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Odia directors: A tribute to the masters

These are some Odia directors who have had a huge impact on the Ollywood industry and the Indian film industry as a whole...

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 4: If all the world’s a stage, some stalwarts of Ollywood have definitely made their mark. Ollywood, as the Odia film industry is better known, has been successful in producing hardworking and ineffable Odia directors and actors, legends who have started from scratch and gone on to make history.

There are a number of Odia directors who along with their films, have broken records. These Odia directors have widely contributed to the journey of Indian cinema.

Utkal Today shares some of the greatest Odia directors from the industry, as a tribute to their influence in enriching the Indian film fraternity.

Top Odia directors and filmmakers

Mohan Sunder Dev Goswami

Shyamasundar Dev Goswami, popularly known as Mohan Sunder Dev Goswami, was born on August 8, 1892 at Puri, Odisha. He is widely regarded as the Father of Odia films.

He is an Odia poet, director, producer and a renowned Guru of Rahasa which is a traditional theatrical form portraying the romance of Lord Krishna and Radha.

He has a major contribution in making the first Odia film named, Sita Bibaha which was released on April 28, 1936. Under the label of His Master’s Voice (HMV), he has a myriad of gramophone records to his credit. It consists of different kinds of Odissi Classical songs such as Chaupadi, Bhajana, Chhanda, Champu, Kirtana and Janana.

There is an award named after him, presented every year, remembering him and his huge contribution to the field of films and acting.

He passed away on January 11, 1948, at the age of 55.

Manmohan Mohapatra

A renowned Indian film maker, Manmohan Mohapatra was born on November 10, 1951 at Khurda in Odisha.

Post completing the filmmaking course from Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune he started his career as a director.

His debut movie Seeta Raati emerged as the first Odia movie to be screened at an international film festival in 1982. For his immense contribution to the Odia film industry, he has bagged eight national awards consecutively. In 2020, he won the Padma Shri for his contribution in the field of arts and films.

This year, on January 13th, Mohapatra passed away due to heart and kidney ailments.

Sanjay Nayak

Regarded as the most successful Odia directors and filmmakers in the Odia film Industry and an experimenter, Sanjay Nayak is a young talented, innovative and a renowned director of Ollywood.

Making the films for more than a decade under the banner of “Sanjay Nayak Films” he has directed Odisha’s first scientific fiction movie name Keun Duniaru Asila Bandhu.

Nayak was nominated for the Limca Book of Records for making censor of two consecutive films named Dil Tate Deichi and Sasura Ghara Jindabad by the same directors, actors, producer, cameraman and the same day of shooting.

He has been awarded with Odisha State Award for his movie named Pagala Karichi Punji Tora. In 2018, Nayak was honoured with an honorary doctorate for his successful contribution in Ollywood.

Prashant Nanda

Born on May 2, 1947, in Odisha, Prashant Nanda is an Odia director, actor and playback singer. Starting his career with the debut movie named Nua Bou, he worked as the actor, director, and playback singer and has also received the National Film Award.

Nanda has directed and acted as the lead in a Bollywood movie, Naiyaa in 1979. Naiyaa is the Hindi remake of the Odia movie, Shesha Shrabana.

Jianta Bhoota, a movie on the environment, directed by him and starring Manoj Mishra, Rimjhim and Minaketan Das, Bikash Das and others, bagged the National Film Award for the Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation.

The 73-year-old Lifetime Achievement Awardee is currently a member of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and an MP.

Hara Patnaik

Hara Patnaik a.k.a. Hari Patnaik was born on October 12, 1958 in Cuttack.

Patnaik has left a permanent imprint amongst Odia directors, actors, screenplay writers and singers in the history of Ollywood. He was widely regarded as the ‘best villain’ in the entire Odia film industry till date.

Patnaik has instituted and launched many newcomers like Babushaan, Sabyasachi Mishra and Anubhav Mohanty into Ollywood.

Within a span of  20 years in the Odia film industry, Hara Patnaik appeared in more than five films and has directed around 19 films. He has bagged and has been a recipient of several state-level awards and accreditation from media and Odia cine audience.

On January 13, 2015, Patnaik passed away.

Ashok Pati

Ashok Pati is an Odia director and actor who has appeared in films like Idiot: I Do Ishq Only Tumse (2012), Prema Adhei Akshyara (2012), Luchkali (2012).

He has also worked as the assistant director in Odia and Hindi films like Rakhi Vijigala Kah Luhare, Suna Palinki, Laxmi Pratima, Kie Pochhi Daba Maa Akhi Ra Luha, Sahara Jaluchhi, Mana Rahigala Tumari Thare, Chori Chori (Hindi), Deewaar…Let’s bring our heroes’ home (Hindi).

A majority of the films directed by him are usually remakes of South-Indian movies which he transforms into Bengali and Odia films.

Some of his remade movies include Sriram Surdas (remake of Andhhagadu), Inspector Notty K (remake of Romeo and Juliet 2), Sister Sridevi (remake of Remo), Vision (remake of Kal Kisne Dekha).

In films like Deewana Deewani (2013), Shapath (2012), 143- I love you (2011), Dream Girl (2009), Mate Ta Love Helare (2008), Sanju aur Sanjana (2010), Dosti (2011), Loafer (2011), Mu Tate Love Karuchi (2007), Baazi (2005) he has done the screenplay and worked on the stories.

Susant Misra

Susant Misra was born on July 23, 1965, in Cuttack. He is one of the more successful Odia directors whose films have been screened at many international film festivals.

Looking into his professional front, Susant Misra has a post-graduation degree from FTII, Pune in screenplay and direction. Post his graduation, he directed his debut film, Indradhanur Chaai. This film has won the Grand Prix at the Sochi International Film Festival in Russia.

Apart from films, he has also directed three documentaries — Dhenkanal- A Multifaceted Paradise, Samarpanam on Malvika Sarukka, an ebullient Bharatnatayam dancerand Pearls of Wisdom — based on Odia Literature for the Children’s Film Society, India.

Tapas Sargharia

Tapas Sargharia is a versatile person and has worked as a director, assistant director, screenwriter and actor in the Odia film Industry. His debut film Pagal Premi was released in the year 2007. He worked as the assistant director in Suna Chadhei Mo Rupa Chadhei in the year 2009.

Sargharia has directed Odia films like Chal Tike Dusta Heba, Hero No. 1, Tu Mo Love Story.

For his eminent films, he has received 8th Ruchi OFA-2017 and the Best Story Award for his film Ishq Tu Hi Tu at 27th State award in 2015.

Amiya Patnaik

An Indian filmmaker, producer and playwright, Patnaik is a vibrant personality in Ollywood. His debut film Mamata Mage Mula was released in 1985. Amiya Patnaik has produced an enormous number of Odia films.

One of his films Hakim Babu successfully grabbed the National Award for Best Feature film in Odia Category. He has won the 33rd National Film Award for the Best Feature Film in Odia. Later he received the Odisha state award for six different categories. Patnaik passed away on October 19, 2018.

Now that you know who the best Odia directors are and how much they have contributed to the Ollywood film industry, why not grab a bowl of popcorn and check out their films?

You can also read our article on Odia films that have won national awards: https://www.utkaltoday.com/odia-films-national-award/

Rajagopalan Balakrishnan
A young author, compiler, editor, and a good orator is what he is. Born at the heart of India, New Delhi he is graduated in the field of English Literature and is a part of Haneul Publication.


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