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Sudhendu Roy


Sudhendu Roy (1921–1999) was a noted Indian film director, art director, and production designer in Hindi cinema, most known for his realistic art direction in auteur Bimal Roy's films, like Sujata (1959), Madhumati (1959) and Bandini (1963), and glitzy work in films Subhash Ghai's Karz (1980) and Karma (1986) to Yash Chopra's Silsila (1981), Chandni (1989) and Lamhe (1991). He won the Filmfare Award for Best Art Direction thrice for, Madhumati (1959), Mere Mehboob (1964), and Sagina (1975).

He also directed Hindi films like Uphaar (1971) and Saudagar (1973), both of which was India's official entry to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Sudhendu Roy was born and brought up in Pabna (now in Bangladesh), where his father Puranchandra Roy was a lawyer by profession from eastern Bengal, who was also a writer and even took part in the freedom movement, and wanted his son to study law, young Roy had other plans, so he took his admission fees to join a law college in Kolkata, and ran away from home, never to go back.

A self-taught man, he started his career as a commercial artist. He struggled for some years, and later joined Bengali cinema in Kolkata as an art director. After meeting, Parimal Roy, brother and cameraman of film director, Bimal Roy, he did Anjangarh (1948) produced by New Theatres and directed by Bimal Roy. The film was a commercial success and thus started a collaboration that lasted the rest of Bimal Roy's film career. In the following years, he worked with directors like Tapan Sinha and Hiten Choudhary. Finally, Bimal Roy left Kolkata in the early 1950s and shifted to Hindi cinema, he too shifted base to Mumbai as a part of his team, making his debut in Hindi cinema with Biraj Bahu (1954), Madhumati (1958), Yahudi (1958), Sujata (1959) and Bandini (1963), after this Bimal Roy died in 1966, though made a small film Benazir (1964).

While working in the film industry, he befriended noted art director Ganesh Basak, who worked on Bimal Roy's films, Do Bigha Zameen (1953) and Nagina (1986). Later Roy married his sister Krishna. Out of their three children, his youngest daughter, Sharmishta Roy is also an art director in Hindi cinema, and assisted him in her early career, before starting independently, receiving Filmfare Award for Dil To Pagal Hai (1998), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1999), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2002). and the National Film Award for Best Production Design for Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (2003). His son Krishnendu runs an animation studio, and one daughter, Sumona, lives in Canada.