- This event is over. However, time travel possible through our Audio & Video!
Friday, October 20th:
4:00 pm | Remembering Bimal Roy (Documentary | 2007 | 55 minutes | English, Hindi, Bangla with English Subtitles)
5:00 pm | Conversation with Joy Bimal Roy & Rashmi Devi Sawhney
6:30 pm | Udayer Pathey (1944 | 122 minutes | Bangla with English Subtitles) with an introduction by Sahana Das
Saturday, October 21st:
11:00 am | Do Bigha Zameen (1953 | Hindi with English Subtitles | 120 minutes) with an introduction by Basav Biradar
4:00 pm | Bandini (1963 | Hindi with English Subtitles | 157 minutes) with an introduction by Basav Biradar
7:00 pm | Madhumati (1958 | Hindi with English Subtitles | 110 minutes) with an introduction by Sahana Das
Each of the screenings will be preceded by an introduction and context setting.
Bimal Roy, known as the ‘Silent Master of Indian Cinema’, emerged from a humble background in former East Bengal (Bangladesh), forced to leave his family’s Zamindari estate. He began as a publicity photographer and later found his calling as an assistant cameraman at New Theatres Studios in Calcutta. Roy’s lighting and composition skills earned him recognition, with his mark evident in classics like Mukti and Devdas. He also created notable documentaries.
Roy’s directorial debut, Udayer Pathey (1944), challenged class discrimination and showcased groundbreaking camerawork, acting, and box office success. In 1951, he moved to Bombay, where he founded Bimal Roy Productions and directed the iconic Do Bigha Zamin (1953), celebrated for its humane portrayal of Indian peasants and international acclaim. His films Parineeta, Devdas, Sujata, and Madhumati, resonated with audiences across the nation.
Bimal Roy, a socially committed director, ushered in the golden age of Indian Cinema, addressing pertinent issues like caste struggles. His legacy endures, leaving an indelible mark on Indian cinema thereby making him a legendary figure. His unfinished projects, Amrit Kumbh and The Mahabharata, remain a testament to his unfulfilled potential. Roy’s early passing at 55 left behind an unparalleled cinematic legacy, a source of pride for India and its national heritage.
This retrospective will feature four films by Bimal Roy and a documentary on his life produced by his children, followed by a discussion with his son Joy Bimal Roy.
|Remembering Bimal Roy
English, Hindi, Bangla with English Subtitles | 2007 | 55mins 24sec In the words of his son, Joy Bimal Roy:“Remembering Bimal Roy is the result of a search for a father I did not know. My father died a few days before I turned 11. He was wedded to his work. He left home before I was awake and got back when I was asleep. He didn’t like his family to be part of the film world. I had no memories of him at all. Initially, I got to know him through his films but that wasn’t enough. Eventually I began to seek out people who had worked with him and interviewed them. When I began the process in 2005 there were just a handful left but they remembered my father with so much love and respect that it became a cathartic experience for me. All of them narrated tales almost like it had happened yesterday. These interviews put together became the documentary.”The interviewees include Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra, Gulzar, Vyjayanthimala, Javed Akhtar, Tapan Sinha, Bharati Devi, Nabendu Ghosh, Sulochana and Javed Akhtar.
|Udayer Pathey (Towards the Light)
Bangla with English subtitles | 1944 | 122 minutes Bimal Roy’s debut feature about a struggling writer established him as an important Bollywood voice through its realistic portrayal of the simmering class conflicts in pre-independence India.
|Do Bigha Zameen
Hindi with English Subtitles | 1953 | 120 minutes Based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Bengali poem Dui Bigha Jomi, the film stars Balraj Sahni, Nirupa Roy in lead roles.
Hindi with English Subtitles | 1963 | 157 minutesThe film tells the story of a woman prisoner serving life imprisonment for murder, Kalyani, the all suffering, selfless, sacrificing and strong, yet weak Indian woman.
Hindi with English Subtitles |1958 | 110 minutesWhile driving his car on a rainy night, Anand’s car breaks down, and he goes to seek shelter in a nearby house. It is here that he will find out about his previous birth, his true love, Madhumati, and how their ill-fated romance is going to effect his current life.The film stars Vyjayanthimala and Dilip Kumar in lead roles, with Pran and Johnny Walker in supporting roles.
Joy Bimal Roy
Joy Bimal Roy is the son of filmmaker Bimal Roy and photographer Manobina Roy. He started his filmmaking stint as an assistant director to Shyam Benegal, and years later, made a biographical documentary, Remembering Bimal Roy, which received rave reviews at international film festivals. He has his own designer label, ‘Touch of Joy’, has written the first of his books on the behind-the-scenes happenings of the Hindi film industry of yore, and designing clothes and interior spaces.
Rashmi Devi Sawhney
Rashmi Devi Sawhney teaches at Christ University, Bangalore. She writes on cinema and the visual arts and is co-founder of VisionMix, an international network of artists, filmmakers and scholars. Her book The Vanishing Point: Moving Images After Video was published in 2022.
With over 30 years of experience in teaching, Dr. Sahana Das has taught at Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, Sophia Degree College and St. Xavier’s Collage in Mumbai and currently, is at Mount Carmel College, in Bangalore for 28 years. She has an interdisciplinary PhD in Film Studies and Indian Aesthetic theories. Sahana also offers courses, workshops, and talks on Effective Communication Skills for universities and corporates.
She is also a trained classical Odissi practitioner with 30+ years of training and experience. A graded Doordarshan artiste, she has contributed to spreading awareness on Indian Art & Aesthetics as a dancer herself, a choreographer, and through her course titled ‘Perspectives in Indian Art’ at Mount Carmel College.
Basav Biradar is an independent writer/researcher, documentary filmmaker and theatre-maker based in Bangalore, India.
His first documentary – Before The Third Bell – was the official selection for the 2018 Martin Segal Centre Film Festival on Art in New York. The film seeks to document the theatre-making processes of noted director Abhishek Majumdar through the play Muktidham. Recently, he has finished a short documentary on the history of Kolar Gold Fields.
Biradar teaches two post-graduate courses in Azim Premji University:‘India through the eyes of Parallel Cinema’, and ‘Introduction to Contemporary Theatre in India’.
He has written for several publications on theatre, cinema, travel, history and heritage conservation, including – National Geographic Traveller, Outlook Traveller, The Hindu, New Indian Express, The News Minute and The Caravan.
Besides directing several plays, he is a playwright. His first – The Return of the Sultan – a satire set in contemporary Srirangapatnam, was longlisted for The Hindu Metroplus Playwright Award 2013; currently, he is writing a play on the youth in tier-3 & -4 towns in Northern Karnataka. Recently, he has finished a short documentary on the history of Kolar Gold Fields (Produced by Sahapedia)