The Odia film industry (Odia: ଓଡ଼ିଆ ସିନେମା), colloquially known as Ollywood, is the Odia language Indian film industry, based in Cuttack, Odisha. The name is a portmanteau of the words Odia and Hollywood.
Oriya has a history of filmmaking, starting in 1936. The first Oriya production, a talkie, Sita Bibaha, was made by Mohan Sundar Deb Goswami in 1936. Drawn from the Indian epic Ramayana, the story is about the marriage of Sita and Ram. The film plot was made from a drama written by Kamapala Mishra. Prepared with a budget of only Rs 30,000, the film has 14 song sequences. Despite it being the first Oriya film with several drawbacks in every section of its making, the two-hour-long movie generated great enthusiasm among the people. It was released by Laksmi Talkies, Puri. The 12-reeled film had in its cast Makhanlal Banerjee (Ram), who received only Rs 120 for his performance, Aditya Ballav Mohanty (Lakhsman), who got only Rs 35 as conveyance allowance, and Prabati Devi (Sita), who was paid the highest amount of Rs 150. This was a landmark film of the Oriya film Industry.
The pace of Oriya film production in the initial years was very slow. After Sita Bibaha, only two films were produced until 1951. A joint consortium of landlords and businessmen who collected funds after 1948 produced those two movies. The 1951 production Roles to Eight was the first Oriya film with an English name. It was released 15 years after the first Oriya film, Sita Bibaha. It was the fourth Oriya film produced by Ratikant Padhi.
The eleventh Oriya film, Sri Lokenath, was directed by Prafulla Sengupta and received the National Award in 1960.
The same year, Prasanta Nanda won the National Award as best actor for his debut film, Nua Bou. His name would always be synonymous with the Oriya film industry. He was present in Oriya films since 1939, but he became very active only after 1976. Nanda was an actor, director, screenplay writer, lyricist and playback singer. Nanda won National Awards three times, in 1960, 1966 and 1969 for his acting in Nua Bou, Matir Manisha and Adina Megha.
Mohammed Mohsin started the revolution in the Oriya film industry by not only securing the essence of the Oriya culture but also changing the way the film industry watched Oriya movies. Phool Chandan was written by Ananda Sankar Das. He belongs to Mayurbhanj. His movies heralded the golden era of the Oriya film industry by bringing in freshness to Oriya movies. His directorial debut was Phoola Chandana for which he won the best director award from the state. He had to his credit 16 box office successful movies in his directorial stint. He started as an actor in character roles and gave household names like Raaka to Odisha. Mohsin started his career with B.R. Chopra as an assistant director.
Amiya Ranjan Patnaik, who started his career directing Mamata Mage Mula, changed the dimension of the Oriya film industry by producing big budget movies with multiple star casts, which was a new trend at that time. He introduced many newcomers, musicians, technicians and singers from Mumbai and Chennai. He also produced the National Award winning film Hakim Babu in 1985. His film Pua Mora Kala Thakura, directed by Raju Mishra, was one of the biggest successes in the Oriya film industry, followed by Chaka Aakhi Sabu Dekhuchi and Asuchi Mo Kalia Suna. He frequently collaborated with Raju Mishra, Akshaya Mohanty, Bijay Mohanty and Uttam Mohanty. He started the trend of producing trilingual films in the Oriya film industry. Raja Rani, Paradeshi Babu and Parimahal were made in Oriya, Bengali and Bangladeshi.
Uttam Mohanty, whose debut film Abhiman won accolades, was very successful in the 1990s. His wife Aparajita Mohanty is also an actress. Actress Nandita Das, who acted in several Hindi movies like Fire, has an Oriya origin. She acted in the Susanta Misra-directed Biswaprakash, which won a National Award in 2000. Critics have named Bijay Mohanty and Mihir Das to be two of the best Oriya actors so far. Siddhanta Mahapatra, a new generation star, is also successful. Barsha Priyadarshini is also another successful actress in the millennium era of Oriya cinema. Anubhab Mohanty is a well-known name in Ollywood, famous for his action and romantic movies.
Mrinal Sen directed an Oriya film, Matira Manisha, which won a National Award for best actor Prashanta Nanda.
Cast and crew
Personalities of the Oriya film industry include: