The office of Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces, Ministry of Culture, Government of India is kickstarting the birth centenary celebrations of master auteur Satyajit Ray on May 2, 2020 by releasing a tribute film ‘A Ray of Genius’.
This montage highlighting Ray’s filmmaking genius as well as his eclectic achievements across literature, art, music, design was put together by the concerted efforts of professionals from Kolkata and Mumbai during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
National Award-winning director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and National Award-winning editor Arghya Kamal Mitra created this film with the help of Ray Society, Shri Sandip Ray and the producers of Ray’s films. The film also features stunning photographs of noted Indian photographer Nemai Ghosh (Padma Shri Awardee) showcasing the great filmmaker at work, sourced with the help of the Collection DAG.
The film hopes to reach out to legions of fans across the country and hopes to create a new cadre of Satyajit Ray fans in the younger generation of film viewers and filmmakers. “Ray has not only been an inspiration to filmmakers but also to thinkers, music composers, writers, illustrators across India and the world. His distinct disruptive style and lyrical humanism of his work make him a national treasure and with these celebrations we would like to highlight the layered nuances of his work and explore his lesser known sides,” said, Raghvendra Singh, CEO Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces, Ministry of Culture.
To celebrate this special milestone for this Bharat Ratna Awardee, a year-long celebration with exhibitions, retrospectives and conclaves has been planned by the Ministry.
Speaking about the film, director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury said, “When we were approached to make a tribute film for Satyajit Ray, the big challenge was that we were in Mumbai, most of the source was material in Kolkata and all of India was in lockdown. However, a special year was starting for the Ray story since we were beginning the countdown to his centenary. Along with one of the country’s best editors Arghya Kamal Mitra, we have created what is a ‘guru pranaam’ in very challenging circumstances. Hopefully seeing this will ensure a whole new generation of film lovers will be prompted to discover this great man’s films, books and world.”
He further added, “Even without the lockdown it would have been hard to choose films, what we have tried to show is how Satyajit Ray was possibly the first filmmaker from India to be truly feted internationally. Being unapologetically Indian in his sensibility and always working from Kolkata, he touched hearts all over the world. An example of how authentic and refined filmmaking will always cross borders and win fans everywhere. Always an inspiration, I hope we get to celebrate this man once again when the lockdown is over.”
Kolkata based sports and events company Gameplan Sports coordinated the project.