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First film director from Odisha to win a National Film award

ASHOK PALIT

Nitai Palit(8 March 1923-26 July 1990)    was the first film director from Orissa to win a National Film award. In 1965 he received the President’s Silver Medal as a director for the film “Malajanha”. Considered a classic in Oriya cinema, this film was based on a novel written by Upendra Kishore Das. This Odia film is a sensitive depiction of Natha Nana, whom sati loves silently. The ending sees Sati committing suicide because of the persecution of the people of her village. The last dialogue of the film is the cry “Sati Sati”, which resonates much after the film is over. Malajanha also introduced the extremely talented woman lyricist, Binodini Devi. Akshaya Mohanty had debuted as music director. The music of the movie was influenced by the Sufi singing of Odisha.

Nitai Palit’s Childhood

Nityananda Palit, better known as Nitai Palit was born in Cuttack on 8 March 1923 to Nagendranath Palit and Sarojini Devi. He completed his schooling in Ravenshaw collegiate school and was interested in drama and music from an early age, theater attracted him. Nitai Palit had married Beena Das who had essayed the lead female role in Kedar Gouri film. that was Beena’s first and the last film.

Nitai Palit’s Career – a brief overview

He started his career as a talented stage director and was a regular in winning drama competitions. Nitai brought in new interpretations to Orissa’s theater. Nitai got interested in cinema as a medium of expression and self-taught himself the technicalities of filmmaking. Never did he attend any film institute and was entirely self-taught. He was awarded ‘Best Director by the govt. of Orissa four times, in 1973,(As best Director For Bandhan) 1974 (as a Director for Dharitri and Manakash), 1977 (As a Director For Bandhu Mohanty) the Orissa Sangeet Natak Academy Award and Highest honor for Odia cinema Jaydev award in the year 1982. In 1980, he set up his own production house ‘Creative Movies Productions’ and produced two movies Anurag and Raghu Arakhita.

He was active until the last. His film “Kichhi Aasa Kichhi Swapna” was in the process of being made when, on 26 July 1990, when he expired due to a massive heart attack. Indian cinema lost an icon.

Nitai Palit’s FILMOGRAPHY:

Kedar Gouri-1954

Bhai Bhai-1956

Maa-1959

Malajanha -1965

Kiea kahar-1968

Bandhan-1969

Dharitri-1973

Manakash-1974

Krushna Sudama-1976

Bandhu Mohanty-1977

Anuraga-1979

Kie jite Kiea Hare -1981

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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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