The premier Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), named after the maestro, has decided to have their annual convocation each year on this day to coincide with the birthday of the versatile artiste.
While delivering the convocation address, Dadasaheb Phalke awardee filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan said there is hardly any other filmmaker in India whose impact has been more powerful than that of Ray's.
“He left us too early. Had he been here now, we would have had the opportunity to get greater words from him. His contribution to Indian cinema has been monumental,” he said.
SRFTI's director Sanjaya Pattanayak said awarding diplomas to film students on this day is a befitting way to contribute for the development of cinema.
At the state-run multiplex Nandan, one of Ray's favourite films “The Bicycle Thief” by Vittorio Di Sica was screened. The Italian neo-realist film which tells the story of a poor man's struggle for survival, is known to have a profound impact on Ray and his films including the iconic “Pather Panchali”.
Nandan CEO Jadav Mondol said that as a mark of homage to one of the greatest filmmakers of the world, another four of Ray's favourite foreign films will be screened in the next two days.
It was after watching several international films during a trip to London that Ray had switched from advertising to cinema.
Film buffs will get free entry to watch Akira Kurosawa's “Rashomon” and Fritz Lang's “Metropolis” tomorrow at Nandan-III while on the last day Sergei Eisenstein's silent Russian film “Battleship Potemkin” and Carl Dreyer's “The Passion of Joan of Arc” will be shown.
Author and film studies teacher Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, who delivered a lecture on the occasion, said these films have been close to the heart of Ray.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also paid homage to the director in the presence of his son filmmaker Sandip Ray and singer Anup Ghoshal.
Having directed a number of classics like the “Apu Trilogy”, “Jalsaghar”, “Sonar Kella”, “Charulata”, and “Shatranj Ke Khiladi”, Ray remains India's first and only Oscar-winning director.
He passed away in 1992 at the age of 70 but continues to be a constant source of inspiration for filmmakers around the world.