Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 24:
Even though veteran Odisha filmmaker Nirad Mahapatra had just one film to his credit, his creation “Maya Miriga” was a classic and a trend setter in Odia films, opined cine critics assembled at a ceremony to commemorate his untimely death held here on Monday evening.
The thousand-odd movies produced in the regional industry till date are no match to “Maya Miriga”. It is and would remain a milestone in the history of Odia cinema, the participants said during a programme ‘Smruti re Nirad…’ organised by Odisha Cine Critic Association (OCCA) in association with KIIT School of Film and Media Sciences at Ekamra Haat open air theatre.
Eminent music director Dr Prafulla Kar, filmmaker and actor Raju Mishra, Sabyasachi Mohapatra, Prashant Nanda and senior journalist Sampad Mahapatra paid homage and exchanged fond memories of the departed soul.
Nirad Mahapatra has not been given due respect and recognition in the state though his contribution to Odia films was immense, the participants regretted.
Apart from several movie buffs and city dwellers, senior journalist and OCCA president Pradosh Patnaik, OCCA secretary Dilip Hali, CEO, School of Film & Media Sciences Himashu Khatua and senior film journalist Radhanath Mohapatra were present.
Notably, Nirad Mahapatra had shot into international fame with his very first Odia feature film “Maya Miriga” in 1984 which was adjudged the second best national film in 1984. The film was also adjudged the best Third World film at Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival in West Germany.
The distinguished filmmaker passed away at Fortis Hiranandani Hospital in Navi Mumbai on Feb 19 at the age of 67. Mahapatra had developed complications since undergoing a surgery for suspected cancer at the hospital on January 14. He had undergone a second surgery on Feb 8 to arrest the infection caused during the first and had shown some signs of improvement since then but began sinking a day before his death with his blood pressure plummeting drastically. Attempts to revive him continued through the night but failed in the end.