Aparna Sen

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Aparna Sen
Aparna Sen - Kolkata 2014-01-31 8137.JPG
Sen at the 38th International Kolkata Book Fair in 2014
Aparna Dasgupta

(1945-10-25) 25 October 1945 (age 75)
  • Actress
  • director
  • screenwriter
Years active1961–present
Spouse(s)Sanjay Sen
Mukul Sharma
Kalyan Ray
Children2, including Konkona Sen Sharma
Awards Full list

Aparna Sen ( née  Dasgupta, Ôporna Shen; born 25 October 1945) is an Indian film director, screenwriter and actress who is known for her work in Bengali cinema. She has received multiple awards, including nine National Film Awards and a Padma Shri. [1]


Early life and education

Sen was born in a Bengali family, originally from Cox's Bazar in Chittagong District (now in Bangladesh).[ citation needed ] Her father was the veteran critic and filmmaker Chidananda Dasgupta. Her mother Supriya Dasgupta was a costume designer and earned the National Film Award for Best Costume Design for Chidananda's directorial venture Amodini (1995), at the age of 73. Sen is a relative of Bengali poet Jibanananda Das. [2] Sen spent her childhood in Hazaribagh and Kolkata and had her schooling at Modern High School for Girls, Kolkata, India. She studied for her B.A. in English at Presidency College, but did not complete the degree. [3]



Sen made her film debut at the age of 15, when she played the role of Mrinmoyee in the Samapti portion of the 1961 film Teen Kanya (Three Daughters) directed by Satyajit Ray (who was a longtime friend of her father's). She then studied at Kolkata's Presidency College.

At fifteen she was photographed by Brian Brake for the well-known photo from his 1960 "Monsoon" series of photographs; the photo appeared on the cover of Life. [4]

In 2009, Sen appeared with Sharmila Tagore and Rahul Bose in Annirudh Roy-Chowdhary's Bengali film Antaheen . The film went on to win four National Film Awards. [5]


In 2009, Sen announced her next Bengali film Iti Mrinalini , which starred Konkona Sen Sharma, Aparna Sen, Rajat Kapoor, Kaushik Sen, and Priyanshu Chatterjee. First-time screenwriter Ranjan Ghosh co-authored Iti Mrinalini . This was the first time that Sen collaborated with any film writer or became attached to the curriculum of a film institute. The screenplay of Iti Mrinalini was an assignment in the Screenwriting syllabus at the Mumbai-based film school Whistling Woods International. [6] It was also a major first in Indian screenwriting, as the first time that any screenplay from an Indian film institute was actually filmed. [7] The film was released on 29 July 2011.

In 2013, her film Goynar Baksho (The Jewellery Box) was released depicting three generations of women and their relationship to a box of jewels. It ran to packed houses and won critical acclaim from reviewers and critics. [8] Thereafter, in 2015, Arshinagar , an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet was released. [9]

In 2017, Sonata—an English film written and directed by Sen—was released. Adapted from a play by Mahesh Elkunchwar, the film examines the life of three middle-aged unmarried friends played by Aparna Sen, Shabana Azmi and Lillete Dubey. [10]

In 2021, she directed her 3rd Hindi film The Rapist , starring her daughter Konkona Sen Sharma and Arjun Rampal. In her interview with the Firstpost , she said that The Rapist will be a “hard-hitting drama that examines how much of society is responsible for producing rapists.” [11] The film is nominated for Kim Jiseok award at 26th Busan International Film Festival to be held in October 2021. [12]


Aparna Sen receiving the Best Direction Award for the year 2002 from The President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. The President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam presenting the Best Direction Award for the year 2002 to Aparna Sen at the 50th National Film Award function in New Delhi on December 29, 2003.jpg
Aparna Sen receiving the Best Direction Award for the year 2002 from The President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.


Sen has served on juries at film festivals around the world. In 1989 she was a member of the jury at the 16th Moscow International Film Festival. [13] In 2008, she was elected into the International Jury of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. In 2013, she headed the jury of the second Ladakh International Film Festival. [14]

From 1986 to 2005, Sen was the editor of the fortnightly Sananda , a Bengali women's magazine (published by the Ananda Bazar Patrika group) that enjoys equal popularity in West Bengal and Bangladesh. From November 2005 to December 2006, she was associated with the Bengali 24x7 infotainment channel Kolkata TV as Creative Director. In 2011 she took charge as the editor of the magazine Paroma launched by the Saradha Group. [15] Following the Saradha Group financial scandal, Paroma ran into trouble. It finally closed down on 14 April 2013. Sen and her editorial team launched a new magazine called Prathama Ekhon, which was short-lived. [16]

In 1987, the then President of India, Giani Zail Singh bestowed the Padma Shri on Sen in recognition of her contribution to Indian cinema. Since then, she has received several lifetime achievement awards. [17]



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Aparna Sen is an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter and actress who is known for her work in Bengali cinema. A leading actress of the late 1960s and 1970s she has received eight BFJA Awards, five for best actress, two for best supporting actress and one for lifetime achievement. She is the winner of nine National Film Awards and nine international film festival awards for her direction in films. She was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by the government of India in 1987.

The Rapist is an upcoming Indian Hindi drama film written and directed by Aparna Sen. Produced under the banner of Applause Entertainment, a Quest Films Pvt. Ltd. production, It stars Konkona Sen Sharma, Arjun Rampal and Tanmay Dhanania. The film chronicles the journey of three protagonists, whose lives are interlaced because of one horrific incident. It is scheduled to premiere under the 'A Window on Asian Cinema' section at 26th Busan International Film Festival to be held from 6 to 15 October 2021.


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