DFF plans unique tribute to Shakti Samanta

NEW DELHI: An unique three-day tribute to the late filmmaker Shakti Samanta put together by the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) will be inaugurated by Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on 10 July at Sirifort Auditorium – II.

On the occasion, six popular films of Samanta will be screened. Samanta passed away earlier this year on 9 April.

The three-day event will see the screening of Howrah Bridge(1958), Kati Patang (1971), Amanush(1975), Kashmir ki Kali (1964) and Anurag(1972). Apart from helping a large number of actors, the films also left behind a large repository of memorable music.

Ashim Samanta, the filmmaker’s son will be the keynote speaker at the inauguration and the opening film will be the romantic blockbuster Amar Prem which catapulted stars like Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore and Sujit Kumar to new heights and left some memorable music for connoisseurs.

Born in Burdwan West Bengal, Samanta received his education at Dehradun, staying with his uncle. He graduated in 1944 from Calcutta University.

Wanting to become an actor in the Hindi film industry, Samanta moved closer to the city. He took a school teacher‘s job in Dapoli about 200 kilometres from Mumbai. He eventually joined the film industry in 1948 as an assistant director to directors like Gyan Mukherjee, Satish Nigam and Phani Majumdar at Bombay Talkies.

Samanta directed his first feature film Bahu in 1954 that starred Karan Dewan, Usha Kiron, Shashikala and Pran,

Samanta‘s other films include Sheroo (1956), Detective (1957) and Hill Station (1957).

He started his own production company by the name of Shakti Films in 1957 and the first release of this banner was the murder-mystery Howrah Bridge that starred Ashok Kumar and Madhubala as the lead.

In all, Samanta directed 43 feature films including 37 in Hindi 6 in Bengal. His best known films include Howrah Bridge, China Town,Kashmir Ki Kali and An Evening in Paris. He is credited for starting the trend of making double version films in Hindi and Bengali with Amanush in 1974 and also made the first co-produced film between India and Bangladesh in 1984.

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