The cinema of West Bengal (Bengali: টলিউড, romanized: ṭôliuḍ), also known as Tollywood, refers to the Indian Bengali language film industry based in the Tollygunge region of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. The origins of the nickname Tollywood, a portmanteau of the words Tollygunge and Hollywood, dates back to 1932. It was a historically important film industry, at one time the center of Indian film production. The Bengali film industry is known for producing many of Indian cinema's most critically acclaimed global Parallel Cinema and art films, with several of its filmmakers gaining prominence at the Indian National Film Awards as well as international acclaim. Since the late 20th century, the Bengali film industry has become smaller, overtaken by other regional industries such as Bollywood and South Indian cinema.
Ever since Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali (1955) was awarded Best Human Document at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, Bengali films frequently appeared in international fora and film festivals for the next several decades. This allowed Bengali filmmakers to reach a global audience. The most influential among them was Satyajit Ray, whose films became successful among European, American and Asian audiences. His work subsequently had a worldwide impact, with filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, James Ivory, Abbas Kiarostami, Elia Kazan, François Truffaut, Carlos Saura, Isao Takahata, Wes Anderson and Danny Boyle being influenced by his cinematic style, and many others such as Akira Kurosawa praising his work.
The "youthful coming-of-age dramas that have flooded art houses since the mid-fifties owe a tremendous debt to the Apu trilogy". Kanchenjungha (1962) introduced a narrative structure that resembles later hyperlink cinema. Ray's 1967 script for a film to be called The Alien, which was eventually cancelled, is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's E.T. (1982). Ira Sachs' Forty Shades of Blue (2005) was a loose remake of Charulata, and in Gregory Navas My Family (1995), the final scene is duplicated from the final scene of The World of Apu. Similar references to Ray films are found in recent works such as Sacred Evil (2006), the Elements trilogy of Deepa Mehta, and in films of Jean-Luc Godard.
"If the theme is simple, you can include a hundred details that create the illusion of actuality better."
-- Satyajit Ray(Filmmaker)
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or Soumitra Chattopadhyay O.L.H.
; born 19 January 1935) is an Indian film and stage actor and poet. He is best known for his collaborations with Oscar-winning film director Satyajit Ray
, with whom he worked in fourteen films, and his constant comparison with the Bengali cinema
screen idol Uttam Kumar
, his contemporary leading man of the 1960s and 1970s. Soumitra Chatterjee is also the first Indian film personality to be conferred with the Commandeur de l’ Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
, France's highest award for artists. He is also the winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award
which is India's highest award for cinema. In 2017 exactly thirty years after auteur Satyajit Ray
was honoured with France's highest civilian award, the coveted Legion of Honor
, thespian Soumitra Chatterjee, arguably, the most prominent face of Ray's films, also received the prestigious award.
A still of a scene from the movie Dena Paona which is credited as the one of the first Bengali talkies, and along with Alam Ara, was one of the first sound films produced in India.
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