Mrinal Sen

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Mrinal Sen
Born(1923-05-14)14 May 1923
Died30 December 2018(2018-12-30) (aged 95)[citation needed]
Alma materUniversity of Calcutta
Years active1955–2002
Gita Sen
(m. 1952; died 2017)
AwardsPadma Bhushan (1983)
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1985)
Order of Friendship (2000)
Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2003)
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
27 August 1997 – 26 August 2003

Mrinal Sen (Bengali: মৃণাল সেন; 14 May 1923 – 30 December 2018) was an Indian film director, and screenwriter known for his work primarily in Bengali, and few Hindi and Telugu language films. Regarded as one of the finest Indian filmmakers, along with his contemporaries Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, and Tapan Sinha, Sen played major role in the New Wave cinema of eastern India.[1]

Sen has received various national and international honors including eighteen Indian National Film Awards. The Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan, and the Government of France honored him with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, while Russian Government honored him with the Order of Friendship. Sen was also awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award for filmmakers in India.[2]

He was one of the few Indian filmmakers having won awards at the big three film festivals viz., Cannes, Venice and the Berlinale.[1][3] Sen was a self described "private Marxist".[4]


He directed Bhuvan Shome (Mr. Shome, 1969) which initiated the "New Wave Cinema Movement" in India.[5]

Film craft, Social context and its political influence[edit]

The films that he made next were essentially political, and earned him the reputation as a Marxist artist.[6] This was also the time of large-scale political unrest throughout India. Particularly in and around Calcutta, this period underwent what is now known as the Naxalite movement. This phase was immediately followed by a series of films where he shifted his focus, and instead of looking for enemies outside, he looked for the enemy within his own middle class society. This was arguably his most creative phase.

Depiction of Kolkata[edit]

In many Mrinal Sen movies from Punascha (1961) to Mahaprithivi (1992), Kolkata features prominently. He has shown Kolkata as a character, and as an inspiration. He has beautifully woven the people, value system, class difference and the roads of the city into his movies and coming of age for Kolkata, his El-Dorado.[citation needed]


In 1982 he was a member of the jury at the 32nd Berlin International Film Festival.[7] In 1983 he was a member of the jury at the 13th Moscow International Film Festival.[8] In 1997 Sen became the member of the jury at the 20th Moscow International Film Festival.[9] On 24 July 2012, Sen was not invited to the function organised by West Bengal government to felicitate film personalities from the State. As per reports, his political views are believed to be the reason for his omission from the function.[10]


Sen had had age-related ailments for many years. He died on 30 December 2018 at the age of 95 at his home in Bhawanipore, Kolkata.[11] The cause was a heart attack.[12]


National Film Awards[edit]

Best Feature Film

Second Best Feature Film

Best Direction

Best Screenplay

Special Mention

  • 1978: Parashuram

Best Regional Film Awards[edit]

Best Feature Film in Bengali

Best Feature Film in Telugu

Filmfare Awards[edit]

Critics Award for Best Film
1976 Mrigayaa
Best Screenplay
1984 Khandhar
Best Director - Bengali
1982 Akaler Shandhaney
Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
2017 Bengali Cinema

International awards[edit]

4th International Film Festival of India - Jury Prize - Bhuvan Shome - 1969[13]
Moscow International Film Festival - Silver Prize – Parashuram[14]
1975 Chorus[15] – 1979
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
1977 Oka Oori Katha
Berlin International Film Festival
Interfilm Award
1979 Parashuram
1981 Akaler Sandhane
Grand Jury Prize[16]
1981 Akaler Sandhane
Cannes Film Festival - Jury Prize
1983 Kharij
Valladolid International Film Festival - Golden Spike
1983 Kharij
Chicago International Film Festival - Gold Hugo
1984 Khandhar
Montreal World Film Festival - Special Prize of the Jury
1984 Khandhar
Venice Film Festival - OCIC Award - Honorable Mention
1989 Ek Din Achanak
Cairo International Film Festival - Silver Pyramid for Best Director
2002 Aamar Bhuban

State and institutional honors[edit]




  1. ^ a b "Memories from Mrinalda". Rediff. 1 February 2005. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Mrinal SEN - Festival de Cannes 2021". Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Mrinal SEN - Festival de Cannes 2021". Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  4. ^ Tuhina Mondol (31 December 2018). "Mrinal Sen — the 'accidental filmmaker'". The Statesman. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  5. ^ Vasudev, Aruna (1986). The New Indian Cinema. Macmillan India. ISBN 0-333-90928-3.
  6. ^ Thorval, Yves (2000). Cinemas of India. Macmillan India. pp. 280–282. ISBN 0-333-93410-5.
  7. ^ "Berlinale 1982: Juries". Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  8. ^ "13th Moscow International Film Festival (1983)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  9. ^ "20th Moscow International Film Festival (1997)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 22 March 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Omission of Mrinal Sen from West Bengal film awards triggers controversy". 25 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Bengali filmmaker Mrinal Sen dies at 95". 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Mrinal Sen, legendary filmmaker and Phalke awardee, passes away at 95". Indian Express. 30 December 2018. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  13. ^ "4th IFFI".
  14. ^ "11th Moscow International Film Festival (1979)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  15. ^ "9th Moscow International Film Festival (1975)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Berlinale 1981: Prize Winners". Retrieved 22 August 2010.
  17. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  18. ^ The International Who's Who 2004
  19. ^ Stellar Publishers
  20. ^ "51st National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Annual Convocation". University of Calcutta. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012.
  22. ^ "Academy invites record 774 new members; 39 percent female, 30 percent people color". Hollywood Reporter. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2017.

External links[edit]