Bhubaneswar: ‘Hello Arsi’ has catapulted Odia film industry to a new high. After the Best Odia Film Award at the National Film Awards, it has won a slew of state awards, including Best Film, Best Director (Sambit Mohanty), Best Dialogue writer (Sambit Mohanty) and Best Actor (Partha Sarathi Ray), announced on Tuesday.
‘Hello Arsi’ brings to fore the troubles of industrialisation and land acquisition. When a film is praised by a person of the caliber of Shekhar Kapur, the makers can actually believe that they have ‘arrived’. It may be recalled that heaping praise on the film, Kapur had said, “If I try to make this (film), I will fail. I have never seen a film like this, whether in Cannes, Berlin or anywhere in India.”
Odisha Bytes spoke to the lead actor of movie Partha on winning the award.
He is on cloud nine. “I am really happy because I won the award for a film that deals with a very sensitive issue and is extremely unusual in its treatment,” said Partha.
Winning the first State Award is a huge honour for him. “If your talent is recognised by your state, that feeling is extremely fulfilling,” he said.
About the journey
The 90-min film starring Odia actors Prakruti Mishra and Partha was directed by filmmaker Sambit Mohanty, who passed away in February last year while the film was in post-production stage. Partha says the team had put in a lot of hard work to ensure that the film sees gets completed.
“We finished shooting the film in November 2016 and suddenly the director passed away. We have a lot of emotions attached to it. So, the award will be dedicated to the entire team,” he said.
Disappointment over Prakruti being left out
Shekhar Kapur will perhaps echo Partha’s sentiments over for his co-star Prakruti not receiving the State Award for the best actress. Prakruti had received a ‘Special Mention’ at the National Film Awards.
“I feel she deserved the award. I am not questioning the jury members but this came to me as a surprise,” he said. On selecting Hello Arsi for the National Film Award, Kapur had said, we decided to give it to ‘Hello Arsi’, specially for the performance of the female lead,”
Focusing on cinema
Partha, who was working in a TV serial, has quit the assignment to focus on cinema. “I have few offers in hand with unique storylines. I want to see the Odia film industry evolve and come out with good films,” said the 36-year old actor.
From Mumbai to Bhubaneswar
He started off with small roles in films such as Arun Govil’s film ‘U R My Jaan’, Subhash Ghai’s ‘Cycle Kick’ and Ajay Devgn’s ‘Toonpur Ka Superhero’, followed by print ads and television commercials in Mumbai.
Somewhere along the line, he decided to return home and started off with Odia commercials like Nai Separi Kanak Gori and Gadbad. Although he missed the professionalism of Mumbai, he admits that the Odia film industry is where he feels at home.
Juggling between acting and entrepreneurship
Apart from acting, he has recently turned an entrepreneur by starting his cafe in Cuttack. “The response has been good but the food business needs time so I am trying to give importance to my venture as well,” he said.
“I am doing a lot of activities in the cafe to give social messages to people,” he added. The actor, however, said that acting would always remain his first and last love.