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Uh Oh! International Film Festival of India Confuses Satyajit Ray with Gulzar

Royal faux pas: IFFI website used Gulzar's image to talk about Satyajit Ray  Image credit: IFFI/News18

Royal faux pas: IFFI website used Gulzar's image to talk about Satyajit Ray Image credit: IFFI/News18

One of the films to be screened at the week-long festival is the 1989 Bengali classic Ganashatru directed by Ray starring Soumitra Chatterjee.

Satyajit Ray is one of the greatest filmmakers India has ever produced. Gulzar is one of the most loved lyricists in the country. And while fans of one are usually fans of the other, the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) website seems to have mixed up the two famous personalities ahead of the 50th edition of the festival.

The ongoing annual festival which has been taking place since November 20th in Goa is one of the most illustrious film festivals in Asia, inaugurated in 1952 by then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in Delhi. In its 50th edition, the festival boasts of films by several prominent international filmmakers.

Since no celebration of Indian films can be complete without referring to the works of Satyajit Ray, who became the first Indian ever to receive an honourary Oscar in 1992 and whose films served as a benchmark for Indian New Wave cinema, IFFI's 50th edition naturally features several films by the filmmaker.

One of the films to be screened at the week-long festival is the 1989 Bengali classic Ganashatru directed by Ray starring Soumitra Chatterjee. The film was adapted from a play written by Henrik Ibsen, the Norwegian play-write and intellectual often regarded as one of the founders of Modernism in theatre.

The official IFFI website which has a catalogue of all the films being screened mentioned Ganashatru and included the name of the director, editor, screenplay-writer and other people involved in the making of the film. However, the organisers seem to have mixed up Ray with lyricist Gulzar. The photo provided at the bottom of the listing to serve as a bio for the director had Gulzar's photo instead of Ray's.

Sampooran Singh Kalra aka Gulzar, 85, has given his words to several memorable poems and Bollywood songs. While both Gulzar and Ray can be considered doyens of the Indian film industry, for a prestigious international film festival to mix up the two might just be more than a little embarrassing.