Author – Biswadeep Ghosh Hazra
India is a land of cultural and ethnic diversity and this is visible from the wide plethora of movies and films produced throughout the year. There are directors who have produced evergreen and legendary films that will last in our memories until we die. Below are some of the revolutionary directors that had made their mark in the Indian Cinema with their masterpieces.
1. Satyajit Ray
Always on the top of any list of this sort, Ray was a talent house with many feathers in his hat. Born in Kolkata, he was an extremely talented filmmaker and a gifted author who had written short stories, novels and sci-fi mainly aimed for children and young adolescents. His famous films include- Pather Panchali, The Apu trilogy [Pather Panchali, Apur Sansar and Aparajito], Devi, Charulata, Kanchenjungha (his first color film) all of which are considered as masterpieces. Ray won a plethora of international and national prizes and also the honorary academy award on his death bed.
2. Mrinal Sen
Mrinal Sen, also a Kolkata-based director, is a representative for Indian cinema to the whole world. Born in the town of Faridpur located in present-day 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, Akash Kusum, while Ajanbi, Jit, Shawl are some of his short films worth mentioning. He is bestowed with many prestigious prizes including Moscow Film Festival (Silver), Berlin Film Festival (Grand Jury prize), and Chicago Film festival.
3. Anurag Kashyap
Anurag Kashyap is a filmmaker, screenwriter, actor and producer who is highly regarded for his realistic movies. He got his first break as a co-writer in Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya. Black Friday, a film about the 1993 Bombay blasts was his directorial debut (because Paanch never saw the light of the day due to censorship issues). Some of his highly appreciated 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.
4. Aparna Sen
Born in Kolkata to a Bengali family, Aparna Sen is originally from Jessore, Bangladesh. Before venturing into direction, she has acted in films like “Jay Jayanti”, “Teen Kanya”, and “Paromitar Ekdin”. She made her directorial debut with 36 Chowringhee Lane, and went on to make other films like 15 Park Avenue, The Japanese Wife, Iti Mrinalini and many others. Sen received National Film Award for Best Director for her debut film as a director.
5. Mani Ratnam
Mani Ratnam, born as Gopala Ratnam Subramaniam Iyer at Madurai, Tamil Nadu is an Indian director, producer, and screenwriter. He is considered as one of the finest directors in the country and has made many hit films. The Tamil movie industry is said to be revolutionized by him. Mani Ratnam has been bestowed with several prestigious prizes including the National Film Award for Wholesome Entertainment (for Geethanjali) and the honourable Padma Shri award. His most famous and critically acclaimed movies include the ‘Terrorism trilogy’ consisting of Roja, Bombay and Dil Se.
6. Raj Kapoor
Widely regarded as the founding father of modern cinema, Raj Kapoor was a great director. He was popularly known as ‘The Show Man’ for being an actor and producer of the finest quality. A winner of two National Film Awards and nine Filmfare Awards, Kapoor was also 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.
7. Ritwik Ghatak
During his short life span, Ritwik achieved what many directors could not in a lifetime. He, along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, formed a unique parallel cinema world where each of them drew inspiration and praised each other’s work. Born in Dhaka (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 is a recipient of Padma Shri, National Film Award and Best Director’s Award from the Bangladesh Cine Journalist’s Association.