After making five more films, he made a film with a shoe-string budget provided by the government of India. This film,
Bhuvan Shome (Mr. Shome), finally launched him as a major filmmaker, both
nationally and internationally. Bhuvan Shome also initiated the “New Cinema” film movement in India.
His next few films were overtly political, and earned him the reputation as a Marxist artist. This was also the time of large-scale political unrest throughout India, particularly in and around Calcutta. This phase was immediately followed by a series of films where he shifted his focus, and instead of looking for enemies
outside, he looked for the enemy within his own middle-class society. This was arguably his most creative phase and won him a large number of
Mrinal Sen never stopped experimenting with his medium. In his later films he
tried to move away from the narrative structure and worked with very thin story lines. After a long gap of eight years,
at the age of eighty, he made his latest film, Aamar Bhuban, in 2003.
During his career, Mrinal Sen’s film have received awards from almost all major film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Montreal,
Chicago, and Cairo. Retrospectives of his films have been shown in almost all major cities of the world.
Apart from his films, he has also received a number of personal honors.
He received the Padma Bhushan, and in 2005 he was awarded the Dadasaheb
Phalke Award, the highest honor given to an Indian filmmaker, by the
Government of India. He was also an honorary
Member of the Indian Parliament from 1998 to 2003. The French government awarded him the
Commandeur de l'ordre des Arts et letters (Commander of the Order of Arts
and Letters), the highest honor conferred by the country. In 2001 The Russian government honored him with the
Order of Friendship. He has also received a number of honorary Doctorate degrees from various universities.
Mrinal Sen was the president of the International Federation of the Film Societies.
He also served as member of International Jury at various film festivals,
including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Moscow, Karlovy vary, Tokyo, Tehran, Mannheim, Nyon, Chicago, Ghent, Tunis,
In 2004 Mrinal Sen completed his autobiographical book, Always Being
In 2008 Mrinal Sen was awarded Lifetime Achievement awards by
Osian's-Cinefan Festival and by the International Film Festival in India.
In 2009 the International Film Festival of Kerala awarded their first
Lifetime Achievement Award to him.