Chidananda Dasgupta passes away at 89

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Well-known film historian, director and critic Chidananda Dasgupta passed away from acute broncho pneumonia and Parkinson‘s disease last Sunday. He was 89.

Condoling the death of Dasgupta, the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said in a statement, "I and others in my government are deeply saddened by the death of Chidananda Dasgupta, pioneer of Indian film movement, film director, critic and writer."

Born in 1922, Das Gupta - or Chidu-Da as he was popularly known - founded the Calcutta Film Society along with cine master craftsman Satyajit Ray and Hari Sadhan Dasgupta. This Society spurred the film society movement in the country. In 1959, the Federation of Film Societies of India was set up at the initiative of Dasgupta, Satyajit Ray, Mrs. Vijaya Mulay, Mrs. Ammu Swaminathan, Robert Hawkins, Diptendu Pramanick, Abul Hassan and A. Roy Chowdhury. 

His book on Ray, titled The Cinema of Satyajit Ray, is considered as one of the most authentic research on the film maestro.

Dasgupta, father of Aparna Sen, also contributed to the British film journal Sight and Sound in 1957 and along with Ray, started the Indian Film Quarterly. Sen, who is away in America is likely to be in Kolkata to perform the last rites. Dasgupta‘s grand daughterKonkona Sen Sharma is also likely to attend the funeral.

With seven films to his credit like The Stuff Of Steel (1969), The Dance of Shiva (1968), Portrait of a City (1961), Amodini (1994), Zaroorat Ki Purti (1979), Rakhto (1973) and Bilet Pherat (1972), Dasgupta won a lifetime achievement award at the Osian Film Festival in 2004.

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