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West Bengal: Unique Commemoration Planned for Satyajit Ray’s Birth Centenary

“West Bengal is facing a cultural debacle with low levels of creativity plaguing in. In such a time we have, through this event, tried to enthuse all by Ray’s immortal works and creations,” says filmmaker and host of the event Kamaleshwar Mukhopadhya.
WB: On Satyajit Ray’s Centenary Birth Anniversary, Unique Commemoration Programme Underway

Image Courtesy: Telegraph India

Kolkata: Themed in line with the immortal creations of Satyajit Ray, a unique participatory programme called ‘Satyer Jit’ (Victory of Truth) is currently on in the state, which will culminate on May 2 with a grand programme at Kalamandir Auditorium in the city.

The original short film competition titled as ‘Ekushe Ain’, comprising films of 5 minutes duration will see creative submissions on issues of ‘quackery or medical science’, ‘patriotism or patriotic fervour’ and ‘roots and branches of corruption’.

The creative writing competition titled ‘Kheror Khata’ after Ray’s niece Lila Majumdar’s original work of the same name, tasks the submissions to be original write ups on the characters of Ray’s immortal creation and that they be an extension of his sketches and literature within the limit of 1,800 words.

The creative painting competition titled as ‘Hijibijbij’ will consist of imaginative drawing or paintings on remakes of poster or photographs from Ray’s film or literary work. The music competition is also unique in nature as the participants has been asked to pen and sing the eighth song of the ‘Gupi Bagha’ series (the series has seven songs).

The series of competitions are happening in an online mode, and for this a website has been created.

Panels of 10 eminent judges from each category are now busy shortlisting the winners, journalist turned filmmaker Joydeep Mukherjee, one of the key persons behind this unique programme, told NewsClick.

“Generally, the programme commemorating Ray which is held every year on his birthday consists of seminars. On his centenary year we have tried to break out of that mould, and as Satyajit’s buzzword was participation, we have tried to make the entire celebration participatory in nature. We have tried to spread the news of this programme to as many schools and colleges as possible, so that a unique participatory mode is created in this competition,” he said.

“Ray has always been outspoken against opportunism, consumerism and discrimination, and this event too is lined up with these ideals in place. The May 2 programme will also consist of a musical soiree by Kalyan Sen Barat, based on the eastern and western influx in Ray’s musical creations,” Mukherjee added.

He emphasised that the main attraction of the May 2 programme will be a speech by film maestro Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who will delve on the very aspects of Ray’s life and immortal creations.

Speaking to NewsClick, Gopalakrishnan said that he is enthusiastic about attending this unique event as Ray was always supportive of his work, and that he was particularly close to him. “Many-a-times speaking to the media, Ray mentioned his likeness for my works, and I feel that Ray is the greatest Indian filmmaker, and one of greatest filmmakers from around the globe. It is indeed a great event to get an opportunity to be present in his hometown in the event on his centenary year,” Gopalakrishnan said.

Secretary of the host organisation and filmmaker Kamaleshwar Mukhopadhya while speaking with NewsClick said that the state of West Bengal is facing a cultural debacle with low levels of creativity plaguing in. “In such a time we have, through this event, tried to enthuse all by Ray’s immortal works and creations. This is a blatant effort to bring to the forefront better creativity.”

The programme will also felicitate ten prominent living cultural personalities of Bengal on this occasion.

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