‘Deep Focus’ was the first event organised by the newly formed Cine-Club of Brainware University that started its journey on 19th April, 2019. Under the able supervision of Mrs. Susmita Dey, Convenor, Cine-Club and Assistant Professor of the Department of Multimedia, the event was a tribute to the memory of one of modern Bengal’s pride, the Oscar-winning film director, Sri Satyajit Ray, on the occasion of his 98th birth anniversary on 2nd May.
Ray belonged to an illustrious family that was populated by acclaimed artists—poets, illustrators, musicians and the like. All these factors were instrumental in developing Satyajit Ray’s future right from his childhood. Being a very perceptive young boy, Satyajit soaked in all that he visualised and formed his own notions of aesthetics that found later expression through his cinematography. His keen sense of irony and sarcasm was a direct derivative of his father, Sukumar Ray, who was the one and only practitioner of nonsense verse in Bengali at that time.
Ray’s oeuvre include such path-breaking and iconoclastic movies as the Apu Trilogy, the Feluda series, the first two parts of the Goopy–Bagha trilogy and numerous others. A lifetime of dedication to cinema as an art-form was the reason that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, America, decided to honour him with the Oscar Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1991.
As a small gesture of remembering this legendary son of the Bengal, the Cine-Club organised an inter-institutional short-film competition titled ‘Before You Judge’. In this 72-hour film-making challenge, a total of forty films were uploaded to be reviewed by the Judges, Ashoke Viswanathan (Professor and Head of Department of Producing For Film and TV specialisation at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and an occasional lecturer at Jadavpur University, winner of Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director, 1993, for Shunya Theke Shuru and the National Film Award – Special Jury Award, 1998, for Kichhhu Sanlap Kichhu Pralap) and Manas Bhattacharya (Cinematographer, Editor and Colorist having 13 years of work experience ,the most recent being Bosuporibar).
The Chief Guest at the event was legendary filmmaker, Soumendu Roy. Beginning his career as a handler of trolleys and lighting in early Ray films, Roy went on to work in 21 of Ray's films including 15 features, the Golden Bear-winning, Ashani Sanket (1973) and Aranyer Din Ratri (1969). He also worked with directors, Tapan Sinha, Tarun Majumdar, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and MS Sathyu. In his long and illustrious career he won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography thrice and the Best Non-Feature Film Cinematography Award for the documentary film, Suchitra Mitra, directed by Raja Sen, in 1993.
In 2006, a 30-minute documentary on him, "Portrait of a Cinematographer", was screened at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, directed by Papia Roy, and subsequently, Soumendu Ray, another documentary by Arindam Saha Sardar. Presently, he serves as Advisor to the Cinematography Department of "ROOPKALA KENDRO", an Indo-Italian film institute under the Ministry of Information and Cultural, Govt. of West Bengal.
Out of the forty entries, only five entries were selected for awards under five categories, after a rigorous evaluation process. The winners were:
BEST STORY – Serial Killer (Team: Bluewave Entertainment)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Natuke Biday (Team: Mysterious Five)
Deep Focus 1st Runner up – Cencorious (Team: Picturewale Entertainment)
Deep Focus 2nd Runner up – Prejudice (Team: Pandavas)
Deep Focus Best Film – Natuke Biday (Team: Mysterious Five)