Satyajit Ray

Indian filmmaker and writer (1921–1992)

Satyajit Ray (May 2, 1921April 23, 1992) was an Indian filmmaker and Director regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of 20th century cinema. He was popularly known as Manikda. Ray directed thirty-seven films, including feature films, documentaries and shorts. He was the recipient of large number of major awards in his career and the most coveted honour among them is the Bharat Ratna in 1992, the highest civilian award of the Government of India.

Satyajit Ray (1997)


  • If the theme is simple, you can include a hundred details that create the illusion of actuality better.
  • I never imagined that any of my films, especially Pather Panchali, would be seen throughout this country or in other countries. The fact that they have is an indication that, if you're able to portray universal feelings, universal relations, emotions, and characters, you can cross certain barriers and reach out to others, even non-Bengalis.
    • The Cineaste Interviews: On the Art and Politics of the Cinema, ed. Dan Georgakas and Lenny Rubenstein, Chicago: Lake View Press, 1982, Vol. 1, Ch. 34 (eprint at
  • Last, but not least -- in fact, this is most important -- you need a happy ending. However, if you can create tragic situations and jerk a few tears before the happy ending, it will work much better.

About Satayjit Ray

  • ...Indian cinema does not stand for just Bollywood. Kolkata is the place of Satyajit Ray...
  • Ray was a terrific director! He was versatile in choosing the subjects of his film. And his films were very sophisticated, very clean. I got some idea about India from his films.
  • Sometimes even Satyajit Ray was criticized for portraying only the poverty of Bengal. That poverty is not the whole story of India, just a part.
  • The Ray Gopi Gayan classic was known as much as a children's film, noted for Gupi, a singer, and Bagha, a drummer, as a social film which was a comment on poor governance, corruption at high places and lapses in administration in contemporary society.
  • Oh, Mr. Ray is coming … the great film maker from India; you know, I am his fan and love his films; maybe I will be lucky to get to see him today; just start your car and follow me.
    • A police officer in Washington D.C quoted during one of Manikda’s visit in 1977 quoted in . Times of India. 29 March 2011. Retrieved on 13 December 2013. 
  • In the late 60s, there was a big probability of Satyajit Ray coming down to Hollywood to shoot The Alien based on his own short story which appeared in the then popular Bengali magazine, Sandesh. The film was to be produced by 20th Century Fox and Hollywood was waiting to embrace Ray with open arms. Alas! Due to some dirty politics played by unknown quarters, Ray's Hollywood dream had to be shelved. I have no qualms in admitting that Spielberg's E.T. was influenced by Ray's Alien. Even Sir Richard Attenborough pointed this out to me.

After working with Satyajit Ray, working in Bombay was confusing: Sharmila Tagore


"After working with Satyajit Ray, working in Bombay was confusing: Sharmila Tagore". Times of India. 15 November 2013. Retrieved on 13 December 2013. 

  • To me, Satyajit Ray is just Manikda. Our relationship dates back to 1958, when he introduced me to the silver screen. I was just 13.
  • Manikda was always different from the others. He did everything — from writing the script to choosing the location, finalizing the cast to designing sets and costumes, supervising make-up to framing the shots to editing. He was involved with each and every part of his film and was always very clear about what he wanted. His films were Indian but the production process was western. He also proved that silence can say a million words if used properly and was very economical with dialogues. He used barking of dogs, birdcalls, mechanical clatter or other natural sounds to brilliant effect. It was because of this detailing that every scene of his films became powerful and meaningful. And though he played so many roles behind the scenes, he accepted remuneration from the producer only for direction.
  • But after having worked with Manikda, working in Bombay was confusing. I was too normal and realistic in front of the camera — the way Manikda had always taught me. But the Bombay directors wanted more energetic and louder acting. But today, most actors act that way.
  • He never treated his child artistes like kids. That's why they were always comfortable in front of the camera. Manikda became their friend after a few days of shooting
  • He always played the role of a story-teller — something that can be considered his most important contribution to the world of film making.

See also

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