B N Sircar

1901 - 1980

The Journey

A short and crisp look at the career of B N Sircar

Birth: Birendra Nath Sircar, the second son of Sir N.N. Sircar, the Advocate General of undivided Bengal, and a member of the Viceroy's Council, was born on 5th July 1901, Bhagalpur.

Education: Armed with a degree in Civil Engineering, from London University, he began life as a contractor. It was while supervising the building of a cinema theatre that he became interested in films.

Early Career: So facinated was he, that he went ahead to construct his own cinema, 'Chitra,' in December 1930. Sircar built a second theatre in Central Calcutta which he named 'New Cinema' where Hindi Films were exclusively screened, meanwhile Chitra remained reserved for Bengali movies.

New Theatres: B.N. Sircar floated a production concern around the same time, International Film Craft, and under this banner he produced two silent films, Chashar Meye and Chor Kanta. He founded his own studio at Tollygunj called New Theatres Ltd., in 1931. Its first film was a Bengali talkie, Dena Paona released in 1931.

Success: B.N. Sircar presided over the fortunes of New Theatres for 24 years, producing more than 150 films in various languages. Puran Bhagat, Yahudi Ki Ladki, Chandidas, Devdas, Dhoop Chaon, Mukti, Vidhyapati, Street Singer, Badi Didi and Presient were the notable Hindi Versions of the bi-linguals which were also made in Bengali. Bakul (1955) was his last film.

Success: New Theatres introduced personalities of the stature of P.C. Barua, Bimal Roy, Debaki Bose, Phani Majumdar, Timir Baran, Nitin Bose, K L Saigal, Pankaj Mullick, to name a few.. Among his technical achievements were the bringing of sound to Calcutta for Bengali films, and the introduction of the playback system. The elephant logo of New Theatres acted as a magnet to draw crowds throughout the country.

Comeback: B.N. Sircar held various responsible positions in several important film bodies set up by the Govt. as well as the industry. Sircar was also associated with the Government of India Film Enquiry Committee in 1949 and honoured with Padmabhushan in 1971 by Government of India.

Last Days: B.N. Sircar, was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1971. He died on 28th November 1980

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