India is a land of cultural and ethnic diversity and the best example of this is the wide plethora of movies and films produced throughout the year. Some of these directors have produced legendary films that have become an indelible part of our lives. Here is Digital Dribble’s list of revolutionary directors who have changed the face of Indian cinema.
- Satyajit Ray (1921-1992)
Always on the top of any list of this sort, Ray was a talent house and had many feathers in his hat. Born in Kolkata, he was not only a talented filmmaker but also an author, having written short stories and novels aimed mainly at children and young adolescents. His famous films include- Pather Panchali, The Apu trilogy [Pather Panchali, Apur Sansar, and Aparajito], Devi, Charulta, and Kanchenjungha (his first colour film) – all of them masterpieces. Ray won several international and national prizes, including the honorary Academy Award on his deathbed.
- Mrinal Sen (1923-)
Mrinal Sen, also a Kolkata-based director is a representative of Indian cinema to the whole world. Born in the town of Faridpur located in Bangladesh, Sen directed his first film Raat Bhore in the year 1955 with Uttam Kumar in the lead role. Some of his critically acclaimed films include- Chorus, Khandar, Genesis, and Akash Kusum, while Ajanbi, Jit, and Shawl. Prestigious prizes have been bestowed upon him at various events. These include the Moscow Film Festival (Silver), Berlin Film Festival (Grand Jury prize), and Chicago Film festival.
- Anurag Kashyap (1972-)
Anurag Kashyap is an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, actor, and producer who is held in high esteem for his realistic movies. He got his first break as a co-writer in Satya, which was Ram Gopal Verma’s crime drama. In 2004 he made his directorial debut in Black Friday, a film about the 1993 bomb blasts (his previous endeavor Paanch never saw the light of the day due to censorship issues). Some of his most admired films are No Smoking, Gangs of Wasseypur (Parts I and II), Gulaal, Ugly, and Dev-D. He was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) in 2013 by the French Government.
- Aparna Sen (1945-)
Aparna Sen was born in Kolkata to a Bengali family but is originally from Jessore, Bangladesh. A brilliant actor and director, Aparna Sen has acted in films like Jay Jayanti, Teen Kanya, Paromitar Ekdin, and many others. She made her directorial debut with 36 Chowringhee Lane and went on to make other films like 15 Park Avenue, The Japanese Wife and Iti Mrinalini among others. Sen received National Film Award for Best Director for her debut film.
- Mani Ratnam (1956-)
Mani Ratnam, born as Gopala Ratnam Subramaniam Iyer in Madurai, Tamil Nadu is an Indian director, producer, and screenwriter. He is said to have revolutionized the Tamil film industry. A Padma Shri awardee, Ratnam also received a National Film Award for Geethanjali. He is most famous for his ‘Terrorism trilogy’ consisting of Roja, Bombay, and Dil Se.
- Raj Kapoor (1924-1988)
Widely hailed as the Founding Father of Modern Cinema, Raj Kapoor was a fantastic director. He was popularly known as ‘The Show Man’ and was an actor and producer of the finest quality. A winner of two National Film Awards and nine Filmfare Awards, Kapoor was even nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival for two of his films Awaara (1951) and Boot Polish (1954) respectively. Raj Kapoor’s fame has transcended Europe and Asia for he is known worldwide for his masterful direction today.
- Ritwik Ghatak (1925-1976)
During his short life span, this man did what many directors could not in a lifetime. Ghatak, along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen formed a unique parallel cinema world through which each of them drew inspiration. Born in Dhaka in Bangladesh, his works strongly reflect the famines of Bengal in 1943 and the Liberation War of Bangladesh. Ghatak’s notable films include Megehe Dhaka Tara, Nagarik, and Ajantrik. He received the Padma Shri, National Film Award and the Best Director’s Award from the Bangladesh Cine Journalist’s Association.
Did reading about so many directors from Bengal make you want to experience the art and culture of the place for yourself? Check out this article to read more about what makes the capital of the state so vibrant.