The Bimal Roy centenary celebrations feature works by and on the master film-maker
Seldom do we get to have a sneak peak at how a master auteur lived, away from the glitzy world of arc lights. A 12-minute documentary, Bimal Roy Doesn't Live Here Anymore, by his son Joy Bimal Roy, takes us back to a time when the film-maker, his wife and children lived in the heritage building, Godiwala, in Bandra, Mumbai.
Recalls Joy Roy, “Our friend, writer and documentary film-maker Nasreen Munni Kabir had once shot a film on the house, casually shooting me and my mother (Manobina Roy, one of the finest amateur photographers of her times). A decade later, I chanced upon the footage and felt the need to make this film. As family, we had a huge emotional attachment to the house. The evocative film captures the era gone by.” Today, a multi-storeyed building stands in place of the heritage structure, which was even studied by students at the J.J School of Architecture. “My mother fought a long, arduous battle to save the house,” recalls Roy.
The week-long centenary celebrations began with the screening of this short film and unveiling of Reflections — on cities and spaces, an exhibition of rare architectural photographs shot by Bimal Roy. “The photographs were shot during my father's extensive travels where he captured structures, people and nature,” says his daughter and documentary film-maker Aparajita Sinha. The photographs, rarely shared in public domain, were shot by Bimal Roy during his visits to Russia, Britain, Czechoslovakia, China and Lebanon. The black and white photographs show the cinematographer/film-maker's eye to capture architectural marvels with an abstract play of light and shade. Aparajita shares with us a photograph taken during the screening of Bandini at the Venice International Film Festival.
The celebrations will continue with an exhibition of photographs and posters, World of Bimal Roy. Remembering Bimal Roy, a film by Joy Roy, will also be screened. Joy was barely 10 when he lost his father and along the years, rediscovered his father mainly through his films. “It was a spiritual journey for me to find a link to my father whom I hardly knew. This documentary is based on interviews with those who've closely worked my father. I discovered how much people loved and respected him,” says Roy.
The festival will also see the screening of nine of Bimal Roy's masterpieces — Udayer Pathey, Do Bigha Zameen, Parineeta, Madhumati, Sujata, Devdas, Yahudi, Parakh and Bandini.
Reflections: Photographs by Bimal Roy; Kalakriti Art Gallery; Till January 31.
World of Bimal Roy — exhibition of posters and photos; first floor, Prasad's Imax; first floor; January 27 onwardsFelicitation to Manna Dey and actor Jagdeep (Do Bigha Zameen); Marriott Hotel; January 28
Screening of nine films by Bimal Roy at Cinemax and Prasad's; January 29 to 31
Remembering Bimal Roy; documentary by Joy Roy; January 29; 4.30 p.m.
Symposium: Outsiders, Migrants and Indian middle class in Bimal Roy's films; February 1; 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; CV Raman Auditorium, Science Complex, University of Hyderabad.