Satyajit Ray Birth Centenary: Lesser-known Facts About Godfather of Indian Cinema

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Satyajit Ray was born on May 2, 1921, in Kolkata. The prolific filmmaker went to Rabindranath Tagore’s university in Shantiniketan to study art. Ray debuted in direction with Pather Panchali in 1955.

One of the finest works by Ray was the Apu Trilogy and aided in driving Indian cinema into the global scenario. Apart from being a legendary director, Ray was an excellent writer, illustrator, graphic designer, calligrapher, set designer, music composer and a firm film critic. Ray died on April 23, 1992, due to old age complications.

On Satyajit Ray’s birth anniversary, here’s looking at some lesser-known facts about the creative cinematic legend:

  • Films made by Ray are the recipient of 32 National Awards.
  • Ray was esteemed with the Lgion d’honneur(Legion of Honour) in 1987 by the President of France.
  • In 1962, Ray made Kanchenjunga, the first coloured Bengali film.
  • Ray worked as a graphic designer before films and designed covers for books like Jawahar Lal Nehru’s Discovery of India.
  • His debut film, Pather Panchali, took around three years to conclude and was made with a shoestring budget.
  • In 1947, Ray unbolted the Calcutta Film Society with other film historians and contemporaries.
  • Ray was the first Indian to be conferred with the highly coveted Oscar. He was bestowed with Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
  • Ray was honoured with the Bharat Ratna by the Government of India before his demise.
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