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Pather Panchali was the first film I saw: Shahani

Kolkata: Filmmaker Kumar Shahani shared his views on cinema with cinephiles during the Satyajit Ray Lecture on 'Future of the Individual' at Sisir Mancha on Monday.

"The first film that I saw was Satyajit Ray's first film, Pather Panchali. That time I was in school. I didn't have any idea about cinema at that time. I liked it very much. I respect Satyajit Ray," said Shahani, during the ongoing 25th Kolkata International Film Festival at Nandan.

Pather Panchali, a 1955 Indian Bengali-language drama film written and directed by Ray, was produced by the Bengal government. The film had won many national and international awards. At India's 3rd National Film Awards in 1955, it was named Best Feature Film and Best Bengali Feature Film.

"I think probably the Bengali intellectual knows better than most people on earth, because it wasn't India but Bengal which was the jewel in the crown, where education was introduced. However, even when Bengal entered the post-modern age, it did not lose contact with the Vedic age," said Shahani, a student of noted Bengali filmmaker and script writer Ritwik Ghatak at the Film and Television Institute of India.

He reiterated that inclusion of sound in cinema paved way for its subsequent popularity. While the first known public exhibition of projected audible films took place in Paris in 1900, decades passed before audible motion pictures were made commercially practical.

Innovations in sound-in-film led to the first commercial screening of short motion pictures using the technology, which took place in 1923.

Commercialisation of audible cinema took place in the mid to late 1920s. It might be mentioned that the first feature film originally presented as a talkie was The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927.

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