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Welcome to Epitaph for D’s Art Takes. Here we present the creative legacies of influential people, who are no longer among us. Today we invite you to take a look at the life of the Indian film director and screenwriter, Basu Chatterjee.

Basu Chatterjee was born in 1927 in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India. Young Chatterjee arrived in Bombay as an artist. He would earn his living by making sketches and cartoons for various publications. Especially including Blitz, which was published by Russi Karanjia. But the city of dreams had other plans for this creative mind. And after spending more than a decade as an artist, Chatterjee entered the world of Bollywood, as a film maker.

Making Movies : Basu Chatterjee

Chatterjee’s first project came as an assistant to Basu Bhattacharya. The duo worked together on Teesri Kasam, which hit theatres in 1966. The film starred the iconic Raj Kapoor opposite the beloved Waheeda Rehman. Needless to say, the movie was a blockbuster. It won the National Award for the Best Feature Film that year. A few years later, Chatterjee made his formal directorial debut with Sara Akash (1969). The film did very well. And Chatterjee won a Filmfare award for Best Screenplay.

Chatterjee’s other important films include Chhoti Si Baat (1975), Jeena Yahan (1979), Apne Paraye (1980) and Shaukeen. He also did several films in Bengali. And directed a few television series for Doordarshan.

Basu Chatterjee was the recipient of several awards and honours during his life. In 2007, he received the IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award. He won several Filmfares – for the Best Screenplay category in 1991, 1976, 1977 and 1972. And for Best Movie in 1975 and 1980. He also won the National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare in 1992 for Durga.

Chatterjee died in 2020.

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