Arjun Samantray

Arjun Samantaray is a movie director. He has been directing many dramas. He has worked in many good dramas too. He believes that he has worked with many good dramatists and learned good things. At the same time, he has been with some bad dramatics and realized what should not be included. He has done a few short films, some documentaries and also directed a feature film recently.

When did you start having an interest in Odia movies/drama?
When I was in school, there was a theatre next to our school. We used to hide and watch movies in recess. Whatever is left, we watched them on TV. We collected some money and watched movies using a white curtain first and a VCR later in the field just in front of our house. Probably that was the beginning.

Who is your inspiration behind this and why?
Inspirations come and go. However, some people stay in our hearts forever. I believe that if we start to admire someone, we might not become like them, but we are definitely going to lose our identity. Apart from this, I like Sushanta Mishra, Nirod Mohapatra, Satyajit Ray, Andrei Tarkovsky, Gaspar NoƩ, Wong Kar-wai.

How long have you been collecting all this?
So, from my early days (school days) when I saw different types of coins in our shop and from my pocket money, I feel excited to see different designs among them and kept them separately. And that’s how it started.

Illuminate us about your first directed film or drama.
My first drama which is my own production is Ichha- which is a mono-act play. I have acted in this play in more than 90 schools of various states. I didn't accept any monetary help from any government or non-government organizations for this. But I have accepted the money that the students give after watching my dramas. Sometimes I have got 30 rupees and at times 300 rupees. Ichha is a story of a simple family where the protagonist is Ichha. She fights for the various dreams that she has which the play describes.

My first directed film is "Mo Nadira Samudra." This film is extremely dear to me. The film is of 15 minutes duration and it has no dialogues. The movie describes the story of a couple. This film has been screened at various film festivals in India and abroad.

Which topics do you like to make movies on?
I don't feel that topics are important. I believe that movies can be made on any topic.

From your directed movies, which is your favorite character?
I love all my characters. Who doesn't like self-made articles? My favorite characters are the couple from Ama Nadira Samudra and a number of characters from the film Indradhanu.

A lot of times it is heard that the stories of Odia movies are inspired by some regional movies. What is your opinion about this?
This is true that I am an Odia and yes, the stories of Odia movies are inspired by some regional movies. My movies are mostly based on such regional and international stories also. But some movies are also based on my fate which I have experienced in some of the other ways. Our culture also helps me in making movies. Describing the success of my stories is not right.

Tell us about your favorite Odia food, Odia Songs, Odia music director, Odia singer, Odia movie.
I love eating pakhala. The songs of Akshaya Mohanty are my favorite as he narrates very well. Among Odia movies, I love Sushanta Mishra's Indradhanu ra chhai and Nirod Mohapatra's Maya miriga. I believe these are the most beautiful Odia movies ever made.

Tell us about some tourist places that you have visited in Odisha. Also, tell us if you have some memories related to them.
I love visiting Puri but describing the memories of Puri is difficult. I also loved Ganjam because of its people, art and culture, traditions, drama, music, food. Apart from these, the temples and stories that the district of Ganjam has, cannot be found anywhere else.

How do you spend your leisure?
I love watching movies. Apart from that, I like reading and eating.

Which Odia personality has influenced your life and why?
Shri Madhusudan Das. His dedication towards the Odisha and Odia people inspired me a lot.

Tell us something about your favorite childhood games and memories.
In my childhood days, all my brothers and sisters of mine used to live together.Hence celebrating Raja or Ganesh puja was fun. We used to get flowers for our sisters' khudurkuni osa. These things have become extinct nowadays. Baadi Khela, Bisa amruta was our occasional games. But cricket was our permanent game which we have grown up playing.

Have you ever thought about the future of this addiction and passion?
Firstly, I am plaining to open a Currency Museum which will be open to all. Where everybody can visit it and able to see my rare previous collection. Secondly, I want to aware the society specially to the young generation about the importance of Numismatics and Philately. For this reason, I am posting my blogs through Facebook and Instagram pages "The CoinWorld" and also uploading videos containing Numismatic/ Philatelic facts through my YouTube channel "The CoinWorld"

Which Odia talent has inspired you and why?
The sacrifice and love of Gopabandhu Das is an inspiration for me. I know I can be nothing in comparison to him but his path of life is still a dream for me.

Which is your favorite Odia book and writer?
Jagyanseni by Dr. Prativa Ray.

What is your thought regarding the future of your Odia movies?
Indradhanu is already in post-production. I hope to finish this really soon and reach as much audience as I can. There is another movie that is in pre-production mode.

Your dream Odisha 2050
I don't know.

Do you have any plans of making movies on the historical events, personalities, and culture of Odisha?
I wish to make movies on Gopabandhu's life, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati Narayan Deba's life, and Maharaja Kharavela's life. I also wish to make movies on Odisha's culture and history

Tell us something about your Village.
We don't have anything in the village. Everything is here in Jatni. I have my paternal and maternal grandparents' houses in villages in Nayagarh and Champatipur. The place is like paradise. There are fields behind the house and a big Banyan tree in front of it. There are two rivers on both sides of the village and sal trees.

Which actors and actresses would you like to work with?
I would be grateful if I get to work with Naseeruddin Shah and Raghuveer Yadav.

The last question. What would you like to do, if you get a chance to travel to your past?
I would like to spend some more time with my father.


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