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Noted Filmmaker Mrinal Sen's Life and Work to be Celebrated at his Birth Centenary

Known as a political filmmaker, Mrinal Sen won several international and national honours during his career.
Programme on Centenary celebration of film maker Mrinal Sen held at Press Club , Kolkata

Programme on Centenary celebration of film maker Mrinal Sen held at Press Club, Kolkata

Kolkata: The life and work of legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen will be commemorated on the occasion of his centenary celebrations on May 14 at the Sarala Roy Memorial Hall in Kolkata. The attempt is to revisit the film maestro and rediscover him. 

Known as a political filmmaker, Sen won awards at several international film festivals and national honours, including eighteen Indian National Film Awards during his career. He received the Padma Bhushan, and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest honour given by the Indian government to filmmakers. Among others, the French government awarded Sen the 'Commandeur de l'ordre des Arts et letters' (Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters), the highest honour given by the country.

At the announcement event, speakers like noted artist Dipali Bhattacharya and film director Pijush Sarkar, said that an attempt is being made by certain quarters to project Mrinal Sen in an apolitical light, which he wasn't. An avowed Marxist, he firmly believed in dialectics, which was a weapon for him to analyse things and present them in a cinematic medium, they noted.

"In the light of thesis-antithesis-synthesis (dialectic), we will search for the 'Genesis' (Sen's iconoclastic film)," informed the organisers of the filmmaker's centenary celebrations. 

Further, elaborating on the outlines of the programme that will be held, Rajat Bandhyapadhya, noted elocutionist and Joint Secretary of the Centenary Celebration Committee, said that an array of programmes, including a short filmmaking competition highlighting the major essence of Sen's cinema. A theatre performance based on Sen's film 'Kolkata 71', which portrays violence during the Naxalite period in West Bengal, will also be staged at the event. The play will mirror Kolkata 71, and reflect how he would have made the film on poverty, terror, and unemployment in the current times in 'Kolkata 23', informed Bandhapadhya. 

Musician Debojyoti Mishra, the music director in many of Sen's films, will also present a musical journey on the works of the filmmaker in the programme. 

The programme has been organised by Cultural Dialogues Bengal, an organisation that last year organised with success the centenary celebrations of Satyajit Ray in Kolkata. Noted people of Kolkata, including linguist Pabitra Sarkar, actor and danseuse Mamata Shankar, filmmaker Anik Dutta, actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty, and filmmaker Kamaleshwar Mukhopadhyay have been made a part of the Centenary Celebration Committee of Cultural Dialogues Bengal.

The web page of the organisation,, was also inaugurated at the event. The web page provides a special gateway to the life and works of Mrinal Sen. 

In the programme on May 14, a special discussion will take place titled "Sen in the World of Cinema"; the major participants in the discussion will be renowned Bangladeshi filmmaker Tanvir Mokammal, along with Suhasini Mule, who has played the role of the lead actress in a number of Sen's films, film director Pathik Bhat, actor Dhritiman Chattapadhya, along with stalwarts from the literary world. On that day, in front of the Sarala Memorial Hall, a special art exhibition centred around the works of Mrinal Sen will also take place.

The programme on the day will herald a year-long celebration of the life and works of Mrinal Sen in all the 22 districts of the state, and the life-oriented theatre on Mrinal Sen's works and ethos will be presented in all the districts, said Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) General Secretary and Joint secretary of organising committee Dibyendu Chattopadhyay.

A state-wise essay competition on Mrinal Sen will also take place. A written memorabilia about Mrinal Sen will be published at the event. 

The organisers said the programme will be sponsored and financed from common people's contributions through low-denomination coupons and sponsorship offers to like-minded organisations.

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