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Mrinal Sen

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Name  Mrinal Sen
Role  Filmmaker
Children  Kunal Sen

Mrinal Sen 1970 Photos

Born  May 14, 1923 (1923-05-14) Faridpur, Bengal Presidency, British India(now in Bangladesh)
Awards  Dadasaheb Phalke Award
Books  Always Being Born: A Memoir, In search of famine: a film
Education  Scottish Church College, University of Calcutta
Movies  Bhuvan Shome, Kharij, Calcutta 71, Padatik, Khandhar
Similar People  Aparna Sen, Soumitra Chatterjee, Satyajit Ray, Utpal Dutt, Anjan Dutt
Died  30 December 2018 (aged 95) , Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Portrait of the director mrinal sen

Mrinal Sen (also spelled Mrinal Shen, born 14 May 1923) is a legendary Indian filmmaker based in Kolkata. Along with his contemporaries Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, he is often considered to be one of the greatest ambassadors of Indian parallel cinema on the global stage. Like the works of Ray and Ghatak, his cinema is known for its artistic depiction of social reality. Although the three directors shared a healthy rivalry, they were ardent admirers of each other's work, and in so doing, they charted the independent trajectory of parallel cinema, as a counterpoint to the mainstream fare of Hindi cinema in India. Mrinal Sen is an ardent follower of Marxist Philosophy.


Mrinal Sen Mrinal Sen doing well after surgery NDTV Movies

Interview 1973 mrinal sen

Early life and education

Mrinal Sen MrinalSenturn4160jpg

Sen was born on 14 May 1923, in the town of Faridpur, now in Bangladesh in a Hindu family. After finishing high school there, he left home to come to Calcutta as a student. He studied physics at the well-known Scottish Church College, and subsequently earned a postgraduate degree at the University of Calcutta. As a student, he got involved with the cultural wing of the Communist Party of India. Although he never became a member of the party, his association with the socialist Indian People's Theatre Association brought him close to a number of like-minded culturally associated people.

Mrinal Sen Mrinal Sen Mrigaya

Early interest in cinema Sen's interest in films started after he stumbled upon a book on film aesthetics. However, his interest remained mostly intellectual, and he was forced to take up the job of a medical representative, which took him away from Calcutta. This did not last very long, and he came back to the city and eventually took a job as an audio technician in a Calcutta film studio, which launched his film career.

Directorial debut


Mrinal Sen made his first feature film, Raat Bhore, in 1955. It had the iconic Uttam Kumar who was not a star then. The movie was a let-down. His next film, Neel Akasher Neechey (Under the Blue Sky), earned him local recognition, while his third film, Baishey Shravan (the day when Rabindranath Tagore died), was his first film that gave him international exposure.

Sen and new cinema in India

After making five more films, he made a film with a shoe-string budget provided by the Government of India. This film, Bhuvan Shome (Mr. Shome), finally launched him as a major filmmaker, both nationally and internationally. Bhuvan Shome also initiated the "New Cinema" film movement in India.

Social context and its political influence

The films that he made next were overtly political, and earned him the reputation as a Marxist artist. This was also the time of large-scale political unrest throughout India. Particularly in and around Calcutta, this period underwent what is now known as the Naxalite movement. This phase was immediately followed by a series of films where he shifted his focus, and instead of looking for enemies outside, he looked for the enemy within his own middle class society. This was arguably his most creative phase.

Depiction of Kolkata

In many Mrinal Sen movies from Punascha to Mahaprithivi, Kolkata features prominently. He has shown Kolkata as a character, and as an inspiration. He has beautifully woven the people, value system, class difference and the roads of the city into his movies and coming of age for Kolkata, his El-Dorado.

Experimentation, recognition and acclaim

During this period, he won a large number of international awards. It could be argued that although his films show the development of ideas from existentialism, surrealism, Marxism, German expressionism, Postmodernism, Nouvelle Vague and Italian neorealism. Sen's cinema for the most part does not provide a happy ending or a definitive conclusion (unlike many of the films of Sen's better known contemporary Satyajit Ray). In many of Sen's later films, the audience becomes a participant in the process of the development of the plot. The director invites and provokes the audience into a shared process of forming multiple conclusions, that are at the same time unique and different. The director does not play the role of god, his audience does. It is not really surprising that unlike Allen who has a steady niche audience in the Western literati and aficionados, Sen's experimentation with parallel cinema had significantly cost him much of a devoted audience composing of largely the Calcutta-based westernized intelligentsia.

In 1982 he was a member of the jury at the 32nd Berlin International Film Festival. In 1983 he was a member of the jury at the 13th Moscow International Film Festival. In 1997 he was a member of the jury at the 20th Moscow International Film Festival.

Mrinal Sen never stopped experimenting with his medium. In his later films he tried to move away from the narrative structure and worked with very thin story lines. After a long gap of eight years, at the age of eighty, he made his latest film, Aamaar Bhuvan, in 2002.

During his career, Mrinal Sen's films have received awards from almost all major film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Montreal, Chicago, and Cairo. Retrospectives of his films have been shown in almost all major cities of the world. He was also elected as the president of the International Federation of the Film Societies. He received the Taj Enlighten Tareef Award which is given for a lifetime contribution to the world of cinema in 2008. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th edition of the Osian's Cinefest Film Festival 2008.

On July 24, 2012, Mrinal Sen was not invited to the function organised by West Bengal government to felicitate film personalities from the State. As per reports, his political views are believed to be the reason for his omission from the function.

National awards

National Film Award for Best Feature Film

  • 1969: Bhuvan Shome
  • 1974: Chorus
  • 1976: Mrigayaa
  • 1980: Akaler Sandhane
  • National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film

  • 1972: Calcutta 71
  • 1980: Kharij
  • National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali

  • 1961: Punascha
  • 1965: Akash Kusum
  • 1993: Antareen
  • National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu

  • 1977: Oka Oori Katha
  • National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film)

  • 1978: Parashuram
  • National Film Award for Best Direction

  • 1969: Bhuvan Shome
  • 1979: Ek Din Pratidin
  • 1980: Akaler Sandhane
  • 1984: Khandhar
  • National Film Award for Best Screenplay

  • 1974: Padatik
  • 1983: Akaler Sandhane
  • 1984: Kharij
  • Filmfare Awards
    Critics Award for Best Film
    1976 Mrigayaa
    Best Screenplay
    1984 Khandhar

    International awards

    Moscow International Film Festival - Silver Prize
    1975 Chorus
    1979 Parashuram
    Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
    1977 Oka Oori Katha
    Berlin International Film Festival
    Interfilm Award
    1979 Parashuram
    1981 Akaler Sandhane
    Grand Jury Prize
    1981 Akaler Sandhane
    Cannes Film Festival - Jury Prize
    1983 Kharij
    Valladolid International Film Festival - Golden Spike
    1983 Kharij
    Chicago International Film Festival - Gold Hugo
    1984 Khandhar
    Montreal World Film Festival - Special Prize of the Jury
    1984 Khandhar
    Venice Film Festival - OCIC Award - Honorable Mention
    1989 Ek Din Achanak
    Cairo International Film Festival - Silver Pyramid for Best Director
    2002 Aamar Bhuban

    State and institutional honors

  • In 1979, he was awarded the Nehru Soviet Land Award by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for his contribution to world cinema.
  • In 1981, the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Bhushan.
  • In 1985, President François Mitterrand, the President of France, awarded him the Commandeur de Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters), the highest civilian honour conferred by that country, in recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.
  • In 1993, he was awarded an honorary D. Litt. by the University of Burdwan.
  • In 1996, he was awarded an honorary D. Litt. by Jadavpur University.
  • In 1999, he was awarded an honorary D. Litt. by Rabindra Bharati University.
  • Between 1998 and 2003, he was made an Honorary Member of the Indian Parliament in the Rajya Sabha.
  • In 2000, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian federation honored him with the Order of Friendship.
  • In 2005, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest honor given to an Indian filmmaker, was awarded to him by the Government of India for the year 2003.
  • In 2009, he was awarded an honorary D. Litt. by the University of Calcutta.
  • In 2017, he was inducted as a member of the Oscar Academy
  • Trivia

  • He is a friend of Gabriel García Márquez and had often been invited as a judge in international film festivals.
  • In 2004, Mrinal Sen completed his autobiographical book, Always Being Born.
  • Life Time Achievement Award at 5th Global Film Festival Noida 2012.
  • Feature films

  • Raat Bhore (The Dawn) (1955)
  • Neel Akasher Neechey (Under the Blue Sky) (1958)
  • Baishey Sravan (Wedding Day) (1960)
  • Punascha (Over Again) (1961)
  • Abasheshe (And at Last) (1963)
  • Pratinidhi (The Representative) (1964)
  • Akash Kusum (Up in the Clouds) (1965)
  • Matira Manisha (Man of the Soil) (Odia film) (1966)
  • Bhuvan Shome (Mr. Bhuvan Shome) (1969)
  • Interview (1971)
  • Ek Adhuri Kahani (An Unfinished Story) (1971)
  • Calcutta 71 (1972)
  • Padatik (The Guerilla Fighter) (1973)
  • Chorus (1974)
  • Mrigayaa (The Royal Hunt) (1976)
  • Oka Oori Katha (The Outsiders) (1977)
  • Parasuram (The Man with the Axe) (1978)
  • Ek Din Pratidin (And Quiet Rolls the Dawn) (1979)
  • Akaler Sandhane (In Search of Famine) (1980)
  • Chalchitra (The Kaleidoscope) (1981)
  • Kharij (The Case Is Closed) (1982)
  • Khandhar (The Ruins) (1983)
  • Genesis (1986)
  • Ek Din Achanak (Suddenly, One Day) (1989)
  • Mahaprithivi (World Within, World Without) (1991)
  • Antareen (The Confined) (1993)
  • Aamaar Bhuvan (This, My Land) (2002)
  • Short films

  • Ichhapuran (The Wish Fulfillment) (1970)
  • Tasveer Apni Apni (Portrait of an Average Man) (1984)
  • Aparajit (Unvanquished) (1986–87)
  • Kabhi Door Kabhi Paas (Sometimes Far, Sometimes Near) (1986–87)
  • Swamvar (The Courtship) (1986–87)
  • Aina (The Mirror) (1986–87)
  • Ravivar (Sunday) (1986–87)
  • Aajkaal (These Days) (1986–87)
  • Do Bahene (Two Sisters) (1986–87)
  • Jit (Win) (1986–87)
  • Saalgira (Anniversary) (1986–87)
  • Shawl (1986–87)
  • Ajnabi (The Stranger) (1986–87)
  • Das Saal Baad (Ten Years Later) (1986–87)
  • Documentaries

  • Moving Perspectives (1967)
  • Tripura Prasanga (1982)
  • City Life — Calcutta My El Dorado (1989)
  • And the Show Goes On — Indian Chapter (1999)
  • Films on Mrinal Sen

  • Ten Days in Calcutta — A Portrait of Mrinal Sen (Directed by Reinhard Hauff) (1984)
  • With Mrinal Sen (Directed by Sanjay Bhattacharya and Rahul Bose) (1989)
  • Portrait of a Filmmaker (Directed by Romesh Sharma) (1999)
  • A man behind the curtain (Directed by Supantho Bhattacharya) (1998)
  • A Documentary Proposal(Directed by R.V. Ramani) (2014)
  • References

    Mrinal Sen Wikipedia