Nitin Desai, the art director of Lagaan and Jodha Akbar, commits suicide at age 57

Nitin Chandrakant Desai, a famous art director, was discovered dead on Wednesday at his ND Studio in Khalapur Raigad, close to Karjat.

Around 4:30 am on Wednesday, Nitin Desai took his own life. Police were informed of the development by a worker before they arrived at Desai’s studio, according to Raigad SP Somnath Gharge. The police discovered Desai’s body hanging when they arrived at the studio, he continued. According to Raigad SP, the police are looking into the case and determining all its details.

Vinod Tawde, the general secretary of the BJP and a close friend of Nitin Desai, said. “I used to often speak and counsel him. I had told him on how Amitabh Bachchan had faced immense losses and come back in life again. We had told him that even if the studio was attached due to loans, he could start afresh. It’s very sad to hear about his death. I spoke to him day before.”

Four times, Nitin Desai won the National Award for Best Art Direction. Over the course of his two decades in Bollywood, he has collaborated with renowned filmmakers like Ashutosh Gowarikar, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Jodha Akbar, Lagaan, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, and Bajirao Mastani are just a few of his well-known productions. With Ashutosh Gowarikar, he worked on the 2019 film Panipat, which was his final endeavor as an art director. He received honors for his work from the illustrious American Cinematheque and Art Directors’ Guild Film Society in Hollywood.

Nitin made the transition from art direction to producing in 2003 with the movie Desh Devi Maa Ashapura. In addition, he created the wildly successful Marathi television series Raja Shivchhatrapati. Nitin established ND Studios in 2005 in Karjat, a suburb of Mumbai. The 52-acre studio has served as the location for several movie sets, with Jodha Akbar being the most well-known. Both Hello Jai Hind! (2011) and Ajintha (2012) were directed by him.

In addition, he won the Filmfare Best Art Direction Award for 1942: A Love Story (1995), the IFA Best Art Direction Award for Jodha Akbar (2009), and the Filmfare Best Art Direction Award for Khamoshi (1997). Desai also built two sets for Slumdog Millionaire, a 2008 film directed by Danny Boyle that featured the Kaun Banega Crorepati set. The renowned art director won the Best Art Direction prize at the Maharashtra State Film Awards for Harishchandrachi Factory (2009) a year later.

Bollywood still has a lot to learn about inclusivity and helping one another out when things are tough, despite all the banal talk about mental health issues. Failure and self-esteem issues have taken many of our most illustrious B-town stars.