MUMBAI, (C.M. Paul) – Indian film theory guru and founder director of the first Church communication centre in Eastern India Jesuit Father Gaston Roberge was honoured last month in Mumbai by the Bimal Roy Memorial & Film Society.
The Bimal Roy Memorial & Film Society was set up in 1997 to champion the cause of sensitive cinema and keep Bimal Roy’s unique legacy alive. Bimal Roy (1909-1966), the silent master of Indian cinema who spoke through pictures ushered in the golden age of Indian Cinema in the 1940′s. A socially committed director, his films had the power to inspire and move audiences.
The citation stated the reason for the award as “Fr. Gaston Roberge for establishing the unique enabling institution of Chitrabani and thus pioneering film academia in India as well as cultivating and nurturing several generations of cineastes and filmmakers.”
In addition, when in Mumbai, Fr. Roberge, 77 years old, gave a lecture on Amir Khan starring Bollywood film 3 idiots in two colleges: Tata Institute of Social Sciences and Whistling Woods International.
Way back in 1970 Fr Gaston pioneered with the support of the late Satyajit Ray to start “Chitrabani,” a communication centre in Kolkata which he directed for 26 years until 1996.
In 1986 Fr Gaston started the Educational Media Research Centre (EMRC) of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and directed it for ten years until 1996.
After a three year stint as Executive Secretary for Social Communication, at the Society of Jesus Rome Headquarters Fr Gaston was Head of Department of Communications, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, until 2001.
Author of some 15 books on cinema and communication Fr Gaston is still a faculty member of St. Xavier’s College`s Departments of Mass Communication and Film Studies and continues to write books on communication and spirituality.