Hello Arsi ! Why I don’t know you ?
Director Sambit Mohanty’s ‘Hello Arsi’ won the National Award for the best Odia feature film for the year 2018…these words blinking on tweets, Facebook statuses and also on the web pages have started to educate you on the movie, about the appearance of Prakruti and Partha Sarathi and also about the producer Ajay Routray. But after getting a status update on Facebook, I asked myself. Arsi ! do I know you before the announcement of the award ? If not, then Why? Here the words that brought the question. It was originally posted on Facebook by Gurujee Swetachandan a movie buff who has been working in video production.
“Hello Arsi” – a film got made and won award, but I had no ‘prior’ idea about its existence. Even I heard title of such an Odia film today. Why? Why I have no knowledge about its making, the crew involved, its content?
It’s because Odia Cinema Journalism is dead in Odisha now. Copy-pasting press-releases, asking same questions over and over in all interviews, and buttering ‘stars’, mean journalism for the so-called film journalists. special mention – journalists and anchors working in electronic media who are busy putting make ups, choosing ‘glamour’ wardrobe, practicing funky hand gestures.
In Odisha, most of us have decided, all the movies being released in Odia are just copied (not adopted) versions of south or Hindi films, mellow or overacting ruined the industry, no good story, no good directors, less cinema halls and less investment. It has been a decade, we are discussing the same. But no one asks, Darling why the movies being declared Superhit! Superhit! Superhit! Before release even before release. Why no god review or a news of good movie? Oh sorry, do they have tried to gain such knowledge on cinema before deciding what a good cinema is ! Why should the cine Journos work as an PR agency of movies? Why the so called Ollywood lovers’ prefer pirated movies or movie on TV instead of theaters? Have I no right to know the good stuffs going on in my state? Even we don’t know who is the Bengali Filmmaker Amartya Bhattacharya who has been making good Odia movies which are representing our state in the world. Yeah, some English dailies have covered his story well, but others wait for a event to cover like Mahurat, Music releases, houseful theaters, Super hit-Super hit-Super hit and award functions.
Before some days, there was a symposium organised the issues of Odia cinema, no mainstream filmmakers were present there to know the issues except some new but success faces like ‘Spandan‘ fame Snehasis Das. Unfortunately, the director Sambit Mohanty passed away in February last year in post-production stage of ‘Hello Arsi’ who has left the question to be asked by every cine journos and cine lovers’ “Hello Arsi ! Why don’t I know you? ”