Filmmaker par excellence
Rich tributes were paid to legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray on what would have been his 92nd birthday on Wednesday in his hometown Kolkata.
The premier Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) has decided to have their annual convocation each year on this day to coincide with the birthday of the versatile genius.
While delivering the convocation address, veteran director Adoor Gopalakrishnan said there is hardly any other filmmaker in India whose impact has been more powerful than that of Ray.
"He left us too early. Had he been here now, we would have had the opportunity to get greater words from him. His contribution to Indian cinema has been monumental," he said.
At the state-run multiplex Nandan, one of Ray's favourite films “The Bicycle Thief” by Vittorio Di Sica was screened.
The Italian neo-realist film which tells the story of a poor man's struggle for survival, is known to have had a profound impact on Ray and his films including the iconic "Pather Panchal”.
Nandan CEO Jadav Mondol told PTI that as a mark of homage to one of the greatest filmmakers of the world, another four of Ray's favourite foreign films will be screened in the next two days.
It was after watching several international films during a trip to London that Ray had switched from advertising to cinema.
Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon", Fritz Lang's "Metropolis", Sergei Eisenstein's classic silent Russian film "Battleship Potemkin" and Carl Dreyer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc" will be shown to mark Ray's birthday.
These films were close to the heart of Ray, according to author and film studies teacher Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also paid homage to the director in the presence of Ray's son, filmmaker Sandip Ray and singer Anup Ghoshal.
Having directed a number of classics like the “Apu Trilogy”, "Jalsaghar", 'Sonar Kella', "Charulata", and "Shatranj Ke Khiladi", Ray remains India's first and only Oscar-winning director.
Film-maker Sandip Ray, who has tried to carry on the rich legacy of his father and made the "Feluda" series, said he would make a film on Professor Shonku.
The character of a fictional scientist was created by Ray for his books for children, but has not been filmed. The absent-minded scientist is a favourite among children.