Born on 10th November 1951 in Khordha, Odisha, he joined the film and Television Institute of India, Poona. After completing his studies in FII, he made his first feature film, “Seeta Raati” in 1976, which could not be completed till 1980, due to financial problems. This film won the ‘Rajat Kamal’ in the National Film Awards in 1982, it also happens to be the first Odia film to be selected for the prestigious ‘Indian Panorama’ section of the International Film Festival of India, New Delhi.
He has directed twelve feature films, out of which eleven are in Odia language. He has been considered by critics to be a pioneer in the ‘New Wave’ movement of Odia cinema, single mindely persuing his effort for good cinema. His films have survived the ‘ravages of consumerism’ devouring Odia cinema for the last three decades. He has also directed telefilms, teleserials and documentaries. His films have won nine (9) National Awards and also many major State Film Awards. It may be mentioned that one of his films has won the first technical National award (Best Cinematography [B/W]) in he context of Odia Cinema. Some of his film have been screened in the ‘Indian Panorama’ section of the IFFI in the respective years as well as being shown abroad in festivals at USA, Italy and Germany.
Most of is films explore the socio-economic realities of the characters in his films are realist in nature, the mainstay being human relationship and above all the ambience of the milieu which he portrays with great effect, as the noted film critic John Hood mentions in his book ‘The Essential Mystery’- (Manmohan) Mahapatra is a master of atmospherics. The frankness and intimacy of his photography so well engender the exquisite naturalism of his films, and carefully crafted visual experience……. enhancing the visual with folk or classical music,
Natural sounds or the powerful effects of silence’, he further writes, the most
notable aspects of Manmohan Mahapatra’s genius as a film maker is his skill in translating to the screen so much of the actuality of the oriya village, on translation that entails not only faithfully physical re-creation but also an extraordinarily sensitive awareness of mood and atmosphere….1 To my mind, the
most notable among his works are, “Seeta Raati”, “Neeraba Jhada”, “Klanta Aparanha” among others. Another important aspect of his works are that it is not only acclaim awards, but his relentless effort in continuing to work for the cause of meaningful and significant films in the realm of Odia cinema. Rightly he has been conferred with the “Jayadev Award”, the highest state honour in films for one’s contribution to Odia cinema.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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