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Cornell University to hold multiple screenings of Nila Madhab Panda’s Kalira Atita

Kalira Atita

Widely known for making films on social issues, director Nila Madhab Panda’s latest film Kalira Atita (which means Yesterday’s Past) has been invited by the prestigious Cornell University of New York for Multiple Screenings.

National award-winning director Nila Madhab Panda’s Odia film, Kalira Atita (Yesterday’s Past) to be screened at one of the oldest established Cornell Cinema, University Film Society, New York. In addition to the screenings, Dr.Nila Madhab Panda will conduct a webinar with the students and faculty of the institute to discuss climate change and its drastic implications.

Kalira Atita is director Nila Madhab Panda’s first Odia film and is based on true events and was shot on location in Satavaya, a cluster of seven villages on India’s east coast that have been engulfed by the sea as a result of climate change and rising sea levels. The film follows Gunu, a disillusioned young man from Satavaya village, who travels restlessly towards death, memories of a past cyclone propelling him into the eye of one that is coming. Hoping to reunite with his lost family, he returns to his village, five days before the cyclone, to find that it is now underwater. Gunu’s struggle to survive the fury of nature is a portrayal of emotional trauma and human triumph. Kalira Atita was selected by the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) for its prestigious Panorama section. The film is co-sponsored with the South Asia Program and the Tata Cornell Institute.

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“I am happy that the film is being screened at Cornell University, the film will certainly help more dialogues on the impact of climate change, as it’s based on true events in Odisha”, said Nila Madhab Panda the director of Kalira Atita that had its international premiere at the 28th Prague International Film Festival (Febiofest), was selected for the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa for its prestigious Panorama section and was the recipient of Best Odia film at the National Awards in 2021.

Established in 1970, Cornell Cinema as a university film society has evolved into a regional exhibition program with a national reputation with its primary mission is educational: to expose audiences to a diverse range of cinematic experiences. It has been cited as one of the best campus film exhibition programs in the country, screening over 150 different films/videos each year, many shown in conjunction with academic courses, five to seven nights a week in the beautiful Willard Straight Theatre.

Cornell Cinema is a program of the Department of Performing and Media Arts. It receives major support from the College of Arts & Sciences and the Graduate & Professional Student Assembly.

Having over 70 films and documentaries to his credit as a producer, Nila Madhab Panda is known for making films on the issues of climate change, child labour, sanitation, water issues, etc. He is known for the film I Am Kalam which won a National Film Award and also 34 international awards. His film Jalpari received the MIP Junior award at the Cannes Film Festival. He has also received a Padma Shree Award in 2016 for his contribution to the Indian cinema.

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