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KIFF 2023: Festival honors filmmaker Mrinal Sen's legacy; holds exhibition on his birth centenary

KIFF 2023 celebrates the birth centenary of filmmaker Mrinal Sen with a captivating exhibition, honoring his cinematic legacy. The showcase features a collection of artifacts, film posters, and exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpses, making it a poignant tribute.

KIFF 2023: Festival honors filmmaker Mrinal Sen's legacy; holds exhibition on his birth centenary SHG
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First Published Dec 7, 2023, 3:46 PM IST

The 29th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) is currently hosting the exhibition 'Mrinal Sen: The Maverick' in honor of the auteur's birth centenary year, showcasing various artifacts that offer a glimpse into the life and career of the renowned filmmaker. Notable items on display include Mrinal Sen's iconic landline telephone, his cherished chair, the fountain pen he used for scriptwriting, and a collection of film posters. The exhibition, inaugurated by Sen's favorite actor-director Anjan Dutt, his preferred actress Mamata Shankar, and Bengali film superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee, is a comprehensive retrospective divided into sections such as 'Mirroring the Middle Class' and 'Rebel Roots,' providing a chronological journey through Sen's filmography.

The retrospective spans from Sen's debut film in 1955, 'Raat Bhore' (The Dawn), to his final work, 'Amar Bhuban' (This My Land). One of the focal points of the exhibition is the exploration of various phases in Sen's illustrious career, from his early films delving into human emotions and relationships in the 1950s to his later works capturing socio-political turbulence in the 70s and 80s. The meticulously curated collection includes shooting stills and insights from the making of some of Sen's seminal films, such as 'Ek Din Pratidin' (And Quiet Rolls the Dawn), 'Akaler Shandhaney' (In Search of Famine), 'Chalchitra' (The Kaleidoscope), 'Kharij' (The Case is Closed), and 'Khandahar' (The Ruins).

As per PTI exhibition curator Sudeshna Roy, a film personality and KIFF organizing committee member, revealed that the materials were sourced directly from individuals closely associated with Mrinal Sen, including his son Kunal Sen, actor Ranjit Mallick, and Anjan Dutt. Roy explained "We have tried to explore different phases of his career, the time when he first made films on human emotions and relationships (in the 50s) and captured the socio-political turbulence in his later works (70s-80s), his later works. From several books on the stalwart like 'Mrinal Sen: Sixty Years in Search of Cinema' (Dipankar Mukhopadhyay), 'Bondhu: My Father My Friend' (Kunal Sen) to other published materials we got references from multiple sources,"

An array of film posters, including the 1984 London Film Festival poster of 'Khandahar,' 'Chalchitra,' 'Ek Din Achanak,' and 'Antareen' (The Confined - made in 1993), adds a visual dimension to the exhibition. Additionally, the showcase features photographs capturing Mrinal Sen's last journey, providing a poignant glimpse into the final chapter of the maverick director's life.

Commenting on the exhibition, Anjan Dutt expressed "I am so happy to see such an exhibition has been organised on the 100th birth anniversary year of Mrinal da, with whom I had a relationship for over four decades since my debut in Chalchitro in 1981. Certain photos of shooting scenes bring so many memories. The KIFF authorities have done a great service by organising such an exhibition focussing on the legendary director. I am happy my biopic on him - 'Chaalchitro Ekhon' - is also being screened in the competitive section of the festival and will have its world premiere in our favourite city."

According to PTI filmmaker Ashoke Viswanathan, who shared a close relationship with Mrinal Sen, offered his perspective on the exhibition, highlighting its ability to capture various moods of the maverick director during film shoots, interviews, and moments with family and friends. However, he suggested that the exhibition only partially recaptures the essence of Mrinal Sen, proposing the inclusion of additional materials for a more comprehensive portrayal. In response, curator Sudeshna Roy acknowledged the diversity of opinions, emphasizing the extensive research and materials sourced from those intimately connected to Mrinal Sen. She expressed openness to suggestions and welcomed any input to enhance the exhibition's authenticity. Mrinal Sen passed away on December 30, 2018, at his residence in south Kolkata.

ALSO READ: IFFK 2023: Veteran actor Nana Patekar to be Chief Guest at 28th edition of festival

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