Diptendu Pramanick

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Diptendu Pramanick
Diptendu Pramanick
Born 18 July 1910
Died December 15, 1989(1989-12-15) (aged 79)
Residence New Alipore, Kolkata
Nationality Indian
Years active 1931-1976
Home town Shantipur
Children Subrata Pramanick & Eva Kundu
Parent(s) Swarnabala & Sudhamoy Pramanick

Diptendu Pramanick (July 1910 – Dec 1989) (Bengali: দীপ্তেন্দু প্রামাণিক) was a Bengali film personality from Calcutta. He was the founder secretary of the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association [1] in Calcutta, India - a fraternity of film personnel which is an interface between the entertainment industry of eastern India and the Government. During his multifarious career he came in contact with eminent personalities and saw the evolution of this organization from its initial days to being a regionwide entity.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born on 18 July 1910 in Calcutta. He was the eldest son of Sudhamoy Pramanick from Shantipur. He did his early schooling in Calcutta and then at the Raiganj Coronation School, Raiganj where his father practised as a lawyer.

In 1926 he returned to Calcutta and cleared Matriculation followed by the Intermediate examinations in Science in 1928. He then joined the Scottish Church College, Calcutta.

His interactions with many a revolutionary (due to his father's involvement with the Congress and the Satyagraha movement at Raigunj), the explosive air of the times, and the inspiration from a famous alumni (The Oaten Affair - Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose assaulted Prof Oaten due to the latter's derogatory comment on Indians ) [2] probably drove him to antagonize an Indian-loathing teacher at Scottish Church College, and follow Bose's suit.

He later graduated from Asutosh College, and earned a bachelor's degree in science from the University of Calcutta in 1931.


1931 - 1948

Diptendu Pramanick in the reception committee of the 12th Prabasi Banga Sahitya Sammelan, Calcutta, in December 1934 (standing fifth from left)

After leaving college, he worked as the Secretary to the then Mayor of Calcutta Sri Santosh Kumar Basu.[3] Out of his literary inclinations, he associated with literary conferences and Bengali literature fora.[4] The 12th Prabasi Banga-Sahitya Sammelan was inaugurated by Rabindranath Tagore in Calcutta, December 1934 (Photo : The Reception Committee was chaired by Ramananda Chatterjee).

On completion of Mr Basu's term as Mayor, he became the Liaison Officer of Civil Defense and in the Publicity Section of the Commercial Museum. In 1942, he moved to the Home Department of the then Bengal Government as Liaison Officer, Civil Defense. The concept of Civil Defence owes its origin to erstwhile ARP Organisation raised and operated during World War II (1939–45) to safeguard the life and property of the civilian population and train the citizens to handle war time crisis.

At this time, Japan had overrun Burma and the threat of bombing was looming large on Calcutta. Eventually Japanese aircraft bombed Budge Budge (south of Calcutta). A Bengali folk rhyme [5] captures this World War II event:

Sa-re-ga-ma-pa-dha-ni [Do re me fa so la ti]
Bom(b) phelechhe Japani, the Japanese have dropped a bomb
Bomer modhye keute shap There is a cobra in the bombs
British bole bapre-bap. The British shout, (in awe and fear)

The bombing led to widespread panic - over a million people fled from the city and there was a huge pressure on civic authorities to control the situation. Indian Civil Defence Department expanded at a rapid pace to counter these threats and planned lighting restrictions, medical platoons, fire-fighting and rescue units.[6] At the end of the war, the department was wound down starting 1947.

Subsequently, he tested his skills of entrepreneurship through a venture (Cine Furnishers Limited) with a couple of friends . It is here that he came in close contact with people of the Bengali film industry of Kolkata.

Diptendu Pramanick - formal foto


Enthused with these contacts, he joined an association of producers, distributors and exhibitors of Bengal (Bengal Motion Pictures Association) in 1948 as Secretary [7][8] while Sri B. N. Sircar was the President. Next year he started the BMPA journal[9][10] and was the editor [11][12] for more than two decades.[13][14][15] The Association was working on a rented premises at 125, Dharamtolla Street (now Lenin Sarani) which was moved to 2, Madan Street, Calcutta. The association grew under his leadership and moved into 98E Chowringhee Square (now 98E B.N. Sircar Sarani – EIMPA house - its present location ).

He was the first secretary of the then expanded Eastern India Motion Picture Association (EIMPA) and was instrumental in opening the EIMPA offices in Patna and Guwahati.[16] In this period the uncertainties of war led to severe shortage of raw film stock in the country. A Film Advisory Committee was formed under the Government of India, and was given control of raw film stock distribution.[17] EIMPA played an important role as a trade representative, negotiating materials for the film industry of eastern India and much of Diptendu's efforts were directed for the same. During his tenure he also served as the Secretary of Film Federation of India (1953–1954) [18] and the Jt. Treasurer of the Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI) (1959) presided by Satyajit Ray.[19][20][21][22]

First International Film Festival of India (IFFI), 1952[edit]

Diptendu Pramanick with Frank Capra, latter deluged with garlands at the Dum Dum airport, Calcutta in 1952
With Frank Capra in 1952, Diptendu Pramanick - 2nd from left

The Films Division of the Government of India sponsored and organized the First International Film Festival of India in 1952. BMPA played a pivotal role in organizing the festival in Calcutta. Frank Capra, the famous American director flew in [23] and was overwhelmed by the reception he got at Calcutta after visiting Bombay and Delhi. In his autobiography he wrote

This rare picture depicts his welcoming at the Dum Dum Airport as in his autobiography, with the who's who of Calcutta Filmdom.

First film seminar, 1955[edit]

Sangeet Natak Akademi convened the first film seminar at Delhi and it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.[25] Prominent film personality attended this seminar [26]

President's invitation card
Invitation to meet the President - Dr Rajendra Prasad at his residence
PM's invitation card
Invitation from the Prime Minister, Pandit Nehru to meet at his residence

Twilight years[edit]

In the early 1970s, he was still getting nominated to committees [16][27] - representing the Cinema trade for their infrastructural and legal issues, including the significant 1973-74 Parliamentary Estimates Committee.[28] The elaborate report by the 1973 Committee raised issues about institutional finances, cess based state funding of cinema, creating a generation of ‘low-budget’ stars to counter the lopsided economics of a star-heavy industry and censorship reforms. In that sense the report anticipated the birth of a generation of stars from the state-driven FTII in the Naseeruddin Shah and Smita Patil era.[29]

The Pramanick family[edit]

Gobindo Chandra
Sudhamoy Pramanick
Diptendu Pramanick
Asita ...
Sougata Pramanick


Children from many underprivileged families of Dahuka, a remote village in Bardhaman district, receive school books from the Diptendu Pramanick Book fund every year, during a ceremony held on the occasion of the Saraswati Puja.[30] The apex body of film distributors and producers (EIMPA) continues to help the industry facing the challenges of corporatisation, censorship, piracy and "multiplexes".[31][32][33]


  1. ^ EIMPA official website
  2. ^ Subhas Chandra Bose assaults Oaten, 1916
  3. ^ Kolkata Mayors : KMC
  4. ^ Ramananda Chatterjee:The Modern Review (Calcutta), vol 57 ; The Modern Review Office, Calcutta (1935), page 141.
  5. ^ Bengali folk rhyme
  6. ^ Drucquer, Seth (June 1942). Civil Defence in India. Calcutta: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9781406758962. 
  7. ^ Screen Year Book & Who's who 1956, Express Newspapers Ltd., Mumbai, page 374
  8. ^ V. Doraiswamy, V.N. Sharma (ed.). Asian Film Directory & Who's who. p. 255. 
  9. ^ British Film Institute guide
  10. ^ Erik Barnouw : Indian Film, Columbia University Press, New York (1963), pages 143, 206, 284.
  11. ^ Centennial Issue : Newspaper Press Directory, volume 100, Benn Brothers Ltd, London (1951), page 502
  12. ^ Ayyar, K.P.V. (1956). The Indian Press Year Book. Indian Press Publications. p. 343. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  13. ^ The Indian Press Year Book. Indian Press Publication. 1954. p. 304. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Newspaper Press Directory, vol 102. Benn Brothers Ltd, London. 1951. p. 625. 
  15. ^ Sur, Ansu (1999). Bengali film directory. Kolkata: Nandan, West Bengal Film Centre. p. vi,280. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Indian Law
  17. ^ http://www.dishumdishum.com/BollyPresentation/GLOBALIZATION.PDF
  18. ^ V. Doraiswamy, V.N. Sharma (editors), 1956 : Asian Film Directory & Who's who, Doraiswamy-Mumbai, page 53
  19. ^ http://www.premendra.info/art16.htm accessed at http://web.archive.org/web/20091124180214/http://www.premendra.info/art16.htm on 14 Jan 2012 : published in Chitralipi, Kolkata (May 2006)
  20. ^ Film Society Movement in India
  21. ^ FFSI website
  22. ^ Cherian, V K (Oct 2016). India’s Film Society Movement: The Journey and its Impact. SAGE. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  23. ^ Capra at Turner Classic Movies website
  24. ^ Frank Capra, The name above the title - an Autobiography, Vintage Books, New York, 1985, page 437
  25. ^ Film & TV guild website
  26. ^ http://www.lazydesis.com/chai-time/51698-history-indian-cinema.html
  27. ^ Report of the Enquiry Committee on Film Censorship. Government of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 1969. p. 163. 
  28. ^ Report - Estimates Committee (Volume 5, Issues 56-58 ed.). Parliament Library: Lok Sabha Secretariat. 1973. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  29. ^ RAJADHYAKSHA, ASHISH (2009). Indian Cinema in the Time of Celluloid From Bollywood to the Emergency (PDF). INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-253-22048-6. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  30. ^ 2010 Annual report of the Dr S. S. De Education Foundation (Regn# S-196221 1999-2000 : W.B.Societies Act 1961), page 5.
  31. ^ EIMPA plans Tollywood survival kit, TOI, Jan 3, 2003
  32. ^ A tryst with money, The Telegraph, June 30, 2013
  33. ^ EIMPA guidelines required for censorship, TOI, Jul 5, 2014

External links[edit]