He use to earn Rs. 80 /month working as a junior visualiser and then in 1992 he earned a Honorary award for Lifetime Achievement from Oscar Academy. His book “Our films their films” which came in 1976 was a classic literary work highlighting the difference between Indian and Hollywood cinema and other International filmmakers.He is regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of 20th century cinema.
This time we’re talking about Satyajit Ray,born in Kolkata in 1921 was one of the greatest filmmakers who bought most international honours to our country for his contribution to parallel and realistic cinema.
He started his film career as a director with his first film, Pather Panchali (1955) which won eleven international prizes, including Best Human Document at the Cannes film festival followed by making of Aparajito (1956) and Apur Sansar (1959), the three films form The Apu Trilogy.Though he faced many financial hurdles while making Apu Triology, he never compromised with the script and his way of filmmaking.
Ray directed thirty-seven films, including feature films, documentaries and shorts.
One film that influenced him deep inside was “Bicycle Thieves” which attracted him towards independent filmmaking. He was also greatly influenced by Rabindra Nath Tagore and made a documentary on him.
His work revolved mainly around poverty, children and apathy in a women’s life . In 1962, Ray directed Kanchenjungha, which was his first original screenplay and colour film.
He won 32 Indian National Film Awards.He was one of only three filmmakers to win Golden Silver Bear more than once .Ray is the second film personality after Chaplin to have been awarded honorary doctorates by Oxford University.He was awarded Bharat Ratna shortly before his death in 1992. He also got the Akira Kurosawa Award for Lifetime Achievement in Direction at San Francisco International Film Festival after his death.
Year after year he was included in the list of greatest filmmakers of all time by several magazines.In 1992, the Sight & Sound Critics’ Top Ten Poll ranked Ray at no.7 in its list of “Top 10 Directors” of all time, making him the highest-ranking Asian filmmaker in the poll.In 2002, the Sight & Sound critics’ and directors’ poll ranked Ray at no.22 in its list of all-time greatest directors thus making him the 4th highest-ranking Asian filmmaker in the poll.In 1996, Entertainment Weekly magazine ranked Ray at no.25 in its “50 Greatest Directors” list.In 2007, Total Film magazine included Ray in its “100 Greatest Film Directors Ever” list.
Akira Kurosawa, once said, “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.”