Satyajit Ray was an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, music composer, graphic artist, lyricist and author, widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Ray was born in Calcutta into a Bengali family which was prominent in the field of arts and literature. Starting his career as a commercial artist, Ray was drawn into independent filmmaking after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and viewing Vittorio De Sica’s Italian neorealist film Bicycle Thieves (1948) during a visit to London. Satyajit Ray
Introduction to Satyajit Ray
Birth Place: Calcutta, West Bengal
Education: Schooling at Ballygunge Government High School. Completed BA in Economics from Presidency College. Then completed Masters from Viswa-Bharati University. He also awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from Oxford University.
Family Members: His Grandfather is famous author Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury. Father is Sukumar Ray and Mother Suprabha Ray. Sandip Roy is his only child.
Some lesser known Facts about Ray
- Ray worked at a British-run advertising agency as a “junior visualizer”. The D.J. Keymer company employed him from 1943 until the success of his first movie, Pather Panchali, enabled him to became a professional filmmaker in 1956.
- Before he became a filmmaker, Ray founded Calcutta’s first film club in 1947. The first film it screened was Battleship Potemkin. Ray also wrote articles on cinema for newspapers like The Statesman, and soon after started to develop screenplays.
- Everything about Pather Panchali was a leap of faith for Ray and the entire team involved. But the making of that film was not easy for him. He was facing a shortage of funds, Satyajit Ray sold his life insurance policy and his wife pawned her jewelry to cover costs. He also took a loan from Government. Shooting for the film was completed over a marathon two and half years.
- He didn’t get Oscar for Pather Panchali. Ray was presented with the Honorary Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement although none of his films ever received an Oscar.
- The film, Sikkim, was made in 1971 on the subject of that landlocked state. It was commissioned by the Chogyal (king) of Sikkim. The film was banned by Government for a short time.
- His films have bagged 32 National Awards by the Government of India out of which 6 are for Best Director.
- He was awarded the Lgion d’honneur(Legion of Honour) by the President of France in 1987.
- He made the first coloured Bengali film Kanchenjunga(1962) which is also considered the first Indian anthology film.
- Along with other film contemporaries and film historians, Ray opened the Calcutta Film Society in 1947.
- He revived the Bengali magazine, Sandesh, started by his grandfather and was the editor of the same.
- He was the creator of two well known characters- Feluda and Professor Shanku.
Awards won be Satyajit Ray
- He recieved total 134 awards for the Films directed by him (nominated 143 times).
- He recieved 32 National Film Awards by Government of India.
- Honorable Prize for contribution to cinema at 11th Moscow International Film Festival 1979.
- Won Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlin International Film Festival.
- Won Golden Lion for Aparajito (1956) at Venice Film Festival.
- In 1982 he recieved Golden Lion Honorary Award and “Hommage à Satyajit Ray” award at Cannes Film Festival.
- Ray is the second film personality after Chaplin to have been awarded an honorary doctorate by Oxford University.
- Got Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1985.
- Awarded the Legion of Honor by the President of France in 1987.
- Received Padma Bhushan and Bharatratna.
- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray an Honorary Oscar in 1992 for Lifetime Achievement.
- He was posthumously awarded the Akira Kurosawa Award for Lifetime Achievement in Directing at the San Francisco International Film Festival. It was accepted by Sharmila Tagore.
- Full awards list- Click here
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