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Mrinal Sen is a Bengali filmmaker and aseminal figure, along with Ritwik Ghatak and other directors, in the Indian New Wave or “Parallel Cinema” movement, a counterpoint to the Bollywood industry.

His films contain biting criticism of inequality and the mores of Indian middle-class society, and take an overt political Marxist position, all the while experimenting with cinematic form. He first gained recognition as a director with Under the Blue Sky (1958). Sen’s feature film In Search of Famine (1980) depicts the story of a film crew that comes to a village to make a film about the 1943 famine. The timelines interweave, producing a strange vision of the future. His numerous awards include: Dadasaheb Phalke Award, 2005; Honorable Mention, Venice Film Festival, Venice, 1989; Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, 1983; Silver Bear, Berlin International Film Festival, 1981; and the Moscow International Film Festival Award, 1975 and 1979; among others. Sen lives and works in Kolkata.