Sala Budha's Goa trip - Director elated with film's selection

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  • Published 19.10.13

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 18: An old man is all set to bring back smiles on the faces of the cinema aficionados in the state.

After missing the bus last year, an Odia film will be screened at the International Film Festival this time. Last year, the festival had celebrated 100 years of Indian cinema.

Director Sabyasachi Mohapatra’s tale of an old man’s wit, Sala Budha, made in Sambalpuri dialect, would be one of the 26 feature films selected for the Indian Panorama category in the 44th edition of the festival to be held in Goa from November 20.

Mohapatra sounded elated with the news that he read on a portal on cinema. “Though the film had been screened at various cities and both the critics and the viewers applauded it, I was a little apprehensive over the jury’s take on my experiments. First, the story, penned by my father Kapileswar Prasad Mohapatra, is 100 years old, and second, it’s a black and white film with an 83-year-old protagonist,” said Mohapatra, who has directed around eight feature films, six telefilms and 20 documentaries.

Sala Budha was made to commemorate the silver jubilee of Mohapatra’s last film in the Sambalpuri dialect, Bhukha, a film that was screened at the Gijon International film festival and the World Rural Film Festival in France.

Set in a rural backdrop, Sala Budha narrates the story of a generous old man. Even during drought, he does not refrain from financially assisting the villagers. The antagonist tries his best to defame him in front of the king. But, the king turns out to be a reasonable man, who realises that the old man is genuinely a Good Samaritan.

Octogenarian Atala Panda plays the protagonist. Mohapatra’s brothers, son and some other family members, who are in the film industry, pitched in with their individual expertise in making of the film.

The selection has compensated for the sense of loss and frustration he felt, when his film Jhili, made in a local dialect of Koraput, could not be sent to various festivals due to technical lapses.