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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
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In Oscars Long-List

It’s not often that this happens to an Odia film…but wait? Has it really happened? Nila Madhab Panda’s Kalira Atita (Yesterday’s Past) awaits a better tomorrow.

In Oscars Long-List
The Ocean Calls |
In Oscars Long-List
outlookindia.com
2021-03-12T16:05:27+05:30

An Odia film rarely makes it to the Oscars. So, it was only natural that all hell broke loose when filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda tweeted on February 19 that his latest, Kalira Atita (Yesterday’s Past), had “made its entry into the Oscar race”. The big news is that it “joined the Oscars race” for “Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and many other categories”. No wonder media helped spread the word around, not just in the state but across India. Congratu­latory messages kept flooding in for the next two days. Several Bollywood celebrities wished the film “All the Best”, while the Odia diaspora went gaga on social media. Internationally acclaimed sand art­iste S. Patnaik made his customary sand art on the Puri beach wishing “good luck” to the movie.

But wait. Fact check found that far from being in “the Oscars race”, all that Kalira Atita had managed was to get enrolled for the Academy Awards, like hundreds of other films. Any film made anywhere in the world can apply for entry into the General Entry category after paying a fee. The Academy members watch these movies and shortlist them into categories—and that has yet to happen for the film by Panda, a Padma Shri.

By all accounts, Kalira Atita, based on the theme of sea erosion and shot in the erosion-prone Sata­bhaya area in Kendrapara district, where the sea has gobbled up a cluster of seven villages over the past few years, is a well-made movie that dwells on the globally important issue of climate change and has all the elements that have brought Panda laurels. It was screened in the Panorama section at IFFI 51 in Goa in January and got rave reviews from critics. That’s why it is such a shame that the film—and, of course, the filmmaker—made the headlines for...

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