Ollywood romance with Koraput continues

Be it Deomali or Kolab, filmmakers are finding the natural beauty of Koraput as the perfect setting for their movies, writes Bidyadhar Choudhury
Ollywood romance with Koraput continues

KORAPUT: Ollywood’s romance with the verdant valleys of Koraput is never-ending. In the last few years, the affair has only got stronger with many new filmmakers choosing the district as the setting for their films. Post-Covid, directors and producers are making trips to scenic locations, be it Deomali, Upper Kolab, Machhkund, Duduma, Gupteswar, Dudhari water or Pondi reservoir. Several Odia films like ‘Rakta Golap’, ‘Kiye Jeete Kiye Hare’, ‘Dora’, ‘Bhauri’, ‘Swayam Sidha’,‘Jianta Bhuta’, ‘Sapana Banika’, ‘Bogula Boguli’, ‘Bajji’, ‘Babu I Love You’, ‘Jiey Panchey Paramanda’, ‘College Time’, ‘Tu Mo Love Story’ , ‘Chatti Chiri Deley Tu’, ‘Only Pyar’, ‘Nayaka ra Na Debdas’ have been shot in this region.

The last film that used Koraput as the backdrop was ‘Charitra’, a crime thriller by director couple Sisir Kumar Sahu and Peenakee Singh Rajput. The film was shot entirely in HAL, Sunabeda, for 11 days in January 2020.‘Swayam Sidha’ director Sudhanshu Mohan Sahu said during winters, the district looks magical. “The trend of shooting films in Koraput actually began in the 70s. The valleys of Koraput are no less beautiful than Kashmir or Shimla. Filmmakers usually throng the district in November-January period for shooting,” he says.

Even Telugu filmmakers from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are making a beeline for the region. Last year, a production house of Hyderabad provided funds to a local farmer B Sashidhar to plant Alsi (flax seeds) crop over 30 acres of land which would create a yellow cover near Chatwa village in the district. “The production house wants to use the Alsi farm to shoot a romantic song this November. The crops have grown well and will be in flowering stage in the next two months, providing a nice backdrop for the song,” Sashidhar said.So far, around 80 Odia and Telugu films have been shot in Koraput.

The latest to join the bandwagon is Bhadra Motion Studio’s film ‘Chumki Seta Pani Re Budiba Nahi Ki’. A supernatural romantic film with Upasana, Shreyan and Bhumika in the lead, the film depicts the journey of the three from Koraput to Bhubaneswar. Producer Upahar Bhadra, who also plays a role in the film, said it has been extensively shot in Koraput. “Upasana and I are siblings in the film who were born and brought up in Koraput. We have not just tried to show the district’s natural beauty but also its folk culture including Dhemsa dance,” said Upahar. Besides, Sai Shradha Productions has also finalised Koraput as the destination for shooting their next serial, said its MD Binny Samal.

Koraput-based poet Pritidhara Samal said it is high time the State government focuses on tourism development in the district. “Koraput is not just the most preferred spot for filmmakers but also for litterateurs. Development of tourism infrastructure and its promotion will make the economy stronger for local stakeholders, Samal added.

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