Jena or Bijaya Jena born in an aristocratic family from cuttack became famous film actress, director and producer of Ollywood and Bollywood
Dolly Jena’s contributions to the world of cinema involving herself in all facets of film making – from acting to direction to scriptwriting to producership. Besides she has also proved her mettle in film education during her tenure in the Governing Council of Film & TV Institute of India, Pune from 1992 to 1995. She discharged the profound responsibility of being a member of the Jury of the National Film Awards 1993. She was also on the international jury of the Fajr International Film Festival, 2007 in Teheran along with the famous Oscar nominated director Majid Majidi.
A CELEBRATED BEGINNING
After completing her Diploma Course in acting in the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune she plunged into an acting career in the 1980s. It was a time when the Indian film industry was passing through dilemmas of the dwindling new wave cinema that had flourished in the earlier decades in the hands of master craftsmen like Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. At such a stage it was difficult for her to choose an appropriate path.
She started with a guest appearance in Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin (Hindi). Then a prominent role came her way in Naxalites, a socio-analytical film in Hindi. It was soon followed by her remarkable perfomance in films such as Razia Sultan, Amma, and Holi (all in Hindi). Then came a phase of recognitions in her acting career as she bagged the Best actress Award for her performance in the Oriya Film Jaga Balia in 1983.
NO LOOKING BACK
Ever since she has not looked back. She continued the spree without leaving any aspect of film making untouched. Along with acting in mainstream and parallel cinema she also set her foot in TV episodes. Viewers still vividly remember her closer-to-life performance in the popular TV serials such as Vikram Vetal and Jantar Mantar.
But she was not satisfied with the limitations of an acting assignment and looked around for broader avenues for expression of her creative passion. It is then that she decided to direct her own film. She produced and directed an Oriya Film Tara. For this she had to borrow a sum of around Rs. Four lakhs from family friends and govt. agencies and completed the film with the surprisingly low budget. But the size of her budget had no bearing on the quality of the film. It rather received the Best Oriya Film Award in 1992. It also participated in several International Film Festivals.
Abhaas in Hindi marks her second directorial venture. She herself produced and scripted the film. It was also made with a modest budget. The film attracted rave reviews in the media.
The Oriya film Hakim Babu in which she handled a lead role also won the National Award for the best Oriya film.
Tara in Oriya and Abhaas in Hindi are considered two of Dolly's most note worthy directorial accomplishments. What one observes in both the works is her commitment to the basic themes that she intends to portray in both the films. And this in spite of the constraints of being a new entrant to the directorial arena. Both the films bear the testimony of the deep understanding of the craft of film making she came across while pursing her acting course at the Film and television Institute of India. She learnt the craft of script-writing from Late Bimal Dutt and Istvan Gaal of Hungary, one of the world maestros.
The fact that Abhaas qualified for participation in the International Film Festival held in France in the year 1997 bears testimony to the qualitative strength of her work. It had Itvan Gaal s script writer. He offered to do it it for Dolly as he was immensely impressed by her earlier production Tara.
IN THE PIPELINE
Dolly Jena has a complete script of an English film named The Survivor ready in her hand. It is based on the award winning Oriya novel Dana Pani. It has been approved by the National Film Development Corporation for patronisation. But finance in real terms is yet to arrive.
She is also developing a small film Three Nights of a Dreamer with Georges Corraface, a famous actor of Europe discovered by David Lean. She found him during her sojurn in Teheran.
A BLISSFUL LIFE
Dolly leads a blissful life in her residence in Andheri East in Mumbai. She is blessed with a daughter named Lopamudra who was born in 1997. As it were, she took a break from the film industry for raising her child.
Let us join together in wishing Dolly many more brilliant milestones in her creative career.