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Bengal's first feature film was Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra, which was made by J.F.Madan in March 1917. Soon many good films were produced, which include Madan Theatre's Nala Damayanti (1921), Dhruva Charitra, Shivratri and a comedy called Tehmuras and Tehmuljee and Dhiren Ganguli's Bilat Ferat and Yashoda Nandan. Madan's Jamai Sasthi (1931) was the first talkie in Bengali. New Theatre's Chandidas and Udayer Pathey; P.C.Barua's Rupalekha, Devdas, Grihadah (1936) and Mukti; Nitin Bose's Bhagya Chakra (1935) and Didi; Debaki Bose's Sonar Sansar (1936) and Vidyapati and Satyen Bose's Paribartan (1949) were some of the outstanding early films made in Bengali.

Sharey Chuattar (1953) launched Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen in Bengali cinema. In 1955, Satyajit Ray released his first film Pather Panchali, which brought the Indian cinema to the international arena. This was followed by his master creations like Aparajito, Apur Sansar, Mahanagar, Charulata, Seemabaddha, Pratidwandi and Ashani Sanket. Ray's outstanding success gave a great impetus to the Bengali cinema. A number of directors came on the scene and produced splendid films like Calcutta and Bhuvan Shome (Mrinal Sen); Meghe Dhaka Tara, Ajantrik and Subarnarekha (Ritwik Ghatak); Chalachal (Asit Sen) and Ganga and Antariksha (Rajan Tarafdar).

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