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Surendra Sahu :Legendary cameraman of first Odia Colour Film

    Ashok Palit

Shri Surendra Sahu is born on 24.07.1948, after pursing B.Sc. from Ravenshaw College,  Cuttack, he had did DC (MPP),Diploma in Cinema, Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.He is well known as the cinematographer of first Odia color film GAPA HELE BE SATA directed by Nagen Ray and Produced by  Er.,Subimal Mallick,featuring Harish Mohapatra and Banja Mohanty in lead role.

Mr. Sahu, has value added to the Oriya Film Industry in diversified role as a Cameraman for thirty long years. He has played a pivotal role in redefining the standards of film education in Orissa. Hailing from a remote village of Cuttack district he had his primary education from Ravenshaw Collegiate School and graduated from the historical Ravenshaw College before he started his journey to make a career in the film industry.

Mumbai, Bollywood to the outside world is where young Surendra landed up to pick up the strings from already established personalities like Ramananda Sagar, Ram Dayal, Bijayananda. Having strengthened his faculties to launch himself in the film industry he turned homewards to Orissa. Coming in contact with the initial architects of Orissa’s film industry like Mr. Nagen Ray and Mr. Subimal Mallick he wrote his fate by launching the first ever Oriya colour film ‘Gapa Helebi Sata’. This was his maiden attempt as a cinematographer.

He spread out of his home state and tried his able hand as Director of Photography for a few Hindi and Bengali films. But committed to his homeland he scored high on the Oriya film horizon with about twenty films to his credit as a cinematographer.  He at the end also dabbled with Tele films, documentaries and promotional films for the corporate as well as the Government sector.He has a large following and those who were inspired by his talents made their own marks in various spheres of film making from lighting to costume designing. He was crucial in bridging the technology divide between Mumbai and Orissa and acted as a link between two centers.

He believed in shooting on natural sets both outdoor as well as indoor and also set the road map to elevate Orissa to a standard of being self sufficient in terms of basic infrastructure required for the entire process of film making. According to Mr. Sahu “ Development of Odia Cinema is my obsession. It was my attempt since beginning of my career to make all technical facilities available in the state in order to extend a fair technical support to Odisha Film Industry. So is the establishment of Kalinga Cine Equipment in 1977 which is the leading equipment house in the state now”. He is the  man behind the screen by whose sincere effort Biju Pttanaik Film and Television Institute of Odisha, Cuttack has inducted  degree course which is first in east India.

Govt. of Orissa has honoured him with the State award for best photography in the film Dora (1984) and Rajanigandha (1989). The Chief Minister has felicitated him in 1984 for his valuable contribution towards the growth of film industry in the State.

He was associated right from the beginning as a founder member of Biju Patnaik Film & Television Institute of Orissa in Cuttack, the only institution of its kind set up by the State Govt.Recenly this Institute of Orissa has provide degree Course in three segments which is first in Eastern India.

More than 1000 students have been successfully trained by him are now spread all over the country and working in various Govt. departments, Door-Darshan, Media channels, Film schools and also in national and regional film industry.

His efforts are no less in making the women and tribal students of the state aware of film education and becoming successful media-professionals. He has also succeeded in highlighting the students of his state at the national level.

With absolutely no technical manpower in the state, way back in 1976 he initiated shooting films entirely on indoor and outdoor locations of Orissa. Since then he has been inspiring. Many unemployed youth to work in film industry as technicians in various fields

He has trained a large number of highly skilled lighting assistants who are now successfully working in the Film and TV productions units making their livelihood He has encouraged many enthusiasts to make their career as Art Director, Make-up artist, Costume man, Assistant Director, Production Manager etc.

These people have excelled in their respective fields and are well off in the industry

He has provided complete technical support and mentored many new Directors (in their first film) who emerged from stage and made their films successful.

He sacrificed his professional career and entered into academics in 1991 to train skilled technical manpower in the state .Mr. Sahu Retired from Govt. service in 2007 as Principal  of  Biju Pattanaik Film & Television Institute of Odisha, Cuttack.Now he has been assigned as an adviser at Biju Pattanaik Film & Television Institute.

Life is an ongoing process for him and today he takes pleasure in enlightening the young ones, creating confidence in them and spreading Film and media education among the new generation. He continues to teach now and aims to teach till his last breath.Rightly he has been conferred with the prestigious  “Jayadev Award” in 2006, the highest state honour in films for one’s outstanding contribution to Odia cinema

LIST OF FILMS Cinematography BY  SURENDRA KUMAR SAHU

 

Sl.no. Year Name  of the Film Director
1 1976 Gapa Helebi Sata Nagen Ray
2 1978 Ta’poi Sarat Pujari
3 1980 Tapasya (B&W, partly colored) Nagen Ray
4 1981 Jhia’ti Seeta Pari Bidhu Bhusan Nanda
5 1982 Mahasati Savitri Sona Mukherjee
6 1984 Danda Balunga Md. Mohsin
7 1984 Dora Prasant Nanda
8 1985 Jaga Balia Prasant Nanda
9 1986 Sankha Sindoora Bhaskar
10 1986 Sapana Banika P. D. Shenoy
11 1986 Paka Kambal Po’at  Chhata Prasant Nanda
12 1986 Heera Neela Prasant Nanda
13 1987 Bagula baguli Prasant Nanda
14 1987 Jahaku Rakhibe Ananta Asim Kumar
15 1988 Rakhe Hari Mare Ke (Bengali) Asim Basu
16 1988 Topae Sindoora Di-pata Sankha Sujit Kumar
17 Bhagya Lipi (Bengali) Sujit Kumar
18 1989 Rajani Gandha Bijoy Mishra
19 1990 Patent Medicine Hemant Das
20 1991 Raghu Arakhita Nitai Palit
21 1993 Aasha Shantanu Mishra
Hindi Films:
22 1973 Suchitra (1st independent Hindi) Sagar Acharya
23 1975 Taqdeer Ka Badshah B. Subash
24 1975 Sandeh Zoe Disouza
25 1976 Jeena Iseeka Naam  Hai P. D. Shenoy

LIST OF AWARDS RECEIVED BY SHRI SURENDRA  SAHU

 

Year Award Particulars.
SIGNIFICANT AWARDS
 

 

2019

 

Eswariya Kalanidhi samman: 2019 By Prajapita Bramha Kumari Eswariya Viswa Vidyalaya, for his selfless efforts towards spreading education and creating profession media persons

 

2008

 

Jayadev Award : 2006 by Department of Culture, Govt. of Odisha for

Life time achievement and  contribution to Odia Cinema

 

2005

 

Srjan Award: 2006 by Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Trust in humble recognition of

Life time’s dedication to Cinema.

 

 

2000

 

Millennium Award – 2000  as the best Cinematographer by Chala Chitra Jagat in consideration of his valuable services for the development of Oriya film

 

1991

 

State Award – 1989  as the best photographer for the film – ‘Rajani Gandha’

 

1988

State Award -1984 as the best photographer of the year for the film ‘Dora’
 

1984

 

Felicitated by the  chief minister of Orissa with a silver medal for his valuable contribution towards the growth of film industry in the state

 

1976

 

Best Photography Award for the 1st colour film ‘Gapa Helebi Sata’.

AWARDS FROM OTHER ORGANISATIONS
 

 

2023

 

Pramod Pati-Chalachitra Sammana for life time contribution to Odia Cinema

 

 

2020

 

Akshaya Parija & Chalachitra Jagat award-2020 for significant contribution to

Odia film

 

 

2016

 

Bani  Chitra Award for highest contribution for the growth of Odia Cinema and life time achievement

 

 

2011

 

Nitai Palit  Samman for life time achievement and multifarious contribution to growth of Oriya Cinema by Chalachitra Jagat

 

2010

Orissa Film Fare Award for long association and  contribution to growth of

Oriya Cinema

 

 

2010

 

ETV Film Award for significant contribution to Oriya Cinema

 

2009

 

Cinema Sansar Samman for significant contribution to Oriya Cinema

 

2006

 

Chalachitra Prativa Samman : 2006  by Chalachitra Jagat in recognition of his significant contribution towards growth of Odia Cinema and Film education in Odisha

 

2005

 

Chitra Puri  Award -2005  for his notable contribution towards Oriya film

 

2003

 

Bani  Chitra Award – 2003 for his contribution towards Oriya film

 

 

2002

 

OMPTWA Award: Orissa Motion Picture Technician’s & Workers’ Association for his contribution towards Orissa film industry.

 

1992

 

Chala Chitra Prativa samman -1992 for creating new horizon in the field of  Cinematography

 

1990

 

Neela Saila Film & TV Award -1990  for best Photography in the film “Rajani Gandha”

 

1988

 

Orissa Film Journalist Association (OFJA) Award -1988

for best photography in the film ‘Jahaku Rakhibe Ananta’

 

1986

 

OFJA Award -1986 for best photography in the film ‘Sapana Banika’

 

1984

 

OFJA Award -1984 for best photography in the film ‘Dora’

 

1983

 

Cine  Critic  award for best photography in the film ‘Jhiyati Sita Pari’

 

1983

 

Chitra Taranga award for best photography in the film ‘Maha Sati Savitri’

 

1980

 

Chhaya Chitra award-1980 best cameraman for the film “Tapasya”

 

1978

 

Chitra Puri  Award for best Photography in the film Ta’poi

About the Author : 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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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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