Bhubaneswar: “A film can reach great heights if it has a good script and direction,” said actor-director Bijaya Jena aka Dolly Jena, whose directorial debut with Odia film ‘Tara’ won National Award for Best Odia Film in 1992. It was based on a short story by Bimal Dutt, who was the main scriptwriter.
Having travelled to several national and international film festivals as a jury member, Mumbai-based Dolly shared her experience while attending the recently concluded Bhubaneswar Poetry Festival in the city.
An alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, she developed a passion for acting while watching movies as part of the curriculum. Greatly influenced by European cinema, she was always keen to take up meaningful roles. “While trying my luck in Bollywood, I turned down offers for a toothpaste company advertisement, playing negative role and dance numbers. I looked for well-defined characters,” said Dolly, who has acted in Hindi film like ‘Razia Sultan’ and ‘Holi’.
The characters she portrayed in ‘Bata Abata’, Ashara Akasha’, ‘Hakim Babu’, ‘Heera Nila’ and ‘Jaga Balia’ won her accolades in Odisha.
With an aim to leave a mark in national and international arena, Dolly settled in Mumbai. Her second movie, ‘Abhaas’ in Hindi was screened at various film festivals. She acted, scripted, directed, and produced the film.
The script of the movie ‘Daana Pani’ based on Gyanapitha award winner Gopinath Mohanty’s novel, which Dolly last announced, is ready, but she is yet to find a financier for it.
Dolly is also working on an epic saga ‘Goan Sonata’, based on mother-daughter relationship against the backdrop of Goa, and it has Academy Award winner American actor F Murray Abraham and a Portuguese actress with her in the lead role.
A film critic and blogger, she was also a jury member to the India’s Oscar entry this year.
Replying to the question on whether she would be interested to direct Odia films, Dolly said she is more than willing if something gets finalised. “In other states, it is not difficult to find a financier for a good movie. Unfortunately that is not the case in Odisha,” she added.