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| Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha |
27 August 1997 –26 August 2003
|Born||14 May 1923|
Faridpur, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Bangladesh)
|Died||30 December 2018 95) (aged|
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
(m. 1952;her death 2017)
|Education|| Scottish Church College (B.Sc.)|
Rajabazar Science College (M.Sc.)
|Awards|| Padma Bhushan (1983)|
Order of Friendship (2000)
Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2003)
Mrinal Sen (also spelled Mrinal Shen; 14 May 1923 – 30 December 2018) was an Indian filmmaker and a nominated Member of the Indian parliament. Sen directed films primarily in Bengali and Hindi. Along with his contemporaries Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, he pioneered the New Wave cinema in India. Sen was an ardent Marxist. His earlier films are characterized by their left-leaning, often Marxist approaches to Indian society. Sen won the National Film Awards 18 times, next only to Ray. He was made the Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1985. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2008 and the Order of Friendship in 2005. The same year, he was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award his contribution to Indian cinema. He is considered to be one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. He is the only Indian filmmaker along with Satyajit Ray whose films have been awarded at the big three film festivals namely the Cannes film festival, Venice Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival.
Sen was born on 14 May 1923, in the town of Faridpur, now in Bangladesh. After finishing high school there, he left home to come to Calcutta as a student. He studied physics at Scottish Church College, and subsequently earned a postgraduate degree at the well-known Rajabazar Science College of University of Calcutta. As a student, he got involved with the cultural wing of the Communist Party of India. Although he never became a member of the party, his association with the socialist Indian People's Theatre Association brought him close to a number of like-minded culturally associated people.
Sen's interest in film making began after he stumbled upon a book on film aesthetics. However, his interest remained mostly intellectual, and he was forced to take up the job of a medical representative, which took him away from Calcutta. This did not last very long, and he came back to the city and eventually took a job as an audio technician in a Calcutta film studio, which launched his film career.
Mrinal Sen first feature film, Raat Bhore (1955) featured Uttam Kumar who was not yet the major star of Bengali cinema that he became. The movie was a critical failure. His next film, Neel Akasher Neechey (Under the Blue Sky, 1958), earned him local recognition, while his third film, Baishey Shravan ("The Wedding Day", 1960), was the first film that gave him international exposure. Both these films were produced by Hemanta Mukherjee, the legendary singer and composer.
After making five more films, he made a film with a shoestring budget provided by the Government of India. This film, Bhuvan Shome (Mr. Shome, 1969), finally launched him as a major filmmaker, both nationally and internationally. Bhuvan Shome also initiated the "New Cinema" film movement in India.
The films that he made next were essentially political, and earned him the reputation as a Marxist artist.This was also the time of large-scale political unrest throughout India. Particularly in and around Calcutta, this period underwent what is now known as the Naxalite movement. This phase was immediately followed by a series of films where he shifted his focus, and instead of looking for enemies outside, he looked for the enemy within his own middle class society. This was arguably his most creative phase.
In many Mrinal Sen movies from Punascha (1961) to Mahaprithivi (1992), Kolkata features prominently. He has shown Kolkata as a character, and as an inspiration. He has beautifully woven the people, value system, class difference and the roads of the city into his movies and coming of age for Kolkata, his El-Dorado.
During this period, he won a large number of international awards. It could be argued that although his films show the development of ideas from existentialism, surrealism, Marxism, German expressionism, Postmodernism, Nouvelle Vague and Italian neorealism. Sen's cinema for the most part does not provide a happy ending or a definitive conclusion (unlike many of the films of Sen's better known contemporary Satyajit Ray). In many of Sen's later films, the audience becomes a participant in the process of the development of the plot. The director invites and provokes the audience into a shared process of forming multiple conclusions, that are at the same time unique and different. The director does not play the role of god, his audience does. It is not really surprising that unlike Allen who has a steady niche audience in the Western literati and aficionados, Sen's experimentation with parallel cinema had significantly cost him much of a devoted audience composing of largely the Calcutta-based westernized intelligentsia.
In 1982 he was a member of the jury at the 32nd Berlin International Film Festival.In 1983 he was a member of the jury at the 13th Moscow International Film Festival. In 1997 Sen became the member of the jury at the 20th Moscow International Film Festival.
Mrinal Sen never stopped experimenting with his medium. In his later films, he tried to move away from the narrative structure and worked with very thin storylines. After a long gap of eight years, at the age of eighty, he made his last film, Aamaar Bhuvan ("My Land", 2002).
During his career, Mrinal Sen's films have received awards from almost all major film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Montreal, Chicago, and Cairo. Retrospectives of his films have been shown in almost all major cities of the world. He was also elected as the president of the International Federation of the Film Societies. He received the Taj Enlighten Tareef Award which is given for a lifetime contribution to the world of cinema in 2008. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th edition of the Osian's Cinefest Film Festival 2008.
Renowned Norwegian Actress & Director Liv Ullmann Once Said "Mrinal Sen's Films Convey a Cinematic Protest Against Tyranny So Effectively".
Oscar winner director Martin Scorsese took leading steps towards restoration of Mrinal Sen's films . He identified those films as forgotten classics .
Legendary director Satyajit Ray said 'I am feeling jealous , he probably overtakes us' ( Referring himself & Ritwik Ghatak ) when praising after watching Mrinal Sen's 'Oka Oori Katha' .
On 24 July 2012, Sen was not invited to the function organized by West Bengal government to felicitate film personalities from the State. As per reports, his political views are believed to be the reason for his omission from the function.
Sen had been suffering from age related ailments for many years. He died on 30 December 2018 at the age of 95 at his home in Bhawanipore, Kolkata.The cause was a heart attack.
National Film Award for Best Feature Film
National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
National Film Award – Special Mention (feature film)
National Film Award for Best Direction
National Film Award for Best Screenplay
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest award in cinema. It is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organisation set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The recipient is honoured for their "outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema" and is selected by a committee consisting of eminent personalities from the Indian film industry. As of 2017, the award comprises a Swarna Kamal medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of ₹1,000,000 (US$14,000).
Baldev Raj Chopra was an Indian director and producer of Bollywood movies and television serials. Best known for directing Hindi films like Naya Daur (1957), Sadhna (1958), Kanoon (1961), Gumrah (1963), Humraaz (1967), Insaaf Ka Tarazu (1980), Nikaah (1982), Awam (1987), and the producer of TV series, Mahabharat in 1988, he was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1998.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was an Indian film director, editor and writer regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of Indian cinema, known for a number of films, including Anari, Satyakam, Chupke Chupke, Asli Naqli, Anupama, Anand, Abhimaan, Gaban, Guddi, Gol Maal, Majhli Didi, Chaitali, Aashirwad, Bawarchi, Kissi Se Na Kehna, and Namak Haraam.
Soumitra Chatterjee or Soumitra Chattopadhyay is an Indian film and stage actor, reciter, poet and artist. He is best known for his collaborations with Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray, with whom he worked in fourteen films. Soumitra Chattopadhyay is also the first Indian film personality conferred with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest award for artists. He is also the winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award which is India's highest award for cinema. In 2018 exactly thirty years after auteur Satyajit Ray was honoured with France's highest civilian award, the coveted Legion of Honor, thespian Soumitra Chatterjee, arguably, the most prominent face of Ray's films, also received the prestigious award as the first ever Indian actor.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan is an Indian film director, script writer, and producer. and is regarded as one of the most notable filmmakers in India. With the release of his first feature film Swayamvaram (1972), Adoor pioneered the new wave in Malayalam cinema during the 1970s. In a career spanning over five decades, Adoor has made only 12 feature films to date. His films are made in the Malayalam language and often depict the society and culture of his native state Kerala. Nearly all of his films premiered at Venice, Cannes and Toronto International Film Festival. Along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, Adoor is one of the most recognized Indian film directors in world cinema.
Bhuvan Shome is a 1969 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Mrinal Sen. The cast includes Utpal Dutt and Suhasini Mulay. Sen based his film on a Bengali story by Balai Chand Mukhopadhyay. The film is considered a landmark in modern Indian cinema.
Suhasini Mulay is an Indian actress in Bollywood,Marathi and Assamese films as well as television. She won National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1999, for her performance in Gulzar's film Hu Tu Tu.
Mamata Shankar is an Indian actress and dancer. She is known for her work in Bengali cinema. She has acted in films by directors including Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Rituparno Ghosh, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Gautam Ghosh. In addition to being an actress, she is a dancer and choreographer.
Sreela Majumdar is an actress in the Bengali language film industry of India. She has done voice dubbing for Aishwarya Rai in the film Chokher Bali (2003).
Khandhar is a 1984 Bengali film in Hindi language directed by Mrinal Sen, based on a Bengali short story, Telenapota Abishkar by Premendra Mitra. The film stars Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapur. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.
Nitish Roy is an Indian film art director, production designer, and costume designer in Hindi cinema and a Bengali Film Director, who is also known for his work with art cinema directors, Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen and Govind Nihlani, Hindi mainstream cinema, directors like Rajkumar Santoshi, as well as international directors like Mira Nair and Gurinder Chadha. His work for Oscar winning Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator fetched international fame for him. Beside art direction, production design and film direction he is an internationally acclaimed architect who has created several film cities such has Ramoji Film City (Hyderabad) Innovative Film city (Bengaluru),Prayag Film City (Kolkata) and several theme parks, amusement parks, museum not only in India but also in countries like Singapore etc.
Oka Oori Katha is a 1977 Indian Telugu-Language drama film directed by Mrinal Sen. The Pan-Indian film is based on the story Kafan by Munshi Premchand. The film was one of the Indian entries at the 4th Hong Kong International Film Festival. The film won Special Awards at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and Carthage Film Festival. It was showcased in the Indian Panorama section of the 1978 International Film Festival of India.
The 58th National Film Awards, presented by Directorate of Film Festivals, the organisation set up by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India to felicitate the best of Indian Cinema for the year 2010.
K. K. Mahajan was an Indian cinematographer who was known for his work in Parallel Cinema. In a career that spanned over four decades, he won four National Film Awards. He was best known for his work with filmmakers such as Kumar Shahani, Mani Kaul, Basu Chatterjee and Mrinal Sen.
The 17th National Film Awards were presented by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of India to facilitate the best of Indian cinema released in 1969. The ceremony took place at University Centenary Auditorium, Madras on 21 November 1970.
Rajen Tarafdar was an Indian film director, actor, and screenwriter. He was the recipient of two National Awards and two BFJA Awards.
The 59th National Film Awards, presented by the Directorate of Film Festivals, honoured the best of Indian cinema for 2011 and took place on 3 May 2012 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. Awards were presented in 38 categories in the Feature Films section, 20 categories in the Non-Feature Films section and two categories for the Best Writing on Cinema section; 41 jury members chose the winners from 392 entries. The ceremony was hosted by actors Vinay Pathak and Saumya Tandon. Awards were presented by the Vice-President of India, Mohammad Hamid Ansari. The ceremony was broadcast live on three television channels, eleven All India Radio stations, and webcast live.
The 51st National Film Awards, presented by Directorate of Film Festivals, the organisation set up by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India to felicitate the best of Indian Cinema released in the year 2003.
Shekhar Chatterjee (1924—1990) was an Indian actor and film director.
Asit Bandopadhyay is a Bengali dramatist, screenwriter and actor. He is associated with the Nandikar theater group. He lives and works in Kolkata, India.