Born in Bhadrak, Nirad Mahapatra was educated in Bhubaneshwar. He interrupted his studies in political science to attend the FTII. After graduation in 1971, he joined the Faculty of direction at the Institute. He worked in organising film societies in Pune, Bombay and Orissa. He worked as the editor of Oriya film journal, 'Mana Phasal'. His first feature film Maya Mriga was a major critical success.
Maya Miriga - 1983 - Orriya
Shot on 16 mm with non-professional actors in Puri, a small coastal town in Orissa. The plot concerns the break-up of a middle class extended family: the former freedom fighter Raj Kishore, now an elderly school master, lives with his four sons and only daughter. The eldest son Tuku and his wife Prabha are expected to help pay for the education of the younger siblings; second son Tuku marries a well-off woman who insists on a separate household. In the end, Tukku refuses to keep shouldering the burdens of the extended family and the unit disintegrates.
Direction & Screenplay: Nirad Mahapatra