Lesser Known Facts About Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray had a lot of feathers in his cap. Ray was an Indian film director, Screenwriter, Author, Music composer, Lyricist, Graphic designer, and illustrator.  Born on May 2, 1921, in Kolkata, Satyajit Ray passed away in 1992 on April 23. Here are a few facts about him that you probably did not know.

  • Ray designed book covers for Signet Press. Some of his notable covers include the ones for Jim Corbett’s classic Man-Eaters of Kumaon and Jawaharlal Nehru’s Discovery of India.

  •  He combined Indian motifs and calligraphy created four Roman fonts, with two bearing his name, Ray Roman and Ray Bizarre. Others included Daphnis and Holiday Script.

Satyajit Ray's Typography and Identity work - Ray Roman Font ...

  • With Pather Panchali, Ray, besides making his debut, was also the first person to use a teaser advertising campaign before it hit the theatres.

  • Pather Panchali won him eleven international prizes, including the inaugural Best Human Document award at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival.


  •  In 1961, he revived and published the Bengali children’s magazine Sandesh, which was founded by his grandfather Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury.

  • Ray received an honorary doctorate from Oxford—only the second film director to be so honored so, at the time, after his hero Chaplin.

  • Satyajit Ray directed 36 films in his lifetime, which included feature films, documentaries, and shorts.

  • Satyajit Ray mastered his skills as a fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, calligrapher, music composer, graphic designer, and film critic.

  • In his lifetime, Satyajit Ray won the National Award for the Best Director six times, which is the most by any filmmaker so far. In total, he won 32 National Awards by the Government of India.

  • Satyajit Ray received an Honorary Academy Award in 1992, becoming the first Indian to receive an Honorary Oscars. He received the Award for Lifetime Achievement.




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