One of the youngest directors of Bengali cinema, Sandip Ray was born of Satyajit Ray and Bijoya Ray on September 8, 1953. He almost grew up on father Satyajit Ray’s sets, beginning as a still photographer while still in school. Sandip started off by assisting his father on Shatranj Ke Khiladi (The Chess Players) in 1977. Earlier he had worked with Ray as a production photographer in a few projects. Ray went on to praise Sandip saying that he was "the best assistant that I have ever had". His own directorial debut was in the year 1983, with the classical children’s fiction, Phatik Chand, which told the endearing story of a child kidnapped from his home and his adventures after he loses his memory in an accident. The film went on to receive an award at the International Children's Film Festival in Vancouver.
This was followed by two televised serials (in 15 episodes) based mostly on stories by his father and the filming of Goopy Bagha Phire Elo (The Return of Goopy and Bagha 1991), a sequel to the delightful children's film by Ray, Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne.
Incidentally it was from the legacy of Feluda, the fictional private detective created by Ray and immortalised by actor Soumitra Chattopadhyay as the on-screen avatar, that Sandip Ray experienced true commercial success. His Bombayer Bombete and the other Feluda films that followed had a certain cinematic dynamism about them, creating a different ‘Feluda’ in starkly different times, yet retaining the original experience intact.
Ray on Sandip
“… Sandip is handicapped by the additional weight of being my son. His latest work – The Return of Goopy & Bagha is cent percent his own work. Only the plot and a few songs were mine. But the direction, the photography, the script were all Sandip's. In his handling of the camera, he is a master. His skill is better than mine. The bravura work of his cinematography is incomparable...” said Satyajit Ray in his interview given on 4 January, 1992, to Tim McGrick of The Independent, London.
Phatikchand (Phatik and the Juggler), 1983 (Best feature film, Vancouver International Film Festival 1984)
Goopy Bagha Phire Elo (The Return of Goopy and Bagha), 1991 (Akira Kurosawa Award, San Fransisco International Film Festival 1992)
Uttaran (The Broken Journey), 1993 (Glauber Rocha Award as the best political film, Chili 1994)
Target, 1995 (The best film of the festival according to the viewers' opinion in Sydney International Film Festival 1996)
Bombaier Bombete (Bandits from Bombay), 2003
Nishijapan (After the Night… Dawn), 2005
Kailase Kelenkari (Trouble at Kailas), 2007
Tintorettor Jishu (Jesus by Tintoretto), 2008
Gorosthane Saabdhan (Beware at Graveyard), 2010
Television Films, Short Features and Documentaries
Trailer for Shatranj Ki Khilari (Trailer for Satyajit Ray's The Chess Players ), 1977
Satyajit Ray Presents (13 short films), 1985-86
Satyajit Ray Presents II (Three short films), 1986-87
Kishore Kumar, Documentary on the legendary singer, 1988
Feluda 30 (Five short films), 1996-97
Satyajiter Gappo (Ray Stories), Four short films, 1999
Dr. Munshir Diary (Dr. Munshi's Diary), 2000
Satyajiter Priyo Galpo (Ray's Favourite Stories), seven short films, 2001
Eker Pithe Dui (2 Upon 1), 12 short films, 2001
Mayar Khela, based on a dance-drama (Opera) by Rabindranath Tagore, 2002
Book on Sandip Ray
Sandip Ray: Take one by Pradip Biswas. Published by author in December 2002