Mrunal Manmay Dash

Controversy apart, the World Odia Language Conference at Janata Maidan in Bhubaneswar has a lot for cinema lovers, especially Odia cinema lovers. Ollywood’s history, its struggle over the decades, its journey, everything has been placed in photo frames in a particular section of the conference.

The cinema gallery at the World Odia Language Conference has housed some incredible pieces of history that have become the first choice of cinema lovers at the Conference.

However, the primary point of attraction is the 'first of Odia cinema' gallery. The audience there, can see the first colour film-Gapa Helebi Sata, the film shot in the cinemascope – Hisaab Nikas, the first Sambalpuri cinema - Bhukha, which has made a special mark at the national level.

“I have seen many Odia films during my school days. Puja, Fula Chandana, Kie Jite Kie Hare, Ei Ama Sansara, Jahaku Rakhibe Ananta—these are some films I had watched when I was a boy. I love Odia songs as well. I am very happy reminiscing the memories at this conference,” said a visitor Ram Prasad Bishi.

The first Odia film Sita Vivah was released in 1936. Since then, the Odia film industry has seen many struggles and setbacks. With the passage of time, the taste of the people has changed and the style of cinema has changed accordingly. The 88-year-old story of Odia films has been beautifully depicted at the Odia Language Conference.

Sharing her experience, Ollywood actress Debasmita said, “I saw every movie shown here, from black & white to color. Not only the films, but equipment are on display too, which was used in the yesteryears for movie making."

The audiences were also treated to the golden era of Odia cinema on the screen at the event. Movie adaptations of Odia literature like Jajabara and Pushkara were also showcased.

It is pertinent to mention here that in February 2014, the Centre had notified Odia as the sixth Indian classical language after Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Sanskrit and Tamil.

(Reported By Prasenjeet Ray)