Sanlisha Patel, producer of the Odia film ‘Pratha', who had launched a hunger strike as part of her indefinite dharna at lower PMG Square in Bhubaneswar three days ago over fulfilment of several demands, broke her fast on Saturday, but said that she would continue her dharna for her campaign ‘Odia Chalachitra Banchao’.
Her dharna earned support from many artistes in the Odia film industry. Veteran actress Mahasweta Ray and actress Anu Choudhary among other artistes joined Sanlisha at the protest site in the evening.
Sanlisha broke her fast in the presence of the Chairperson of the Odisha Film Development Corporation (ODFC), Kuna Tripathy, who assured the resolution of problems plaguing the Odia film industry.
Speaking to the media, Mahasweta Ray observed, “When I was in Mumbai, I supported her dharna. I had a telephonic conversation with her and also updated by Facebook for the cause she is fighting for. I thanked artistes, film producers, music directors, and technicians for supporting the girl for such a step meant for the development of the Odia film industry. She did not know that many would come to her support.”
Mahasweta further stated that those viewers who had once turned their back to the Odia films, have started turning their face to it, but lack of halls is now a problem. “Film distribution system should be streamlined. Issues related to how producers will get back their invested money and ensuring work for artistes should be taken into consideration. If halls are aplenty, producers will not face problems,” she added.
Sanlisha has been demanding the state government and the Odisha Film Development Corporation (OFDC) to establish film halls in each block headquarters. Prominent among her other demands were, making rules for multiplexes and cinema halls to mandatorily run Odia films for at least 15 days as in other states, making Odia films tax-free, administration support in film distribution and producers, putting in place a system for producers to get back their invested money, and imposing restrictions on bad publicity.