An Unparalleled Journey: Odisha Amateur Artists’ Short Film Wins Award at COVID-19 International Film Fest

Berhampur: They were neither professional artists, nor did they have any formal training in acting. Even these youngsters we are talking about never ever faced camera. The sheer motivation and determination to do something for the society at this COVID-19 pandemic situation drove them all along.

Nevertheless these armature artists of small village in Odisha’s Ganjam district went into to win the international recognition for their work.

Yes we are talking about the artists from Ankuspur village in Kukudakhandi block in Ganjam district, who won the Special Jury Award at the COVID-19 International Film Festival 2020 for their short film ‘Martyapura Re Jamaraj’ (‘Yamaraj on earth’).

At a time when professional artists cooled their heels due to the lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic, inspired by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s resolve to fight against the COVID-19, these armature artists had come up with a unique idea to help the State government and district administration in their efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The artists, some of them having a small time shops while few others working in petrol pumps. This background however didn’t deter them to go ahead with the plan.

An award winning fine artist from the district, Stitadhi Rath took up the challenge and directed the film.

Rath, who has made over 170 documentaries about the art and culture of Ganjam district and has exhibited his works in more than 28 countries, had guided the villagers thoroughly in all aspects in making of the film.

The film ‘Martyapura Re Jamaraj’ has all the ingredients like humor, satire and mythology to attract the people. The film’s story revolvs around Yamaraj, the god of death, and Chitragupta, his record keeper. They scripted another important character in the film ‘Amania’, a COVID-19 patient Yamaraj is looking for. They essayed Amania, who disobeys all precautions and thus ends up in danger of being infected.

The script of the film is developed in such a way that could catch the eye ball of the rural folk within no time and could create awareness about the COVID-19, says Stitadhi Rath.

After script was ready, the biggest challenge was to produce and direct the film as none of the folks were professionals in this field, he said.

Rath, who has vast experience in making documentaries, has meticulously selected the characters among the villagers, who perfectly justified their roles.

Sansayi Maharana, a resident of Ankuspur, has produced the film and provided all necessary supports to the team.

While Sadanand Sahu, Rabindranath Sahu and Kanhu Behera of Ankushpur played the three major characters in the short film; other youth from the village donned the minor roles.

Cameraman Basant Maharana also hails from Ankushpur did wonderful work behind the camera.

The film, which is based on COVID-19 pandemic, tries to send a strong awareness message to society. It showcases how the community should follow all the COVID -19 guidelines to stop spreading the deadly virus.

The short film is among the hundreds of short movies received from 36 countries across the globe for screening at the festival. A total of three movies from Odisha, including this one were selected for screening at the festival.

Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange has congratulated the artists for the achievement.

Watch the Film Here


Comments are closed.