Early Life of Mohit Chattopadhyaya
Mohit Chattopadhyaya along with his family left Bangladesh and migrated to Kolkata at the age of thirteen. In 1950 he finished his Matriculation examination and joined City College, Kolkata. While studying be became close friend with Sunil Gongopadhyay, Shibshmbhu Pal, Soumitra Chatterjee, Sandeepan Chatterjee, Shakti Chattopadhay. He earned his Masters in Bengali Literature as a private candidate from University Of Calcutta. His career in academia began as a lecturer at Jangipur College, Murshidabad and later as a Reader of Bengali Literature at City College
Career of Mohit Chattopadhyaya
The theatre magazine Gandharba published his symbolic Kanthanalite surja i.e. "Sun in the Windpipe" in 1963. But creations like Nilranger ghora i.e. 'Blue-coloured Horse' in 1966 and Chandraloke agnikanda i.e. 'Fire on the Moon' in 1967, fantasies woven out of realistic foreign drama, caught the fancy of group theatre audiences and shot into the limelight. Next came a phase of original allegorical plays such as Sinhasane kshayrog or 'Tuberculosis of the Throne' in 1967, Nishad i.e. 'Hunter' printed in 1968, Captain Hurrah in 1970, Rajrakta i.e. 'Royal Blood' in 1971. Under Bibhash Chakraborty's direction, Rajrakta made stage history as a paradigmatic protest drama in the political uncertainty of West Bengal. In later days it was translated into other languages.
In 1973 Mohit Chattopadhyaya started working on the film script of Chorus in close collaboration with Mrinal Sen. He also wrote the lyrics of the songs used in the film. In the following years he wrote the screenplays of four films by Mrinal Sen, Mrigaya in 1976, Poroshuraam in 1980, Oka Uri Katha in 1977, and Genesis in 1986. All the films received numerous awards in national and International film festivals. In 1997 he wrote the screenplay and the lyrics of the film, Damu, which received National Award for best children's film & various other awards.
In 1980 Mohit Chattopadhyaya finished his first and only directorial endeavour, Megher Khela i.e. "The Play of The Clouds". That was a children's film. He wrote the story and the screenplay. Raja Sen, an accomplished film director, was the assistant director. Ranajit Ray was the Cinematographer while Debashish Dasgupta was the Music Director and Mrinmoy Chakrobarty was in charge of editing. The film received critical acclaim. It was shown in various national and international film festivals and got honorary mention at Bucharest Children's Film Festival. Austrian National Television bought the film rights and telecast it in its National Channel. Mohit Chattopadhyaya started writing scripts for TV serial in the following years. Raja Sen directed almost all his early TV scripts. Subarnolata, Arogyonikatan, Adorsho Hindu Hotel marked one of the most popular and critically acclaimed television serials on Kolkata Doordarshan. He continued writing scripts and worked with other directors in later period.
Chattopadhyaya went out of the theatre circuit for a while, scripting screenplays for Mrinal Sen. His return was marked by an original satire, Mahakalir bachcha i.e. 'Mahakali's Child' in 1978, followed by Kanamachhir khela i.e. 'Hide and Seek' in 1983. His next efforts showed a consistent preference for dramatizations and adaptations. Ashok Mukhopadhyay in Mohit Chattopadhyaya's Mahakalir bachcha directed by Bibhash Chakraborty of which Takhan bikel or 'Then It Was Evening' in 1992, from Arbuzov's Old-fashioned Comedy proved very successful on stage. Recent original works include Mushtijog i.e. 'Quack Remedy' in 1993, Guhachitra i.e. 'Cave Paintings' in 1994, Bhut i.e. 'Ghost' in 1997, and Bipanna bismay i.e. 'Troubled Surprise' in 1999. Chattopadhyaya's later plays probe into deeper human relationships that transcend political affiliations or social class. His funny dialogue and broad spectrum, along with his preference for formal experimentation, make him the most sought-after dramatist in Kolkata
Creative Contribution of Mohit Chattopadhyaya
* Megher Khelaa (direction, Screenplay) 1980 [Awarded in Bucharest Children's Film Festival, Shown in Austria National Television]
* Chorus (Co scripted with Mrinal Sen, Lyrics)
* Mrigaya (Co scripted with Mrinal Sen)
* Poroshuraam (Story & Co scripted with Mrinal Sen)
* Oka Uri Katha (Co scripted with Mrinal Sen)
* Genesis (Co scripted with Mrinal Sen)
* Damu (Screenplay & Lyrics)
Screenplays for Television Series (Tele-serials)
Subranalata, Adarsha Hindu Hotel, Arogya Niketan, Bankim Sahitye Naari, Headmaster, Anjuman, Tarashankarer Chhoto Galpo, Streeyascharitram, Jal Pade Apta Nade, Chena Achena
Itihasher Kolkata and Suchitra Mitra (1993) [National Award for the best film in the Art and Cultural Section]
* Ashare Srabon
* Golaaper Birudhe Joodhyo
* Shobadhare Jyotsna
* Onkon Shikhya
* Bhalobasha Bhalobasha
* Kobita Sangroho
Awards Received by Mohit Chattopadhyaya
Mohit Chattopadhyay received the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1991. Among other awards he is the recipient of Girish Award, West Bengal State Award, BFJA Award, Nandikaar Award.
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