Satyajit Ray was an Indian filmmaker, regarded as one of the great auteurs of world cinema. Ray directed 36 films, including feature films, documentaries and shorts. He was also a fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, calligrapher, graphic designer and film critic. He authored several short stories and novels, primarily aimed at children and adolescent.
Ray was born in the city of Calcutta into a Bengali family prominent in the world of arts and literature. Starting his career as a commercial artist, Ray was drawn into independent filmmaking after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and viewing Vittorio De Sica's Italian neorealist 1948 film Bicycle Thieves during a visit to London. Sukumar Ray, his father, died when Satyajit was three years old, and the family survived on Suprabha Ray's meager income. Ray studied at Ballygunge Government High School, Calcutta, and completed his B.A. (Hons.) in economics at Presidency College of the University of Calcutta. In 1943, Ray started work at D.J. Keymer, a British-run advertising agency, as a "junior visualiser," earning eighty rupees a month. In 1949, Ray married Bijoya Das, his first cousin and longtime sweetheart. The couple had a son, Sandip, who is now a film director. In 1992, Ray's health deteriorated due to heart complications. He was admitted to a hospital, and would never recover. An honorary Oscar was awarded to him weeks before his death, which he received in a gravely ill condition. He died on 23 April 1992 at the age of 70.
In 1940, his mother insisted that he study at the Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan, founded by Rabindranath Tagore. Ray was reluctant due to his love of Calcutta, and the low opinion of the intellectual life at Santiniketan. His mother's persuasion and his respect for Tagore finally convinced him to try. In Santiniketan, Ray came to appreciate Oriental art.
In 1943, Ray started work at D.J. Keymer, a British-run advertising agency, Although he liked visual design (graphic design) and he was mostly treated well, there was tension between the British and Indian employees of the firm. The British were better paid, and Ray felt that "the clients were generally stupid." Later, Ray also worked for Signet Press, a new publishing house started by D. K. Gupta. Gupta asked Ray to create cover designs for books to be published by Signet Press and gave him complete artistic freedom. Ray designed covers for many books, including 'Jibanananda Das's Banalata Sen', and 'Rupasi Bangla', 'Jim Corbett's Maneaters of Kumaon', and 'Jawaharlal Nehru's Discovery of India'. He worked on a children's version of 'Pather Panchali'.
Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road)
Aparajito (The Unvanquished)
Apur Sansar (The World of Apu)
Devi (The Goddess)
Charulata (The Lonely Wife)
Mahanagar (The Big City)
Teen Kanya (Three Daughters)
Abhijan (The Expedition)
Kapurush o Mahapurush (The Coward and the Holy Man)
Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha)
Honorable Prize for the contribution to cinema,
Silver Bear for Best Director,
Golden Lion Honorary Award,
Dadasaheb Phalke Award,
Legion of Honor,
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray an honorary Oscar in 1992 for Lifetime Achievement. It was one of his favourite actresses, Audrey Hepburn, who represented the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on that day in Calcutta. Ray, unable to attend the ceremony due to his illness, gave his acceptance speech to the Academy via live video feed in his home.