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Satyajit Ray

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Satyajit Ray : A prolific Filmmaker!

Satyajit Ray, an Indian filmmaker who is considered one of the masters of world cinema. Ray was born in 1921 in Calcutta in a distinguished family of Bengal. After graduating from Calcutta's Presidency College, Ray went to Shantiniketan University. In 1949 he met the great French director Jean Renoir who visited Calcutta to scout locations for The River (1950). Renoir encouraged Ray to make films that inspired him to start work on Pather Panchali. Ray has left a cinematic heritage that belongs as much to India as to the world.

Satyajit Ray's films are both cinematic and literary at the same time; using a simple narrative, usually in a classical format, but greatly detailed and operating at many levels of interpretation.

He made his films in Bengali, a language spoken in the eastern state of India - West Bengal. And yet, his films are of universal interest. They are about things that make up the human race - relationships, emotions, struggle, conflicts, joys and sorrows.

Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray :

Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray :

Satyajit RayHis first film Pather Panchali was three years in the making - years of unceasing finance struggle. It was ultimately completed with the help of the West Bengal Government. The first film of a trilogy - The Apu Trilogy - a three-part tale of a boy's life from birth through manhood. The other two films of this trilogy are Aparajito (The Unvanquished, 1956) and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu, 1959).

His later films include Jalsaghar (The Music Room, 1958), Devi (The Goddess, 1960), Teen Kanya (Two Daughters, 1961), Charulata (The Lonely Wife, 1964), Nayak (The Hero, 1966), Asani Sanket (Distant Thunder, 1973), Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players, 1977), Ghare Baire (The Home and the World, 1984), Ganashatru (An Enemy Of The People, 1989) and Shakha Prashakha (Branches Of The Tree, 1991). Agantuk (The Stranger, 1991) was his last film.

In the 1980s Ray had to stop making films for close to five years due to ill-health but late in 1988 he returned to film making.

Feather in the Cap
In 1955, he finished his first film, Pather Panchali, which won him an award at the Cannes Film Festival and established him as a internationally renowned director.

In 1978, the organising committee of the Berlin Film Festival ranked him as one of the three all-time best directors.

In March 1992, a month before his death, Ray was awarded the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Other honours bestowed upon Ray include "Lègion d'Honneur", France and "Bharatratna" (Jewel of India), India.

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