Mrinal Sen was born in 1923 in Faridpur (now in Bangladesh). He studied with Physics major from Scottish Church College in Calcutta University. In his young age, Sen got interested in Marxist philosophy. He was used to write film reviews. In 1943, he joined Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA). His interest in film surfaced when he came across a book titled ‘Film’ written by Rudolf Arnheim. His films were influenced by leftist idealism and mostly focused on the social and political crisis of middle class. Mrinal Sen made his first film Raat Bhor in 1956. His second movie Neel Akasher Nichey (Under The Blue Sky) was banned by Government for two months in 1958.
He directed Baisey Sravan (A wedding day) in 1960 which was a love story ending in famine. In 1956, he made Akash Kusum (The Daydream). His most remarkable films include Ekdin Pratidin(1979) and Kharij(1982) where Sen depicted the complexity of middle class urban life. In 1980, he directed Akaler Sandhaney (In Search of Famine). The political unrest in Calcutta was portrayed in his movies like, Interview, Calcutta 71, Padatik. He made movies in other Indian languages such as Oriya, Telegu and Hindi. He adapted films from stories of contemporary Bengali writers such as Achintya Kumar Sengupta, Banaphool, Premendra Mitra, Prabodh Sanyal, Subodh Ghosh, Manik Bandopadhyay, Samaresh Basu, Ramapada Choudhury. He also adapted stories of Mahadevi Verma, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, Premchand and Sadat Hasan Manto. His films remained as milestones of Indian cinema and received critical acclaim internationally.
Sen made over 38 feature films, 4 documentaries, one television film and one 13-episode television serial. His feature films have fetched him 16 national and 15 international awards and prizes and along with it much admiration at home and abroad. He has received many awards throughout his life including Padma Bhushan, Commandeur de Ordre des Art et Letters from France, Soviet Land award, Dadasaheb Phalke award. Sen has served chairmanship of juries in innumerable international film festivals and film institutes.