Bhubaneswar: Year 2020 started encouragingly. Little did anyone know what was in store, come March.
Once the coronavirus pandemic struck, the entertainment industry took a major hit, like all all other sectors. Shooting came to a grinding halt and cinema halls were shut down from March 13.
Artists and filmmakers, however, gradually reconciled to the changed circumstances and found ways to entertain the home-stuck audience.
New Songs, Short Movies
Filmmakers from Odisha thought of alternatives by using their creativity. Some of them made short movies, shooting indoors.
Most of the films were themed on social awareness, aimed at encouraging frontline COVID-19 warriors, spreading awareness about the pandemic, importance of social distancing and other safety measures.
‘Hope’ Goes Viral
Ollywood actor Manoj Mishra rediscovered himself at home during lockdown. He made a seven-minute short film called ‘Hope’ which went viral and earned him widespread appreciation.
Shot in black and white, ‘Hope’ portrays life before lockdown, through Chai Pe Khatti, laughter therapy and children playing in parks.
“Hope was a poem written during lockdown by Kuldip Mishra and Kathak dancer Mrinalini performed on it. I liked the poem very much, adopted that concept and put situations and scenes from Odisha into it. Our presentation was different,” Manoj explained to Odisha Bytes.
Corona Ra Kuni Yodha
Gauri Sankar Das directed a short movie named ‘Corona Ra Kuni Yodha’. As the name suggests, it was based on the pandemic.
Released on YouTube during lockdown, the story is based on a little girl whose mother is a doctor. The mother does not want to leave her daughter but has to go to the hospital and stay there. The girl stays back with her painter father, whose painting portraying the little girl crying without her mother is heart-touching. However, the girl also understands the importance of her mother’s profession during this grim situation.
Rajesh Kumar Nayak has conceptualised the story. Chintamani Biswal, Kalpashri Jagadev and Tanya Biswal are the actors, while the graphics are by Malaya Nayak.
Another short movie, this one is by Gauri Sankar Das. The story is about children who are not following lockdown rules. Pritwiraj, Chintamani, Dipti Mohanty and Suman Maharana play the principal characters.
This short film was based on creating awareness on the coronavirus pandemic. It won in the Best Social Message film category at the Bengal Lockdown Online Film Festival.
Shot in and around Hinjilikatu area of Berhampur in Ganjam district, ‘Abhilash’ is directed by Guru Krishna Chandra Sahu.
It’s the story of a poverty-stricken boy who keeps himself safe amid the coronavirus lockdown and reads messages of social distancing.
Lopamudra Barik’s short movie ‘Batabana’ encourages people to stay indoors and maintain social distancing. The message of the movie is that by obeying lockdown rules, everyone can be a hero in this war.
Written by Lopamudra and Bhaswati Basu, the film has Debadutta Pati, Soumya Ranjan Behera, Lopamudra, Suryakanta Chhotray, Krishna Singh, Antaryami Mishra and Shibani Panda playing different characters.
Dui Cup Cha
This was another short movie which became popular during the lockdown period. Noted Ollywood actors Partha Sarathi Ray and Gargi Mohanty acted in the 3.50-minute movie. The story is by Ratikanta Satpathy while Jyoti Shankar Singh has directed the short film.
The story is based on the lockdown period, when people got an opportunity to revive good and important things for which they didn’t find time in their busy lives.
Corona Safety Song
Renowned singers of Ollywood came up with a song to spread awareness about the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of social distancing and other safety measures.
Ollywood actress Varsha Priyadarshini took the initiative to produce the song, while Krishna Beura, Ira Mohanty, Antara Chakrabarty and Swayam Prakash Padhi lent their voice.
No one had to step out to record the song. All the singers recorded their videos indoor.
The song sends out the message to wash hands regularly, make and wear masks, maintain social distancing, help in household work and take care of old people.
Varsha made a documentary video ‘Bharat Basi Bhari Sahasi’ to spread awareness about the virus and precautions against it.
Ja Corona Ja
Saluting the bravehearts and corona warriors, an Odia YouTube entertainment channel released a song ‘Ja Corona Ja’.
An initiative by Mo TV, it was produced by Satyabrat Sanu Ratho. The lyrics were by actor Kuna Tripathy and music was composed by Abhijit Majumdar. Popular singers Antara Chakraborty, Lipsa Mohapatra, Rajesh Satapathy and Sarat Nayak sang it.