103 Facts About Satyajit Ray


Satyajit Ray was an Indian director, screenwriter, documentary filmmaker, author, essayist, lyricist, magazine editor, illustrator, calligrapher, and composer.


Satyajit Ray directed 36 films, including feature films, documentaries, and shorts.


Satyajit Ray did the scripting, casting, scoring, and editing, and designed his own credit titles and publicity material.


Satyajit Ray authored several short stories and novels, primarily for young children and teenagers.


Satyajit Ray received many major awards in his career, including thirty-six Indian National Film Awards, a Golden Lion, a Golden Bear, two Silver Bears, many additional awards at international film festivals and ceremonies, and an Academy Honorary Award in 1992.


Satyajit Ray's family had acquired the name 'Ray' from the Mughals.


The earliest-recorded ancestor of Satyajit Ray family was Ramsunder Deo, born in the middle of the sixteenth century.


Satyajit Ray was a native of Sherpur in East Bengal.


Satyajit Ray became son-in-law of the ruler of Jashodal and was granted a jagir at Jashodal.


Satyajit Ray's descendants migrated to the village Masua in Katiadi Upazila of Kishoreganj district in the first half of eighteenth century.


Satyajit Ray's grandfather Upendrakishore Ray was born in Masua village in 1863.


Upendrakishore Satyajit Ray was a writer, illustrator, philosopher, publisher, amateur astronomer, and a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, a religious and social movement in 19th-century Bengal.


Satyajit Ray set up a printing press named U Ray and Sons.


Satyajit Ray grew up in the house of his grandfather, Upendrakishore Satyajit Ray Chowdhury, and of his printing press.


Satyajit Ray was attracted by the machines and process of printing from an early age, and took particular interest in the production process of Sandesh, a children's magazine started by Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury.


Satyajit Ray studied at Ballygunge Government High School in Calcutta, and completed his BA in economics at Presidency College, Calcutta.


Satyajit Ray was reluctant to go, due to his fondness for Calcutta and the low regard for the intellectual life at Santiniketan.


Satyajit Ray later admitted that he learned much from the famous painters Nandalal Bose and Benode Behari Mukherjee.


Satyajit Ray later produced a documentary, The Inner Eye, about Mukherjee.


Satyajit Ray dropped out of the art course in 1942 as he could not feel inspired to become a painter.


Gupta asked Satyajit Ray to create book cover designs for the company and gave him complete artistic freedom.


Satyajit Ray established himself as a commercial illustrator, becoming a leading Indian typographer and book-jacket designer.


Satyajit Ray designed covers for many books, including Jibanananda Das's Banalata Sen and Rupasi Bangla, Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay's Chander Pahar, Jim Corbett's Maneaters of Kumaon, and Jawaharlal Nehru's Discovery of India.


Satyajit Ray worked on a children's version of Pather Panchali, a classic Bengali novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, renamed Aam Antir Bhepu.


Satyajit Ray designed the cover and illustrated the book, and was deeply influenced by the work.


Satyajit Ray used it as the subject of his first film and featured his illustrations as shots in his ground-breaking film.


Satyajit Ray befriended the American soldiers stationed in Calcutta during World War II, who kept him informed about the latest American films showing in the city.


Satyajit Ray came to know a RAF employee, Norman Clare, who shared Ray's passion for films, chess and western classical music.


Satyajit Ray was a regular in the addas at Coffee House where several intellectuals frequented.


In 1949, Satyajit Ray married Bijoya Das, his first cousin and long-time sweetheart.


Satyajit Ray told Renoir about his idea of filming, which had long been on his mind, and Renoir encouraged him in the project.


Satyajit Ray later said that he walked out of the theatre determined to become a filmmaker.


Satyajit Ray gathered an inexperienced crew, although both his cameraman Subrata Mitra and art director Bansi Chandragupta would go on to achieve great acclaim.


Satyajit Ray refused funding from sources who wanted to change the script or exercise supervision over production.


Satyajit Ray ignored advice from the Indian government to incorporate a happy ending, but he did receive funding that allowed him to complete the film.


Satyajit Ray considered the incomplete footage to be of high quality and encouraged Ray to finish the film so that it could be shown at a MoMA exhibition the following year.


Satyajit Ray directed and released two other films in 1958: the comic Parash Pathar, and Jalsaghar, a film about the decadence of the Zamindars, considered one of his most important works.


Satyajit Ray finished the last of the trilogy, Apur Sansar in 1959.


Satyajit Ray introduced two of his favourite actors, Soumitra Chatterjee and Sharmila Tagore, in this film.


Satyajit Ray rarely responded to critics during his filmmaking career, but later defended his film Charulata, his personal favourite.


Satyajit Ray continued to live with his wife and children in a rented house, with his mother, uncle and other members of his extended family.


Satyajit Ray made a series of films that, taken together, are considered by critics among the most deeply felt portrayals of Indian women on screen.


Satyajit Ray followed Apur Sansar with 1960's Devi, a film in which he examined the superstitions in Hindu society.


Satyajit Ray was worried that the Central Board of Film Certification might block his film, or at least make him re-cut it, but Devi was spared.


In 1961, on the insistence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Satyajit Ray was commissioned to make Rabindranath Tagore, based on the poet of the same name, on the occasion of his birth centennial, a tribute to the person who likely most influenced Satyajit Ray.


Satyajit Ray said that it took as much work as three feature films.


Satyajit Ray had been saving money for some years to make this possible.


Satyajit Ray began to make illustrations for it, as well as to write stories and essays for children.


In 1962, Satyajit Ray directed Kanchenjungha, Based on his first original screenplay, it was his first colour film.


Satyajit Ray had first conceived shooting the film in a large mansion, but later decided to film it in the famous town.


Satyajit Ray used many shades of light and mist to reflect the tension in the drama.


Satyajit Ray noted that while his script allowed shooting to be possible under any lighting conditions, a commercial film crew in Darjeeling failed to shoot a single scene, as they only wanted to do so in sunshine.


Satyajit Ray said the film contained the fewest flaws among his work and it was his only work which, given a chance, he would make exactly the same way.


Also in the 1960s, Satyajit Ray visited Japan and took pleasure in meeting filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, whom he highly regarded.


Satyajit Ray experimented during this period, exploring contemporary issues of Indian life in response to the perceived lack of these issues in his films.


In 1967, Satyajit Ray wrote a script for a film to be called The Alien, based on his short story "Bankubabur Bandhu", which he wrote in 1962 for Sandesh magazine.


Satyajit Ray found that his script had been copyrighted and the fee appropriated by Michael Wilson.


Satyajit Ray later said that he never received compensation for the script.


In 1969, Satyajit Ray directed one of his most commercially successful films; a musical fantasy based on a children's story written by his grandfather, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne.


Satyajit Ray abandoned his desire to shoot it in colour, as he turned down an offer that would have forced him to cast a certain Hindi film actor as the lead.


Satyajit Ray composed the songs and music for the film.


Satyajit Ray completed what became known as the Calcutta trilogy: Pratidwandi, Seemabaddha, and Jana Aranya, three films that were conceived separately but had similar themes.


Also in the 1970s, Satyajit Ray adapted two of his popular stories as detective films.


Satyajit Ray considered making a film on the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War but later abandoned the idea, saying that, as a filmmaker, he was more interested in the travails of the refugees and not the politics.


In 1977, Satyajit Ray completed Shatranj Ke Khilari, a Hindustani film based on a short story by Munshi Premchand.


In 1980, Satyajit Ray made a sequel to Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, a somewhat political Hirak Rajar Deshe.


In 1983, while working on Ghare Baire, Satyajit Ray suffered a heart attack; it would severely limit his productivity in the remaining nine years of his life.


In 1987, Satyajit Ray recovered to an extent to direct the 1990 film Shakha Proshakha.


Satyajit Ray enjoyed collecting antiques, manuscripts, rare gramophone records, paintings and rare books.


Satyajit Ray was admitted to a hospital but never recovered.


Satyajit Ray wrote a collection of nonsense verse named Today Bandha Ghorar Dim, which includes a translation of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky".


Satyajit Ray wrote a collection of humorous stories of Mullah Nasiruddin in Bengali.


Satyajit Ray wrote an autobiography about his childhood years, Jakhan Choto Chilam, translated to English as Childhood Days: A Memoir by his wife Bijoya Satyajit Ray.


In 1994, Satyajit Ray published his memoir, My Years with Apu, about his experiences of making The Apu Trilogy.


Satyajit Ray wrote essays on film, published as the collections: Our Films, Their Films, Bishoy Chalachchitra, and Ekei Bole Shooting.


The book is presented in two sections: Satyajit Ray first discusses Indian film, before turning his attention toward Hollywood, specific filmmakers, and movements such as Italian neorealism.


In certain circles of Calcutta, Satyajit Ray continued to be known as an eminent graphic designer, well into his film career.


Satyajit Ray illustrated all his books and designed covers for them, as well as creating all publicity material for his films, for example, Satyajit Ray's artistic playing with the Bengali graphemes was revealed in the cine posters and cine promo-brochures' covers.


Satyajit Ray designed covers of several books by other authors.


Satyajit Ray had been subconsciously paying a tribute to Jean Renoir throughout his career, who influenced him the most.


Satyajit Ray acknowledged Vittorio De Sica, whom he thought represented Italian Neorealism best, and taught him the cramming of cinematic details into a single shot, and using amateur actors and actresses.


Satyajit Ray professed to have learnt the craft of cinema from Old Hollywood directors such as John Ford, Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch.


Satyajit Ray adored his peer Michelangelo Antonioni, but hated Blowup, which he considered having "very little inner movement".


Satyajit Ray considered script-writing to be an integral part of direction.


At the beginning of his career, Satyajit Ray worked with Indian classical musicians, including Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, and Ali Akbar Khan.


Satyajit Ray found that their first loyalty was to musical traditions, and not to his film.


Satyajit Ray obtained a greater understanding of Western classical forms, which he wanted to use for his films set in an urban milieu.


The narrative structure of Satyajit Ray's films are represented by musical forms such as sonata, fugue and rondo.


Actors who had worked for Satyajit Ray trusted him, but said that he could treat incompetence with total contempt.


Satyajit Ray takes his timing from the nature of the people and their environment; his camera is the intent, unobtrusive observer of reactions; his editing the discreet, economical transition from one value to the next.


Satyajit Ray's work has been described as full of humanism and universality, and of a deceptive simplicity with deep underlying complexity.


Kurosawa defended him by saying that Satyajit Ray's films were not slow; "His work can be described as flowing composedly, like a big river".


Satyajit Ray's work was promoted in France by The Studio des Ursuline cinema.


Certain advocates of socialism claim that Satyajit Ray was not "committed" to the cause of the nation's downtrodden classes while some critics accused him of glorifying poverty in and Ashani Sanket through lyricism and aesthetics.


Satyajit Ray wanted him to make films that represent "Modern India".


Satyajit Ray said that Sen only attacked "easy targets", for example the Bengali middle classes.


Satyajit Ray would continue to make films on this "easy target" demographic, including Pratidwandi and Jana Aranya, and the two filmmakers would continue to trade praise and criticism the rest of their careers.


Satyajit Ray is a cultural icon in India and in Bengali communities worldwide.


Satyajit Ray's influence has been widespread and deep in Bengali cinema; many Bengali directors, including Aparna Sen, Rituparno Ghosh and Gautam Ghose as well as Vishal Bhardwaj, Dibakar Banerjee, Shyam Benegal and Sujoy Ghosh from Hindi cinema in India, Tareq Masud and Tanvir Mokammel in Bangladesh, and Aneel Ahmad in England, have been influenced by his craft.


Together with Madhabi Mukherjee, Satyajit Ray was the first Indian film figure to be featured on a foreign stamp.


Satyajit Ray received many awards, including 36 National Film Awards by the Government of India, and awards at international film festivals.


Satyajit Ray is the second film personality after Charlie Chaplin to have been awarded an honorary doctorate by Oxford University.


Satyajit Ray was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985, and the Legion of Honor by the President of France in 1987.