Movies

India’s oldest cinematographer Ramananda Sengupta no more

Veteran cinematographer Ramananda Sengupta (R) with former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee (C) and filmmaker Mrinal Sen during 16th Kolkata Film Festival in Kolkata. (File Photo)

Veteran cinematographer Ramananda Sengupta (R) with former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee (C) and filmmaker Mrinal Sen during 16th Kolkata Film Festival in Kolkata. (File Photo)   | Photo Credit: PTI

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The 101-year-old had worked with legends like Jean Renoir, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen.

Country’s oldest cinematographer Ramananda Sengupta, who worked with legends like Jean Renoir, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen, died in Kolkata on Wednesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a statement. Mr. Sengupta, 101, left behind his son.

Born on May 8, 1916 in Dhaka, Mr. Sengupta studied in Santiniketan in his formative years and got his first break in 1938 when he joined Film Corporation of India in Kolkata (then Calcutta) as an assistant cameraman. His first film as a full-time cinematographer was in ‘Purbaraag’ directed by Ardhendu Mukherjee in 1946.

Two years later, French director Jean Renoir came to Kolkata to shoot The River (Le Fleuve, released in 1951), and Mr. Sengupta joined him initially as a clapper boy, but ended up as the operating cameraman while the director’s nephew Claude Renoir was director of photography.

He worked with Ritwik Ghatak on his debut film ‘Nagarik’, that was completed in 1952, but released a quarter century later in 1977 after the film maker’s death.

In 1955, when Mrinal Sen made his debut film ‘Raat Bhore’, he chose Mr. Sengupta as his cinematographer. Mr. Sengupta worked behind the camera in over 70 films, including landmark ones like ‘Shilpi’, ‘Nishithe’, ‘Bindur Chhele’, ‘Personal Assistant’, ‘Headmaster’ and ‘Teen Bhubaner Pare’.

Mr. Sengupta was also a founding member of the Technicians’ Studio in South Kolkata’s Tollygunge.

Condoling his demise, the Chief Minister said his death has caused an irreparable loss to the world of films. “I pray that his soul rest in peace. I extend my sympathies to his bereaved family,” said Ms. Banerjee.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 12:20:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/indias-oldest-cinematographer-ramananda-sengupta-no-more/article19552209.ece

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