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Award-winning Bollywood director Nitin Desai, 58, is found dead at his studio in India as police launch probe


Award-winning Bollywood director Nitin Desai, 58, is found dead in his studio in India as police launch an investigation

  • The director was reportedly discovered at his film studios in Karjat, near Mumbai.

Award-winning Bollywood director Nitin Desai has been found dead in his studio, prompting a police investigation.

Workers at ND studios in Karjat, near Mumbai, reportedly discovered the 58-year-old man. Police went to the scene but his death was confirmed.

Desai was a huge figure in the Bollywood industry and during his 20-year career he won the National Award for Best Art Direction four times.

He had reportedly been living in the Raigad district of Maharashtra since 2005, where he opened his 52-acre studio to make movies like Farzand and Ajintha.

Desai allegedly admitted an insolvency filing against his company last week and had significant debt, the Hindustan Times informed.

Award-winning Bollywood director Nitin Desai was found dead in his film studio

Pictured is a 'royal palace' movie set on Desei's 52-acre studio land.

Pictured is a ‘royal palace’ movie set on Desei’s 52-acre studio land.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar told the newspaper he was shocked by the news of his friend’s death, adding that just three months ago Desai had organized a lavish wedding party for his daughter.

Asked if he suspected Desei was having financial problems, Bhandarkar said no: “The wedding was really lavish.” He was acting the way a father would act whose daughter is getting married: he was happy and over the moon. Everything seemed perfect.

The studios were also used to make sets for hit Indian TV shows like Jodhaa Akbar and the reality series Bigg Boss.

Desai worked with famous filmmakers like Ashutosh Gowarikar, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani. And she created numerous hit movies like 1942: A Love Story, Devdas in 2002 and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai in 2010.

Most notably, he helped create the sets for the Oscar-winning blockbuster Slumdog Millionaire in 2008.

Poignant tributes have poured in for the director, who police initially suspected died by suicide, according to the indian express.

Indian-Canadian actor Akshay Kumar wrote: ‘Incredibly sad to hear about the disappearance of Nitin Desai.

“He was a stalwart in production design and a huge part of our film fraternity.

‘He worked on many of my films… this is a great loss. Out of respect, we won’t be releasing the OMG 2 trailer today.’

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Workers at ND studios in Karjat, near Mumbai, reportedly discovered the 58-year-old man.

Desai’s close friend Vinod Tawde said: ‘I used to talk to him often. It is very sad to hear of his death. I spoke to him the day before,’ he told the Hindustan Times.

Director Ashutosh Gowariker, who worked with Desei, said he was “stunned” and shocked.

Filmmaker Ketan Mehta was also shocked by Desei’s untimely death. He said: ‘I have heard of her passing and I am shocked. We worked together on quite a few movies Aar Ya Paar, Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India, Mangal Pandey…it’s been a long partnership and amazing talent. I’m still in shock.

The police statement said today: ‘We have found the body of art director Nitin Desai in his studio in Karjat. The police were informed about this by a worker on the set. When the police team arrived at the studio we saw his body. We are investigating the case further to determine all aspects of this case.’

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