Old Film Posters On Exhibition As Odia Cinema Industry Completes 80 Years


BHUBANESWAR: As the Odia cinema industry will complete 80 years this year, the state culture department in association with the Film Journalists Forum will organise a poster exhibition at State Museum on April 28.

The Oriya film industry started its journey in 1936 with the first Oriya film ‘Sita Bibaha’ releasing April 28. The film, directed by Mohan Sundar Deb Goswami, narrated the story of the marriage of Sita and Lord Rama from the epic.

In the exhibition titled ‘Chhaya-Pratichhaya’, around 80 posters of films made between 1936 and 1986 will be put up. The exhibition will be open to the public till May 3. Posters of famous Oriya movies like ‘Lalita’, ‘Shri Jagannath’, Mamtal, ‘Bhai Bhauja,’Sindor Bindu’, “Kaa’, ‘Sansary’, Mala Janha’ and Puja’ among others will be exhibited.

“This is the first time that an exhibition of Oriya film posters is being organised in the city. We will exhibit around 80 posters of films made between 1936 and 1986. Most of the posters are handmade as in the olden days technology was not advanced unlike today. We will exhibit tri-coloured posters,” said a member of the Film Journalist Forum.

As the original copies of a few of the posters are not available, the organising committee has scanned copies of advertisements published in different newspapers and printed them in a poster format.

 “The paper quality of the posters of old Oriya films was not up to scratch. They were damaged or torn after display and it was not possible to preserve them. So we had no choice but to make replicas of the original posters of the earliest Oriya films,” he informed.

“The poster of the first Oriya film was not available. We scanned the advertisement published in a newspaper- mostly text- based and printed it in poster layout,” he added.

Dwelling on the differences between poster making today and in the past, he said, “Prior to 1986, illustrations instead of photos were common. The text on posters usually contains the title in large letters and often names of the main actors. A wide variety of artistic styles were used in poster making in the past.”

Members of the organising committee believe the exhibition would help the viewers understand the ideas used in poster making from letter designing and patterning to printing.

Renowned theatre and film personality Asim Basu, who has made the posters of some famous films like ‘Tapoi’, Jajabora’ and Para Jhia Ghara Bhangena’, said “Lack of printing facility in the state was a major hindrance in the past. Today poster making has become easier with the advent of computer technology. However, during our hey-day there were only handmade posters. From letter designing to drawing portraits of artists, everything was handmade. So were the big banners. Those posters exuded a different charm.”