A bird’s eye view of all the languages of India Maithili is considered to be the sweetest and most cultured. It is needless to point out that Maithili is spoken by about 6 -7 crores of the people of not only India but abroad also. The most significant characteristic feature of this sweet language is that it has its own grammar, literature, culture, customs, almanac and geographical area. Maithili language is known all over the world for its sweetness, classical epics, melodious songs of Poet Vidyapati and what not. In the light of all this riches possessed by Maithili that it has been accorded a place in the Constitution of India.
Cinema is supposed to be the vehicle of expression of literature of a language. Seeing the importance and popularity of the cinema, it has become a literary form. It is in a way a visual literature compact in itself. As far as Maithili cinema is considered, it has remained till date at back foot which is a matter of utter shame and serious concern for all the Maithils. However, some people have tried their best to help Maithili cinema get its due.
Let us delve deep into the history and milestones whatever of Maithili Cinema. It is a common knowledge that the first Maithili movie was Kanyadan (released in 1965 and Directed by Phani Majumdar), of which a significant portion was made in the Maithili language. The film's story in which the protagonist doesn’t know maithili language but decided to learn maithili as his wife knows only maithili language. It is based on the novel Kanyadaan by Harimohan Jha.
Another maithili movie "Mamta Gaave Geet" was released in possibly 1984-85 and became very popular due to the melodious songs and good storyline. It is a matter of privilege that famous singers Geeta Dutta and Suman Kalyanpur, Mahendra Kapoor had given their voice to the songs. But after that no serious effort was done to make Maithil films. Although two films; Bhauji May (dubbed from Gujrati) and Jai Baba Baijnath also felt their presence. Nevertheless, Anand Mishra tried to revive it with his tele film “Ijot” which depicts the hard reality of the youths of Mithilanchal. But unfortunately this films remained incomplete and could not be released. In this film Udit Narayan also gave his voice.
It is to be noted that even before “Ijot”, Anand Mishra also had come with a Maithili video “Ena Katay Din”. Then came yet another superhit film “Sasta Jinagai Mahag Sinur”, released in 1999, which went a long way in revival of Maithili film industry. Muarli Dhar, a great director, Music composer, singer and actor has directed this film. Moreover, Balkrishna Jha’s contribution in this film can also not be ruled out. All the songs of this movie sung by Md Aziz, Sadhana Sargam and Udit Narayan, Deepa Narayan became super hit and very popular thus breaking all success records. This maithili film's songs are still played in many village fairs and other Maithil gatherings.
Another Maithili film"Kakhan Harb Dukh More" based on life of great Maithil Poet Vidyapati proved yet another milestone in the history of Maithili Cinema with all its success and response from the audiences. Thanks to excellent performance by actor Phool Singh who played the role of Vidyapati and great music and soulful songs by Gyaneshwar Dubey the film became a huge hit. Senurak Laaj and Dulara Babu are other great Maithili films which need to be viewed by one and all.
Aau Piya Hamar Nagari presented by Ashu-Priya Production was released in 2000. Unfortunately the movie could not get success as expected inspite of brilliant plot and narrative technique. 90% of the picturisation of this film was executed in the direction of popular Director Murli Dhar. Dr Manikant Mishra had later declared himself the Director of the film due to a small strife.
In 2007 November another Maithili film "Sindurdan" was released but the film was quickly withdrawn from theatres due to some sound problem.
The feature film, Senuriya, directed by B.D. Prasad Chaudhary, music by Gyaneshwar Dubey, is a two-and-a-half hour film, made by Ayushman Films. Surya and Diva Shree play the lead role as actors with Rami Reddy in a negative role. In fact, it is a film dubbed from Tamil into Maithili. Ek Chutki Sindur is presently in the lab and likely to be released shortly. Sajana Ke Angan Men Solaho Shringar and Piya Bhel Pardesi are the two important Maithili films which are in the pipeline. The former is scheduled to be released during Durga Puja. Rahul Sinha, Rakhi Tripathi and Murli Dhar are the important stars in the film.