First Odia Film ‘Sita Bibaha’ Completes 84 Years Today

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Bhubaneswar: It was on this day 84 years ago, the first Odia film, ‘Sita Bibaha’, released on April 28, 1936. The film is cherished by the people of Odisha till date as it marks the struggle for the manifestation of Odia culture in celluloid form.

Let’s revisit ‘Sita Bibaha’ through this listicle:

  • Directed and produced by Mohan Sundar Deb Goswami, ‘Sita Bibaha’ revolves around the marriage of Sita to Ram according to the epic Ramayana.
  • The prominent roles in the movie were played by Makhanlal Bannerjee (Ram), Prabhavati (Sita) and Adaita Ballabha Mohanty (Laxman).
  • The film had 14 songs rendered by playback singers from Odisha.
  • As it was the first film, producer Mohan Sundar had to seek loans to pay his actors.
  • Lead actor Makhanlal had signed the film for Rs 120, Adaita Ballabha Mohanty received Rs 35 and lead actress Prabhabati was paid the highest amount of Rs 150.
  • Sponsored by the Calcutta-based Kali Film Studio, Sita Bibaha was made on a budget of Rs 30,000.
  • The Bengal Board of Film Certificate and the police commissioner of Lal Bazaar had awarded the censor certificate to the film.
  • The two-hour movie was first released at Laxmi Talkies in Puri and then at Cinema Palace in Cuttack.
  • This first ever Odia film had left cash registers ringing at the box office because of its mythological connect and the essence of Odia culture.

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