On July 6th, 2013, 100 years of Bengali cinema was celebrated at the Promenade Lounge in Taj Bengal with the launch of the amazing compilation of Kazi Anirban and Parimal Ray, “A Directory of Bengali Cinema”. This event was graced by many well known film personalities who were quite enthusiastic and happy about the launch.
Kazi Anirban, the grandson of Kazi Nazrul Islam is a painter and cinephile who with the help of Shri Parimal Ray have tried to encapsulate the glorious 100 years of the Bengali Film Industry. The book will also be launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2013 and other major book fairs around the world by the Atlantic Distributors.
It is a directory that comprises more than 1650 booklets of films directed by Uttam Kumar, Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and other film makers. Some of the rare, unknown and unseen booklets of Bengali films are included in this directory that traces the journey of Bengali cinema from the silent era to the contemporary time.
Bengali film industry has the credit of producing and making some of the most amazing films that are acknowledged worldwide. The commercial and parallel Bengali cinema gained immense popularity during the period of Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and other film makers, who brought a new wave in the Indian Cinema through their unique and innovative ideas and concepts.
The legendary Actor Soumitra Chatterjee, Director Sandip Ray, son of Satyajit Ray, and the gorgeous and talented Actor and Director Aparna Sen were present at the launch and were seen praising the efforts of Kazi Anirban.
According to Aparna Sen this directory is a wonderful book that contains a lot of information essential for film makers. She even mentioned that the book is printed on paper which was used in the yester years and is an archival work. Sandip Ray also shared the same view and said that the book is visually rich and one of its kinds with interesting anecdotes. He considers this directory as a gold mine of Bengali cinema and even said that any person interested in the field is bound to get hooked on to it. Soumitra Chatterjee said that it is a very well compiled directory of Bengali Cinema that will prove to be very important for all individuals who want to do any kind of research on Bengali Cinema.
The research work that had to be done for this Directory of Bengali Cinema was very hectic for Kazi Anirban who had to cover the length and breadth of West Bengal and Bangladesh in order to collect valuable and forgotten facts and to get booklets of Bengali films that had eroded away with the sands of time. He mentioned that the idea of compiling this rare work occurred to him four years back and the determination to compile this book was all the more strengthened by his love for the Bengali language and cinema.
The fact that such a directory is available for Tamil and Hindi films also inspired him to publish the graphically and visually attractive 900+ pages. He shared that at the time of compiling the book he just focused on the Bengali Cinema and wanted to bring its past into the limelight and had never thought about its usefulness for the students and researchers interested in film making which he now realizes.
Ankan Kazi, son of Kazi Anirban, who is also interested in film making has written the Preface of the book. The foreword of the directory is penned by Film Maker Sandip Ray. This is a unique directory of Bengali film and will garner the attention of huge number of people interested in knowing about the journey of Bengali cinema since its inception.
Report: Sneha Singh
Photographs: Amitav Sarkar