KOLKATA/MUMBAI May 30 Indian filmmaker
Rituparno Ghosh, known for his sensitive portrayal of
interpersonal relationships, died in Kolkata on Thursday of a
heart attack. He was 49.
Ghosh first caught the attention of cinema lovers in the
1990s with a clutch of films made in his native Bengali
His work, often showcased on the Western film festival
circuit, resonated with global audiences with memorable and
strong women characters. Mainstream Bollywood stars such as
Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgn featured in some
of his later films.
"Shocked and deeply grieved ... loss of a great creative
mind," Bachchan told Reuters in a text message.
Bachchan, who worked with Ghosh in the 2007 English-language
film "The Last Lear", said he had spoken to the director
recently about a new film they were planning.
Born in 1963, Ghosh started his career in advertising and
made his movie debut with a children's film "Hirer Angti" (The
Ghosh won a dozen national film awards, including the best
feature film honour for "Unishe April" (19 April) in 1995 that
explored the nuances of a mother-daughter relationship. His film
"Chokher Bali" (Sand in the Eye), starring Aishwarya Rai, was
nominated for the Golden Leopard, the top prize at the Locarno
Film Festival in 2003.
"No one understood women better than Rituparno," said
actress Raima Sen, who was cast in several of his films. "It is
a personal loss to me."
Ghosh, who flaunted his sexuality and often dressed in
women's clothing, also played gay characters in some of his last
The filmmaker tweeted on Tuesday he had wrapped up shooting
for his new movie "Satyanweshi" (The Truth Seeker), a crime
thriller about the popular fictional Bengali detective Byomkesh
"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," filmmaker Onir said on Twitter.
"His passing away will be a big loss not only to lovers of
cinema and art, but a huge loss to the LGBT community," he
(Writing by Tony Tharakan, editing by Paul Casciato)