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For Satyajit Ray, the form was never the priority, only the content mattered: IFFI 52 Masterclass

Ray went deep into the minds of his characters, he gave the audience enough space for participation: FTII Professor

Posted On: 23 NOV 2021 9:56PM by PIB Mumbai

Panaji, 23 November 2021


“Satyajit Ray used his camera lens to get into the psyche of a character; he made his characters come alive on screen”, says A. V Narayanan, Associate Professor of the Department of Film Editing, Film and Television Institute of India. He was holding a Masterclass on ‘Directorial Practices of Satyajit Ray’, held today, November 23, 2021, during the 52nd International Film Festival of India. The masterclass was streamlined virtually on

Talking about the master director’s craftsmanship, the professor said, “Understanding of lenses and magnification was crucial for him. As he did storyboarding from his first film, shot break-down and editing became quite easier after that.”

Prof. Narayanan said that Ray weaved editing seamlessly into the process of storytelling. “In Ray’s films, editing is not just a mechanism, it is a part of the very process of storytelling. His films gave creative options for the editor. He used image and sound juxtaposition in his work”. For Ray, the form was never the priority, only the content mattered, he added.

The expertise he enjoyed in the craft enabled him to effortlessly deal with subjects involving many characters. “The way Ray used the craft, it feels like one is reading a text with many meanings. He is also like a Sutradhar of his films, a narrator who helms the story and takes it onward. He had full control over his narrative.”

Showing clips of Ray’s masterpieces Apur Sansar and Charulata, Narayanan explained how Ray experimented with various genres and interesting characters. The professor showed how music defined important segments of his films. In one scene in Apur Sansar, when Aparna (Sharmila Tagore) comes home with Apu (Soumitra Chatterjee), the only sound is that of charkha, a train, and the kid’s laughter which forms the background music of the scene. Together, they beautifully portray how the characters in the scene feel.

In Charulata too, when Charu sits on a swing and sings while her husband sits beside a tree nearby, the sound of swinging works beautifully as the background score.

Satyajit Ray believed in minimalistic approach, the professor informed the IFFI 52 delegates. “He beautifully portrayed the internal struggle of his characters on screen. He also went deeper into the minds of the characters and gave the audience enough space for participation”.

Year-long celebrations Birth Centenary of Satyajit Ray

Paying homage to the legendary filmmaker, the Government of India is organizing year-long centenary celebrations of the master director in India and abroad.

Satyajit Ray was ray in the world of cinema which lights up a million minds and a billion cinematic ideas even today. As we celebrate 75 years of India’s independence and 100 years of the legendary filmmaker, it has been decided that IFFI’s Lifetime Achievement Award will henceforth be called the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Cinema from this year.

Hollywood filmmaker Martin Scorsese and Hungarian Filmmaker Istvan Szabo have been conferred with Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement award at IFFI 52 Inaugural Ceremony, held in Goa on November 20, 2021.

Satyajit Ray is considered as one of the pioneers of the modern cinema and he is revered by cine-buffs across the world. His works like The Apu Trilogy, The Music Room etc. cemented his footing in the history of Indian cinema and remain classics till date.

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