I&B Ministry to Organise Year-Long Celebrations To Mark Birth Centenary Of Filmmaker Satyajit Ray

As part of the celebrations, the Directorate of Film Festivals, the Films Division and the MEA will be organising Satyajit Ray Film Festivals in India, and abroad through Indian missions.

New Delhi: In a homage to Satyajit Ray, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) on Friday announced that it will organise year-long celebrations across India and abroad to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the legendary filmmaker.

Satyajit Ray (May 2, 1921-April 23, 1992) was a renowned filmmaker, writer, illustrator, graphic designer and music composer.

He started his career in advertising and found inspiration for his first film, Pather Panchali, while illustrating the children’s version of the novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay.

The film catapulted him into international fame. Ray went on to make other great films such as Charulata, Agantuk and Nayak, an I&B ministry statement said.

Also read: Satyajit Ray and the Art of the Political Film

Ray was also a prolific writer, making the famous sleuth Feluda and scientist professor Shonku, a popular part of Bengali literature. The government of India honoured him with the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, in 1992.

In homage to the legendary filmmaker, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will organise year-long birth centenary celebrations across India and abroad.

As part of the celebrations, the media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Directorate of Film Festivals, Films Division, NFDC, NFAI, and Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata are planning a series of activities.

Other ministries and departments including the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Culture will also be playing an active part in organising events, the statement said.

However, in view of the pandemic situation, the celebrations will be held in hybrid mode, digital and physical both, during the year, it said.

In recognition of his legacy, ‘Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Cinema’ has been instituted from this year to be given at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) every year starting from this year.

The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, a certificate, shawl, along with a Silver Peacock medal and a Scroll.

Also read: Today, We Need Satyajit Ray’s Vision of Politics More Than Ever

As part of the celebrations, the Directorate of Film Festivals, the Films Division and the Ministry of External Affairs will be organising Satyajit Ray Film Festivals in India, and abroad through Indian missions, where films and documentaries by and on Satyajit Ray will be showcased.

A special retrospective and screening of Ray’s films is being planned at the 74th Cannes Film Festival, the ministry said.

The Directorate of Films Festivals will also be organising a special retrospective at the IFFI, 2021.

The retrospective will be travelling to prominent international and national film festivals.

The Films Division will be creating a dedicated Satyajit Ray section at the National Museum of Indian Cinema, Mumbai.

This section, which would also travel to different museums in the country over the year, would host memorabilia from Ray’s life in both physical and interactive digital versions, including the best shots from his films, interviews etc.

The National Film Archives of India (NFAI) will do restoration and digitisation of all the available films and publicity material of Ray, the ministry said. It will also organise a virtual exhibition of the posters of his films.

The National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) will organise a film festival on its OTT platform, cinemas of India, showcasing five of the maestro’s films.

The SRFTI, Kolkata will be unveiling a statue of Satyajit Ray on its campus.

To promote understanding of the filmmaker’s genius, a course on his work will also be taught at the Institute.

A package of Ray’s works for children that can be given to schools is also being developed, the ministry said.

Inter-college competitions on themes from Ray’s films will also be organised amongst film schools, it said.

The Ministry of Culture will be organising cultural activities and showcasing the various perspectives of Ray’s personality and works in arts and literature.

To oversee the activities, an implementation committee under the chairmanship of secretary (I&B) has been set up. The committee includes senior filmmaker Dhritiman Chaterji as the nominated member, and other senior officials of the Ministries of Information and Broadcasting, Culture and External Affairs.