Salabudha is a tribute to senior citizens: Sabyasachi Mohapatra

When legal practice could not provide him emotional sustenance, a stage performer since a child, he found it in the celluloid, which had always held his interests. After honing skills as an assistant director for around 20 Odia  films, Sabyasachi Mohapatra made his directional debut in the successful commercial venture of Prakash Agrawal, “Sabu Maya re Baya” (1986), which safely catapulted his position. But to explore the alternatives, when Mohapatra tried his hand at experimenting, western Odisha , his native land, was embarked upon. And reluctantly the first ever Sambalpuri Dialect appeared on the fore. Sabyasachi Mohapatra is known for his internationally acclaimed film Bhukha. The film was screened and got International Jury award at Gijon Film festival. This bought him instant fame and recognition. He then did films like – jhili ,Bou, Bahudibe Mo Jaga  Balia His mega budget mythological film – Jai Jaganath was released in 15 different Indian languages. Director Sabyasachi Mohapatra is back with Salabudha, another movie in Kosali Language set on a rural background and focuses on the plight of the aged people in villages in the western part of the state. This film has been selected for Indian  Panorama to be  screened  at IFFI   on 23rd, November,2013. Mr. Mohapatra   shares exclusive details about his film with OdishaDiary Entertainment Editor Ashok Palit. 


After 25years, you will be returning with  Samabalpuri film. Why such a long gap?

My last film, “Jai Jagannatha” was shot in 2006. In between, I did some telefilms. Jai Jagannatha, had been released with a record number of 13 languages apart from Hindi and Odia . Jai Jagannatha is a multilingual mythological feature film.  Why do you make this choice? When I am making a movie, it is very important for me to distance myself from the film so that an objective viewpoint is maintained. By doing movies, I have been making attempts to place a human situation in the context of a particular cultural milieu.


 Who is the inspiration behind story of Salabudha?

Sala Budha is based on short stories written by my father Kapileshwar Mohapatra, which were published in the book Sala Budha. My father is a devout humanitarian and strict Gandhian. So, all his writings are reflection of human values and simplicity. All stories are his personal experiences. He often described him as a Sala Budha. All six brother are part of a unique Joint family, single account & single kitchen system strictly following the principle & values set by our father the so called ” Sala Budha”

Are you going to make the Sequel of Sala Budha?

Yes,  the sequel is an adaptation  of  short story penned by My father Kapileswar Mohapatra titled AdimBichar,all the pre preparation of the film has already been done, after the marriage ceremony of my son in December shooting will be start in our native place Lehadi in the district of Bolangir.


Why do you decided to make this film in black and white? 
As it is a periodical film so I had  decided to made it in black and white instead of colour and  Oscar award winning  movie The Artist made in black and white  also inspired me lot to  do so.
In which way your family support you in film Making?
Yes ” Sala Budha” is a huge team effort that has gone into making the film, a team mostly consisting of one family of six brothers — all devoted religiously to the profession of filmmaking. All are talented technicians in their own rights.
What  type of film  Salabudha in  your opinion ?
Despite of the fact that Indian cinema has turned 100 in this year (though speculative), the very essence of the medium and the grandeur attached with it has remained more of a same. The mode of cinematic representation of reality on screen has traversed a long path since the times of its inception; with many ups and downs throughout. The notion of reality itself has undergone a vast change as well. Critically speaking, the film has become more a trade than a plain mode of entertainment and India has divided cinema into two broad categories as the times passed – commercial and art forms. I think SalaBudha is came under second form that is art form
What  Message you want to give through this Film?
This film is a tribute to senior citizens and the ageing population of India on the occasion of cinema in India celebrating its 100 years. I think India’s future rests on the strength and faith of people like my hero in Sala Budha, Instead of looking at elderly people as liability by the younger ones, I feel they are great resource for leading the society. One in every five persons will be over 65 by 2035. It is not just the traditional values but the older generation who could be the lighthouses for the posterity. Sala Boodha has a subtle message for the present fast paced complex society.
How do you go against the tide of filmmaking in India?
 Choosing an urban or a rural theme completely depends on the priorities of the director concerned. Most directors work on an urban set-up because they might want to explore the psyche of a particular generation. However, I must add that though the space for cinema on rural India is shrinking, some good movies are being made on this theme too. Personally speaking, I have believed that any person who wants to make a film must remain rooted.
What’s the status of art cinema movement in Odisha?
It’s true that the new wave movement of Odia  cinema has slowed down a bit. That’s because of a lack of producers who believe in the vision of new directors. Besides, there has been a dearth of government support and directors couldn’t get an audience or find a decent way of releasing their movies. All these contributed to slowing down of the movement.

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