Buddhadeb Dasgupta

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Buddhadeb Dasgupta
Master Class by the Art of story writing in Cinema-Buddhadeb Das Gupta, Film Maker, at the 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2014), in Panaji, Goa on November 27, 2014.jpg
Dasgupta at the IFFI 2014
Born(1944-02-11)11 February 1944
Died10 June 2021(2021-06-10) (aged 77)
Occupation(s)Film maker, screenplay writer and author
ChildrenAlokananda Dasgupta

Buddhadeb Dasgupta (11 February 1944 – 10 June 2021) was an Indian filmmaker and poet best known for his Bengali-language films like Bagh Bahadur, Tahader Katha, Charachar and Uttara. Five of his films have won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film, Bagh Bahadur (1989), Charachar (1993), Lal Darja (1997), Mondo Meyer Upakhyan (2002) and Kaalpurush (2008), while Dooratwa (1978) and Tahader Katha (1993) have won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali. As a director, he has won National Film Award for Best Direction twice, for Uttara (2000) and Swapner Din (2005). Over the years he has published several works of poetry including Govir Araley, Coffin Kimba Suitcase, Himjog, Chhaata Kahini, Roboter Gaan, Sreshtha Kabita, and Bhomboler Ascharya Kahini O Ananya Kabita.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Buddhadeb Dasgupta was born in a Vaidya family in 1944 in Anara near Puruliya in Southern West Bengal,[2] and was the third of nine siblings. His father Tarkanta Dasgupta was a doctor with the Indian Railways, thus he spent the early part of childhood traveling. At the age of twelve, he was sent to Calcutta to study, earlier at Shibpur SSPS Vidyalaya and later at Dinabandhu School, Howrah.[3] Post-independence his father was transferred first to Kharagpur in West Midnapore district and Manendragarh (now in Chhattisgarh).[4]

He studied economics at the Scottish Church College and the University of Calcutta.[5][6]


Buddhadeb started his career as a lecturer of Economics, at the Shyamsundar College of the University of Burdwan followed by City College, Calcutta. In 1976, when disenchanted by the gap he perceived between the economic theory he taught and the socio-political reality, he took to film making.[1] Meanwhile, his membership with the Calcutta Film Society, where he started going in his senior high school along with his uncle, exposed him to the works of directors like Charlie Chaplin, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, and Michelangelo Antonioni. This, in turn, inspired him to take film making as a mode of expression.[7] He started his film career with a 10-minute documentary in 1968, The Continent of Love; eventually he made his first full-length feature film, Dooratwa (Distance) in 1978.[8]

His lyricism has been extended to cinema as well. During the early stages of his film career, Dasgupta made films inspired by Satyajit Ray's realistic films and later moved on to other forms. Some of his most acclaimed films are Bagh Bahadur, Tahader Katha, Charachar and Uttara.[9]


Feature films[edit]

Documentary and TV work[edit]

  • The Continent of Love (1968)
  • Dholer Raja Khirode Natta (1973)
  • Fishermen of Sundarban (1974)
  • Saratchandra (1975)
  • Rhythm of Steel (1981)
  • Indian Science Marches Ahead (1984)
  • Vigyan O Tar Avishkar (1980)
  • Story of Glass (1985)
  • India on the Move (1985)
  • Ceramics (1986)
  • Aranyak (1996)
  • Contemporary Indian Sculpture (1987)
  • History of Indian Jute (1990)


Dasgupta (second from right) inaugurating 8th Mumbai International Film Festival, at the P.L. Deshpande Auditorium in Mumbai on 3 February 2004


His youngest daughter, Alokananda Dasgupta, a trained classical pianist, composed the background score for his 2013 film, Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa.


He died at the age of 77 on 10 June 2021.[15][16]

Further reading[edit]

  • Buddhadeb Dasgupta: cinema of imprinted times, by Pradip Biswas. Aurora Film Corp., 1999
  • Films of Buddhadeb Dasgupta, by John W. Hood. Orient Blackswan, 2005. ISBN 81-250-2802-1.
  • Sen, Rahul. "Buddhadeb Dasgupta: Transformer of Dreams and Imagination" (in Bengali). Jolghori 3. 1-2 (Dec. 2020-Mar. 2021, and Apr.-Jul. 2021): 214-29.


  1. ^ a b c Merchant of Dreams: Buddhadeb Dasgupta gets lifetime achievement award at the Spain International Film Festival The Tribune, 31 May 2008.
  2. ^ Buddhadeb Dasgupta Profile Archived 7 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine at Calcuttaweb.com.
  3. ^ Hood, p. 2
  4. ^ Hood, p. 3
  5. ^ Some Alumni of Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008, p. 588.
  6. ^ Aami, Tumi, O Scottish (translated from Bengali:"Me, You, and Scottish") in 175th Year Commemoration Volume. Scottish Church College, April 2008, p. 430-1.
  7. ^ Hood, p. 14
  8. ^ Syed, M.H. (2005). Encyclopaedia of Modern Journalism and Mass Media. Anmol Publications. p. 210. ISBN 81-261-2420-2.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Buddhadeb Dasgupta Archived 1 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine Upperstall.com.
  10. ^ Filmography The New York Times.
  11. ^ "Sniffer (Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa)". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  12. ^ "46th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals.
  13. ^ "Berlinale: 1988 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  14. ^ "Berlinale: 1994 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
  15. ^ "Buddhadeb's 'Bag Bahadur' Pavan Malhotra pays a tribute to 5-time National Film Award winning auteur". connectedtoindia.com. Archived from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Buddhadeb Dasgupta, National Award-winning Bengali filmmaker, passes away aged 77 after prolonged kidney ailment". Firstpost. 10 June 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021.

External links[edit]