Rituparno Ghosh the filmmaker from India who was known for his sensitive portrayal of interpersonal relationships, was pronounced dead in Kolkata Thursday of a heart attack. He was 49 according to Reuters.
The filmmaker initially garnered attention in the 1990’s when his first few Bengali films, featuring his native Bengali dialogue received accolades from audiences.
Rituparno’s efforts were often showcased in the Western film festival circuit. His films mostly featured memorable and strong women characters. These characters resonated with western film audiences. Many mainstream “Bollywood” stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgn worked in some of his more recent films.
Amitabh Bachchan told Reuters that she was, “Shocked and deeply grieved … loss of a great creative mind.” Bachchan, worked with Ghosh in the 2007 English-language film The Last Lear, said he had spoken to the director only recently about a new film that the two were planning.
Ghosh, who born in 1963, started his career in the world of advertising and he made his first movie in 1992. It was a children’s film titled Hirer Angti which translates to The Diamond Ring in English.
The late filmmaker won a dozen national film awards, including the best feature film honour for Unishe April in 1995 that explored the subtle intractions of a mother-daughter relationship. Another film of his, Chokher Bali, (Sand in the Eye) which starred Aishwarya Rai, was nominated for the Golden Leopard, which is the highest prize at the Locarno Film Festival. The film was nominated in 2003.
The news that the Indian filmmaker is dead has caused many of his colleagues in the film world to come forward and express their sadness that Rituparno Ghosh is gone.
Actress Raima Sen who worked with Ghosh in many of his films said, “No one understood women better than Rituparno. It is a personal loss to me.”
The director was very open about his sexuality and would often cross-dress in women’s clothing. Ghosh also played gay characters in some of his more recent films.
The late filmmaker had tweeted on Tuesday that he had wrapped up shooting for his new movie Satyanweshi (The Truth Seeker). The film is a crime thriller about the popular fictional Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi.
Another Indian filmmaker, Onir tweeted on Twitter, “Very very sad that the man whose every frame spoke of cinematic beauty and gave a new identity to New wave Bengali Cinema is no more.”
Onir also tweeted, “His passing away will be a big loss not only to lovers of cinema and art, but a huge loss to the LGBT community.”
No other details of the Indian filmmaker, Rituparno Ghosh’s, death has been made public at this time.
By Michael Smith