Ganeswar Mishra Memorial Lecture: Odisha Cinema Not Reflecting Its Literature, Says Film Historian Surya Deo

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Throwing light on the gradual decline of originality in Odia cinema, well-known film historian Surya Deo here on Tuesday said in recent decades Odisha cinema is not inspired by the state’s literature but is surviving on remakes of movies made in other languages.

Delivering the Ganeswar Mishra Memorial Lecture, marking the renowned litterateur’s seventh death anniversary, organized by Sateertha (a socio-cultural organisation), at Geeta Gobinda Sadan here, Deo said Odia literature and films got linked in 1960s primarily because writers like Gopal Chhotray and Bijay Mishra also understood cinema. “Some of the films which were based on novels or short stories originally written by Odia authors were critically acclaimed and commercially successful. But there were others that failed to impress the box office,” he noted.  “The trend continued more or less in the 1970s but in the 1980s cinematic adaptation of Odia literature slowly decreased as commercial success eluded such an approach,” he added.

Guests lighting the ceremonial lamp at Ganeswar Mishra’s 7th death anniversary event held at Geeta Gobinda Sadan in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. OB photo 

Narrating the history of adaptation of Odia literary classics into movies, Deo, who recently got a national recognition for his work as a film historian, illustrated his analytical observations with clippings from Odia films and explained how visualisation of a filmmaker is and has to be inherently different from that of a writer when a movie is adapted from literature. “One has to embrace the differences between film and literature because of different perspectives of the filmmaker and the writer,” he pointed out.

Film historian Surya Deo delivering the Ganeswar Mishra Memorial Lecture at Geeta Gobinda Sadan in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. OB photo


Speaking about the influence of Odia literature and Bengali literature on Odia cinema, Deo stressed upon the importance of the elements of Odia culture and tradition during the adaptation of Odia cinema either from Odia or Bengali literature. “Due to commercialisation of Odia films, the effect of literature on cinema dwindled. What the audience wishes to see has become very important during the process of adaptation,” he said.

Giving the welcome address, award-winning translator Prof Jatindra Kumar Nayak underlined the importance that Prof Ganeswar Mishra gave to documentation and said the latter has through documentation created roadmaps for deeper study and research. Noted translator and academic Dr Arun Kumar Mohanty said Mishra emphasised on the humanitarian aspects and in the process created a special place in people’s heart because of his simplicity.

Presiding over the meeting, renowned poet Dr Prativa Satpathy said Prof Mishra was not just a great writer but a very affectionate and rooted person. “His writings were lucid and precise yet powerful,” she added.

Ganeswar Mishra’s Srujana Samagra Part 6 (collection of translated works) published by Timepass and Ghara Bahuda (an anthology of short stories) published by Nabalipi were released on the occasion. Noted writer Dr Biraj Mohan Das proposed the vote of thanks.

OB Bureau

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