Premankur Atorthy

From FAMEPedia, The free encyclopedia

Premankur Atorthy (1890–1964) was a novelist, journalist, and film director, born in Faridpur. He was involved in Hindi and Bengali cinema.[1]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Atorthy's initial schooling started at Brahmo School, Kolkata. He then studied variously at Duff School, Keshab Academy, City School and Brahma Boys Boarding and Day School, which were then under the University of Calcutta. His father, Mahesh Chandra Atorthy, was a propagator and writer of the Brahma Samaj.

Atorthy was imaginative and fond of adventure from boyhood. Failing to do well in his studies, he ran away to Bombay. At Bombay he learnt to play the sitar under Ustad Karamatullah. Returning to Kolkata, he started working at a sports goods shop in Chowringee. Subsequently, he worked for the Baikali, Yadughar, Hindustan, Bharatvarsha, Sangkalpa, Nachghar and Bharati.

Works[edit | edit source]

He was a noted novelist and playwright, author of many books including compilations of short stories, essays (e.g. on silent film, cf. Atorthy, 1990) and plays. His best- known literary work was Mahasthavir Jatak (1944), a fictional autobiography in four volumes noted for its irreverent portrayal of Calcutta's early 20th-century élites. Among his other novels are Anarkali (1925), Bajikar (1922), Achalpather Jatri (1923), Chasir Meye (1924), Dui Ratri (1927) and Takht Taus. Associated with literary journal Bharati, he edited Nachghar, one of the first performing arts journals to take film seriously, with Hemendra Kumar Roy and film- maker Pashupati Chatterjee.

He founded Betar Jagat, the journal of the AIR, Calcutta (1929). He started as scenarist and actor, using the pseudonym Krishna Haldar, at Indian Kinema Arts (Punarjanma, 1927; Chasher Meye, 1931). He remade Punarjanma in 1932. He joined B. N. Sircar's International Filmcraft as writer and assistant to Prafulla Roy (Chasher Meye is based on Atorthy's novel and script). He also scripted Nitin Bose's Buker Bojha (1930).

Premankur entered the cinema world with a role in the Bangla film Punarjanma. His first directed film, Dena Paona, was New Theatres' first talkie, made in direct competition with Madan Theatres' Jamai Sasthi (1931). He made several Urdu films as part of New Theatres' effort to enter the North Indian market, including the classic film of Agha Hashar Kashmiri's play Misar Kumari to Yahudi Ki Ladki (1933). His film versions of literary classics, e.g. from Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (Dena Paona), Rabindranath Tagore (Chirakumar Sabha) and Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay (Kapal Kundala), established the élite literary film genre intended to distinguish New Theatres' films from routine stage adaptations and remained important signifiers of high art in Bengali cinema. First Bengali film-maker to work in Western India, e.g. for Kolhapur Cinetone (1935) and for Imperial (1936). Credited with the supervision of H. K. Shivdasani's Yasmin (1935), made by the Krishna Studio.

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Director[edit | edit source]

Year Film Director Role
1927 Punarjanma Jayagopal Pillai Actor
1931 Chasher Meye Prafulla Roy Actor
1931 Dena Paona Premankur Atorthy Director
1932 Chirakumar Sabha Premankur Atorthy Director
1932 Subah Ka Sitara Premankur Atorthy Director
1932 Punarjanma Premankur Atorthy Actor, director
1932 Zinda Lash Premankur Atorthy Director
1932 Mohabbat Ke Ansu Premankur Atorthy Director
1933 Kapalkundala Premankur Atorthy Director
1933 Yahudi Ki Ladki Premankur Atorthy Director
1935 Bharat Ki Beti Premankur Atorthy Director
1935 Karwan-E-Hayat Premankur Atorthy Director
1935 Bhikharan Premankur Atorthy Director
1936 Sarala Premankur Atorthy Director
1936 Hind Mahila Premankur Atorthy Director
1937 Dhanwan Premankur Atorthy Director
1938 Dulhan Premankur Atorthy Director
1940 Kalyani Premankur Atorthy Director
1941 Abatar Premankur Atorthy Director
1943 Dikshul Premankur Atorthy Director
1950 Sudhar Prem Premankur Atorthy Director.

Writer[edit | edit source]

Actor[edit | edit source]

  • Chasher Meye (1931) ... aka Farmer's Daughter (India: English title)

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]