Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray is one of the greatest storyteller and filmmaker in the world. He is remembered for his humanistic approach to cinema.

Early life
Satyajit was born in Kolkata on May 2, 1921 to Sukumar Ray and Suprabha Ray. He hailed from a distinguished family of litterateurs, artists, musicians, physicians and scientists. He was nicknamed "Manik," meaning "jewel" in Bengali. His father passed away when he was only two and a half years old. His mother raised him as a single parent. They lived with his paternal uncles. As a young boy he had two interests - Western Classical music and watching Hollywood cinemas. These two passions proved to be quite instrumental for him when he chose to direct films.

He graduated from Ballygunge Government School. He pursued his honours in Economics from Presidency College. He then joined Kala Bhavan, the Art School at Santiniketan, Tagore's University, at the behest of his mother and Rabindranath Tagore, who was a friend of his father. At Santiniketan Satyajit Ray learned to draw from Nandalal Bose, a pioneer in art education in Modern India. Binode Behari Mukherjee was another teacher who made a lasting impression on Ray's mind. His natural talent in drawing helped him in his illustrations and graphic designs. However, Satyajit never completed his art course in Santiniketan but returned home. In Calcutta he would often go to the theater to watch Hollywood films that he had always enjoyed as an adolescent. He used to go to the theater with a note-book to watch as well as study the art of film making. Satyajit's apprenticeship in film-making started as a pleasurable self-pedagogy.

His first movie 'Pather Panchali' was a great hit and won many national as well international awards. Thereafter he became internationally famous and was counted in equal status with the likes of Renoir, Bergman and De Sica. Satyajit Ray controlled many aspects of his filmmaking, including screenplays, costume design, set design, music composition, publicity posters design, etc. The great film director died on April 23, 1992, following a major heart attack.

Satyajit Ray directed more than 36 films, including feature films, short films and documentaries. He was honoured with several awards for his contribution to World cinema and art. Some of these awards include the Golden Lion Honorary Award in 1982, Silver Bear Award, Golden Bear Award, Legion of Honor (France's most prestigious honour), Honorary Oscar Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, etc. He was also honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985 and Bharat Ratna award in 1992 by the Indian Government. After Charlie Chaplin he was the second ever film personality to be honoured with the honorary doctorate from Oxford University.

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