Satyajit Ray - A ray of hope of Eastern Cinema

On the occasion of his 97th birthday, we celebrate Satyajit Ray – one of the greatest directors of all time. To gauge the impact of his work towards Indian cinema and on the social consciousness – we must take a trip down memory lane and through his life. Here’s a look back at the life of the Bharat Ratna Awardee who changed Indian cinema

1. An aspiring designer for a book agency, Satyajit Ray met French director Jean Renoir when the latter was in India to shoot a movie. Ray helped the director find locations for his new motion picture and Renoir in return sparked the love of cinema in Satyajit Ray.

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2.Graduating with a B.A. in Economics from the Presidency College, Satyajit Ray later studied the arts at Shantiniketan. Working as a book cover designer, Discovery India were among his clients at the time.

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3. Pather Panchali was Ray’s first film and it took him three years to direct it due to a lack of funds. He took a loan from the bank and completed the film which established him as a renowned director in the world of cinema.

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4. Although Charulata was his favorite work, Aparajito was the film that got him The Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival.

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5. Satyajit Ray was also an acclaimed writer, known for introducing characters like Feluda into the world of Bengali Literature. He also owned and operated a children’s magazine known as Sandesh.

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6.Although never an admirer of film critics he wrote a book comparing and criticizing western and eastern movies known as ‘our films and their films’.

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7. John Huston was the first director to identify his talent. Stating to his friends at New York Museum Of Modern Art  that a new talent is on the horizon.

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8. Ray was a major influence on directors like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Christopher Nolan, George Lucas and many more.

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9. All of his work has been preserved by Academy Film Archive that includes around 20 Films revolving around the concept of Humanism, universality and a deep underlying complexity.

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10. He accepted his honorary Oscar at the age of 70, in 1992 just 24 days before his death.

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