mithun shettywrote on Jul 18 2009 4:32PM
Mrinal Sen is a famous Bengali Indian filmmaker. He was born on May 14, 1923, in the town of Faridpur, now in Bangladesh. After finishing his high school there, he left home to come to Calcutta as a student and studied physics at the well-known Scottish Church College and at the University of Calcutta. As a student, he got involved with the cultural wing of the Communist party.His interest in films started 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.Mrinal Sen made his first feature film, Raatbhor, in 1955. His next film, Neel Akasher Neechey (Under the Blue Sky), earned him local recognition, while his third film, Baishey Shravan (Wedding Day) was his first film that gave him international exposure.After making five more films, he made a film with a shoe-string budget provided by the Government of India. This film, Bhuvan Shome (Mr. Shome), finally launched him as a major filmmaker, both nationally and internationally. Bhuvan Shome also initiated the “New Cinema” film movement in India.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.
During his career, Mrinal Sen’s film 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 has also received a number of honorary doctorate degrees (D.Litt Honoris Causa) from various universities, both in India and abroad. Mrinal Sen was also elected as the president of the International Federation of the Film Societies