Festival of rare films to add grandeur to year-long

Dated  6th  May, 2021


Satyajit Ray, one of the greatest film makers of all the time, is credited with taking Indian cinema to the  global level. A true renaissance man, Ray earned worldwide fame for himself and to the art of cinema as well, with his poetic realism and cinematic imagination. Continuing with the year-long  birth centenary celebrations of the  auteur,  Films Division is presenting an online film festival, RayToday,  a curated package of non-feature works by Ray along with films on him and his oeuvre. The festival will be showcased on Films Division website from May 7 to May 9, 2021 for free.

RayToday festival includes, among others,  a rare documentary made by him  on Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, the one and only   television film  by Ray on a short story by Munshi Premchand and the much acclaimed, eponymous biopic by Shyam Benegal. The films scheduled in the festival are:

 Sadgati (Satyajit Ray/Doordarshan/52 Mins/1981) – a television film set on rural India which throws light on caste system in society. 

Two (Satyajit Ray/Esso World Theatre/15 Mins/1964) – a simple but hard hitting societal commentary on the class struggle shows an encounter between a child of a rich family and a street child, and displays attempts of one-upmanship between kids in their successive display of  toys. 

Pikoo (Satyajit Ray/French Television/24 Mins/1980) – a touching story of a six year old kid. Ray has beautifully presented the surrounding world of a kid in a innocent manner yet gained an emotional impact.

Ray (Goutam Ghose/Govt. of West Bengal/105 Mins/1999) –  a documentary, applauded at the Venice Film Festival in 1999,  reveals the multi faceted personality of the Ray beyond just a filmmaker. Voice-over by Ray himself, clippings from his films and moments of Academy award ceremony are some of elements that make the film more than a biopic.

Sukumar Ray (Satyajit Ray/ Govt. of West Bengal/ 29 Mins/1987) –  Ray made this film as a tribute to celebrate the centenary of his father and  famous writer,  Sukumar Ray. 

Bala (Satyajit Ray/NCPA/33 Mins/1976) – a documentary that portrays the life of  renowned dancer of Bharata Natyam, Balasaraswati. It is one of the rarest documentation of her performance.

The Inner Eye (Satyajit Ray/ Films Division /20 Mins/ 1972) –  a film that depicts the life and works of  Benode Behari Mukherjee, one of the pioneers of modern Indian art who took up murals as a mode of artistic expression while remaining as a key figure in contextual modernism.

Rabindranath Tagore (Satyajit Ray/Films Division/54 Mins/1961) – the documentary shows the life of the greatest Bengali talent of all time, Rabindranath Tagore. It highlights the contribution of Tagore, his work in Bengali literature, poetry and painting along with formation of Visva-Bharati University.

Creative Artists of India : Satyajit Ray (B.D. Garga/Films Division/14 Mins/1974) – one of the early documentaries on Satyajit Ray where the  world-renowned  film-maker narrates the process of his film making.

Satyajit Ray (Shyam Benegal/Films Division/132 Mins/1985) – over the course of two years, well-known film maker Shyam Benegal interviewed Satyajit Ray about his career and his vision behind filmmaking, resulting in  the well-researched biopic on the legend.

Feluda – 50 years of Ray Detective (Sagnik Chatterjee/111 Mins/2019) – Felu alias Pradosh Chandra Mitter is one of the most popular fictional detective in India who turned 50 in the year of 2017. The documentary contains literary references of Feluda films, interviews of onscreen Feluda and other characters. 

 Films Division acknowledges the contribution of NCPA, Govt. of West Bengal, Ray Society, Esso World Theatre, French Television, Doordarshan, NFDC and Sagnik Chatterjee  for screening permission and also help of screening partners like  educational institutions, film schools and societies, zonal cultural centers, MEA and others for helping to take Ray works and legacy  to the nook and corner of the country and abroad. 

 To experience the opus of Ray, the Poet of Indian Cinema, join Films Division by logging on to https://filmsdivision.org/Documentary of the Week and by spreading the word among cineastes and loved ones. 



Jaidevi PS/Shailesh P/DY

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