Acclaimed Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh passes away at 49

NEW DELHI: Noted filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, who was expected to take on the mantle oficons like Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak in West Bengal, died early this morning of cardiac arrest at his south Kolkata residence.

Winner of 12 national and some international awards, the 49-year-old Ghosh was suffering from pancreatitis and died of heart attack at 7.30 am, his family said.

Ghosh had gained international fame for films like Dahan (1997),‘Asukh(1999), Chokher Bali (2003), Raincoat (2004), Bariwali (1999),Antarmahal (2005), Noukadubi (2010), and The Last Lear ((2007), all of which won him several awards.

Born on 31 August 1963 in Kolkata, Ghosh was fortunate that both his parents were related to films, his father being a documentary film maker. He completed his schooling from South Point High School, and pursued economics from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Rituparno started his career in advertising. He had first gained fame for his direction of a children‘s film ‘Hirer Angti‘ in 1994 and his film ‘Unishe April‘ won him a national award in 1995.

He won the National film award for Best Director for his Bengali film Abohoman starring Jishu Sengupta, Ananya Chatterjee, Dipankar Dey and Mamata Shankar. He made his first screen presence in an Oriya film Katha Deithilli Ma Ku which is directed by Himanshu Parija and released in 2003.

He hosted two celebrity chat shows, namely Ebong Rituporno on ETV Bangla and Ghosh and co. on Star Jalsha. He also was the scriptwriter of Gaaner Opare.

His film Just another Love Story in 2009 received rave reviews all over the world. He later made Kashmakash in 2011. His last films were Chitrangada in Bengali in which he also acted, and Sunglass in Hindi, both in 2012. In both Just another Love Story and Memories in March, he reprised the role of a homosexual.

In fact, he never hid the complexities about his sexuality and said he wanted to live his life on his terms.

Talking to over telephone, thespian Soumitra Chatterjee said he was too shocked to say anything. He said the nation had lost a very promising film director at a very early age.

Eminent filmmaker Buddhadeb Das Gupta, speaking over the phone in Mumbai, said he had known Ghosh as a young man coming to his house with his father, and had also helped him when he turned filmmaker. He was therefore very saddened by the death. As a tribute, Das Gupta said Ghosh always lived life the way he wanted, without caring about what society would say.

West Bengal State Commerce and Industry minister Partha Chatterjee visited his home in the morning.

I&B minister Manish Tewari has condoled the untimely death of Ghosh.

In his condolence message, Tewari said, "I am deeply shocked by the tragic and premature death of Ghosh. He was a creative genius who gave a new dimension to film making with every film that he was associated with. His films always left a deep imprint on minds of the audiences who were captivated by the honest portrayal of human emotions. Cinema has lost a visionary, as Ghosh was always innovative and bold in undertaking new themes for his films. His death has left a void which will be very difficult to fill.”

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