Bijaya Jena with Oscar winner German filmmaker Volker Schlondorff at KIFF 2019
The actress-turned-filmmaker, whose Odia film, Tara, had won a National Award in in 1992, has been a jury member in several national and international film festivals, including the Indian National Film Awards.
“The KIFF organisers wanted someone who has good exposure to international film festivals and has enough knowledge of international films. That’s how I got this opportunity to be a jury member and that too for the International competition category,” she told us.
Bijaya had acted in Kamal Amrohi’s Razia Sultan, KA Abbas’ The Naxalites, Ketan Mehta’s Holi, a British film The Deceiver directed by Nicholas Meyer, and several popular Hindi television serials and Odia films. “This festival is unique since it has a prize money of Rs 50 lakh for the international category, which is very high if we compare it with many popular international film festivals. I am here to watch and judge as many 15 films, including two Indian movies. I’m in the jury with reputed and revered filmmaker Shaji N Karun and a foreign filmmaker,” she said, adding, “I rate KIFF, IFFI Goa and International Film Festival of Kerala as the best film festivals in India. These festivals are best platforms for serious and meaningful films.”
Regarding unlisting of Odia film Patnagarh, 23 February 2018, from KIFF, she said she got to know that since there were some legal issues, the committee had to remove it. “This is one of those prestigious film festivals in India that’s supported by the government. So, they might not want these legal hassles. But I’m not aware of anything else about the issue,” she signed off.
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