Rohit wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Shakti Samanta (born January 13, 1926 in Burdwan, West Bengal, British India) is an Indian director. He graduated in 1944 from Calcutta University. He joined the film industry in 1948 as an assistant director and worked with Gyan Mukherjee, Satish Nigam and Phani Majumdar.
Samanta Directed first feature film in 1954 and started his own production company, Shakti Films, in 1957. In all, Samanta has directed 43 feature films: including 37 Hindi, and 6 Bengali films. His best known films are: Howrah Bridge, China Town, Kashmir Ki Kali, An Evening in Paris, Aradhana, Kati Patang, Amar Prem, Anuraag, Amanush, Anurodh, Alag Alag, Anand Ashram, and Mehbooba. Samanta is credited for starting the trend of making double version films in Hindi and Bengali with Amanush in 1974. Samanta also made the first co-produced film between India and Bangladesh in 1984. Shakti managed to ride 2 "star phases" and attempted a 3rd. He was among the directors who worked with Shammi Kapoor in the late 50's up to mid 60's when he was a star, then he hitched on early to Rajesh Khanna, the original Superstar of Indian cinema and gave a number of hits with him, and though he tried to get on to the Amitabh star phase, his movies with Amitabh Bachchan were not hits despite Barsat Ki Ek Rat"The Great Gambler" having all the ingredients ( story, cast, music). Perhaps owing to the nature of masala story and angry young man oriented performance of Amitabh did not match with Shakti Samanta's sober and soft household image.
Samanta received Filmfare awards for "Best film" for Aradhana, Anuraag and Amanush. He has also received several Lifetime Achievement awards and several other awards from Zee and other Indian organizations. Some of his films have been shown at international festivals in Berlin, Tashkent, Moscow, Cairo and Beirut. Samanta was President of the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association for 5 years, Chairman of the Central Board Of Film Certification for 7 years and was Chairman of the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata for 2 years.