New Delhi, Apr 15(ANI): Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Friday said that the endeavour of the Directorate of Film Festival in promoting non-mainstream, regional cinema, and in taking cinema beyond the metropolis has evoked popular response across the country.
Delivering the inaugural address during the inaugural ceremony of the Odia Film Festival here today, Soni said: "Such festivals have created a spirit of appreciation for good cinema across the country. This has not only encouraged the growth of cinema, it has also promoted national integration,"
"A case in point was the three day Odia Film Festival which provided an opportunity to the film lovers in the capital to view the thematic and diverse heritage of Odia Cinema covering a period of 75 years," she added.
The Minister said that although Odia Cinema had been around for such a long time, very little was known about its achievements and its contributions.
"The release of the first Odia Talkie 'Sita Bibah' in 1936 was a defining moment for ethnic film movement and added a new dimension. The second Odia film 'Lalita' was made in 1949," Soni said.
In the last 75 years, the Minister said, the Odia Films had given a new identity and flavour to the film movement in the country.
Elaborating further, Soni said, the Directorate of Film Festival had cleared the backlog of National Film Awards by organizing three National Awards in a record time of 12 months and thereby updating the awards calendar.
"At the same time the initiative to hold mini film festivals in different parts of the country had given a spurt to the film movement in the country. Some of the areas covered in recent past had experienced such an event for the first time such as Kohima in the North East, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Shimla, Bhopal and Kolhapur," she added.
The inaugural edition of IPROCH magazine ODISHAN devoted exclusively to Odia Cinema and the book Odia Cuisine at a glance was also released by Soni on the occasion.
Srikant Kumar Jena, Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers and Prafulla Samal, Minister, Government of Odisha, were also be present on the occasion.
The three-day festival, which concludes on April 17, is expected to showcase a number of prominent films such as Jatra Jeevan Jeevan Yatra, Klanta Aparahna, Dhare Alua, Indradhanura Chhai, Nilamadhab, Dhauli Express, Jianta Bhuta and Adi Mimansa.
The festival opened with the screening of the inaugural film 'Maya Mriga' directed by Nirad Mohapatra. (ANI)