to create a different fan base, through his songs.
The mortal remains of popular music director and composer Swarup Nayak were consigned to flames with full state honour at Satichaura crematorium in Cuttack on October 28. 

Veteran Odia Playback Singer Pranab Patnaik Fell Ill 

Eminent Odia playback singer Pranab Kishore Patnaik had to be admitted to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar following her complaint of illness.

His fans and well-wishers prayed for his speedy recovery and it worked. A few days later, he was discharged from the hospital. 

Born on January 20, 1938, Patnaik started his musical journey in 1958 when he made his debut in the film ‘Maa’. With his soulful voice, he struck a chord with the music lovers from his very first film. Patnaik has lent his voice to different genres of music such as Odissi, bhajans, semi-classical, traditional, folks, and ghazals, and dominated the industry for over five decades. 

He has the opportunity to sing with renowned singers including Usha Mangeshkar, Bhupinder Singh, Hemelata, Vani Jayram, and S Janaki. A recipient of Jayadev Samman- the highest film award of the state, he ruled the industry for over five decades. 

Controversy Over Boycott Of Manoj Mishra

Odia cine actor Manoj Mishra came into the firing line of some film producers in Ollywood. They have reportedly decided to boycott the well-known actor in their upcoming films for two years. They alleged that the actor was behind the protest in Sambalpur against the Odia film Ram featuring Arindam Roy and Anubhav Mohanty. However, actor Mishra pleaded his innocence. 

Trouble for Mishra further mounted when Sanlisha Patel, the producer of Pratha, filed an online FIR against him at Jharsuguda.

Ollywood Producer Tutu Nayak Arrested For Assaulting Lady Journalist 

The Commissionerate Police on November 4 arrested film producer Sanjay Nayak also known as Tutu Nayak on charges of slapping lady journalist Debasmita Rout in Bhubaneswar on November 3. 

After his production in court, he was sent to 14-day judicial custody. The SDJM Court Bhubaneswar on November 8 granted bail to Nayak. 
Notably, a female journalist, identified as Debasmita Rout, had accused him of assaulting her in full public view. Following which, the police arrested him. 

Before this, he was in the eye of the storm after imposing a ban on actor Manoj Mishra for two years. 

Orissa High Court Granted Divorce To Anubhav Mohanty From His Wife Varsha

Putting an end to the long and bitter legal battle, the Orissa High Court on December 21 granted divorce to MP Anubhav Mohanty from his actress wife Varsha Priyadarshini.

While allowing the couple to part ways, the High Court overturned the ruling of the Cuttack family court that had earlier rejected the divorce petition of the couple. 

Ollywood actor and BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty earlier moved the Orissa High Court challenging the decision of Cuttack Family Court which had rejected his divorce petition against his wife and film actress Varsha Priyadarshini.

The family court quashed the divorce petition last month after the couple could not prove their allegations and counter allegations.

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