Bengal's contribution to Indian cinema The information and cultural affairs department has launched a book titled “Bengal in the Century of Cinema and Beyond”, which chronicles the Bengal’s contribution to Indian cinema, celebrating the centenary of cinema in India. The book release took place on the second day of ongoing 19th Kolkata International Film Festival. The book is authored by filmmaker Ashoke Viswanathan.

The book is profusely illustrated with rare pictures. In the book, there is a mention about Hiralal Sen and his company, the Royal Bengal Theatre, which had organized “bioscope shows” in December 1900, about 14 years before the “official” birth of Indian cinema, with the release of Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra. Sen had made a lot of short films that were all destroyed in a fire in 1917. There are similar references about Jamshedji Framji Madan (1856 – 1927), who had organized film shows in a tent at the Maidan in 1902, and Dhiren Ganguly, a student of Tagore. Ganguly’s Bilet Pherot dates back to 1921. The book also mentions about some significant checkpoints such as Satyajit Ray’s use of neo-realism.

The author Ashoke Viswanathan said that book explores the theme and preoccupations of filmmakers from Bengal.

Film pioneers like B N Sarkar, Pramathesh Barua, Nimai Ghosh, modern masters like Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Tapan Sinha, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Aparna Sen and Goutam Ghose have been featured in detail in the book. Today’s filmmakers like Srijit, Kaushik, Mainak and Anjan are also written about.

There are also a mention of technical advancements of the film-making such as different machines that were used since the invention of cinema, like the cinematograph and the kinescope.