With the rare blend of intellect and emotions, Satyajit Ray flawlessly balanced happiness and sorrow with his insightful filmmaking. Being a classic cultural icon worldwide, his cinematic heritage influenced the entire world.
Born in Kolkata on May 2, 1921, he passed away April 23, 1992, leaving behind a legacy of some extraordinary filmmaking skills that are still unmatched.
Manik Da, as he was fondly referred to, directed 36 films in his entire lifetime, which included feature films, documentaries and short films.
Talking about his accomplishments, he bagged the National Award for the Best Director over six times, which is the most by any filmmaker so far. In total, he won 32 National Awards from the Government of India.
His first movie, Pather Panchali won him eleven international prizes, including the inaugural Best Human Document award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956.
Apart from being a renowned director and a producer, he was also a publisher, calligrapher, fiction writer, illustrator, film critic, music composer and graphic designer. He even designed a number of popular book covers like Jawaharlal Nehru’s Discovery of India and Jim Corbett’s Man-Eaters of Kumaon.
Back in1992, the Academy of Motion Pictures awarded him an honorary Oscar in recognition of his rare mastery of the art of motion pictures and his profound humanitarian outlook, which influenced several filmmakers and audiences throughout the world with his work.
Audrey Hepburn presented the award, at the 64th Academy Awards. He was also the first Indian filmmaker ever to receive an Oscar award.
It was this moment when the entire world applauded a filmmaker who inspired and touched a whole generation.
You can watch the entire clip here.
Beyond India, filmmakers such as James Ivory, Carlos Saura and Martin Scorsese amongst many other renowned filmmakers all across the globe were influenced by his cinematic style.
Gregory Nava’s My Family had a final scene that was inspired by Apur Sansar and Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited pays homage to his Apu Trilogy.
Indeed, a legend.
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