Asit Bandopadhyay

Asit Bandopadhyay

Asit Bandopadhyay (or Banerjee) is a well-known Bengali Indian dramatist, scriptwriter and poet. He is associated with the Nandikar theater group. He lives and works in Kolkata, India.

Early life

He developed an abiding interest in drama as a student in Kolkata's Manindra Chandra College, an affiliated undergraduate college of the University of Calcutta, in 1955. He joined the drama group Bohurupee as a trainee in 1959 and after completing a year’s course under the tutelage of the renowned thespian Sambhu Mitra. Along with dramatist Ajitesh Banerjee, Dipen Sen Gupta, Satyen Mitra, Sri Bandopadhyay co-founded the theatrical organization, Nandikar on June 29, 1960.

Early career

Although he joined Government service in 1960, Asit Banerjee appeared in almost all the Nandikar plays, such as Natyakarer Sandhane (In Search of a Dramatist), Sher Afghan, Manjari Amer Manjari (My Bouquet of Flowers), Jakhan Eka (When Alone), Bitangsha and Tin Paishar Pala (The Three Penny Opera), until he was transferred to Siliguri in 1972. During this time, he also directed the plays, Parineeta and Purbarag for Nandikar. In Siliguri, he joined the local theater group Mitra Sammilani, as actor and director. This group staged Bitangsha, Kabikahini (Story of a poet), Ek Je Chillo Ghora (There was one such Horse) and Suryabadal (The Eclipse, which was written by himself). He also toured Calcutta with the Siliguri team.

Career as a renowned dramatist

Since 1978, he has been an eminent and successful writer and director of Jatra plays (folk-plays).He was awarded Government of West Bengal award twice for Best Director, for the years 1984 and 1998 respectively. In recognition of his directorial and writing abilities, he has been conferred with the Dishari Award, Pramathesh Chandra Barua Award, and the Uttam Kumar Award among others. He has written, directed and staged about 40 plays, which have been performed all over West Bengal which include Daini (Witch), Pagla Raja (Mad King), Kalo Meyer Kanna (Cry of the Black Girl), Hira Jhiler Kanna, Bilwamangal, Kumari Janani (The Unwed Mother), Banik Badir Bou (The Daughter-in-law of the Merchants), etc.

In films

In his film career, he is deeply indebted to filmmaker Mrinal Sen. He played attractive roles in Sen’s Calcutta-71 , Mrigayaa, Mahaprithivi and Chorus for which he has awarded the Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards for the best supporting actor. He has also enacted some important roles in Nabyendu Chatterjee’s National Award winning films Parashuramer Kuthar, Atmaja and Shilpi and Chidananda Dasgupta’s Amodini. He has also written scripts for Bengali films.

As an enlisted and established actor of Doordarshan Kendra Kolkata and All India Radio, he has acted and written scripts for radio and television serials . He is presently the chairman of a public charitable trust called Inner Voyage Communication.

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