Renowned art director and producer Nitin Chandrakant Desai passes away aged 57; Sanjay Dutt, Vivek Agnihotri pay tribute

Nitin contributed to numerous Hindi and Marathi films throughout his illustrious career
In frame:  Nitin Chandrakant Desai
In frame: Nitin Chandrakant Desai

India art director and producer, Nitin Chandrakant Desai, tragically passed away at the age of 57. According to sources, his body was discovered at his studio in Karjat, Maharashtra, and initial reports suggest it to be a case of death by suicide. Authorities are currently conducting a thorough investigation to understand the circumstances surrounding his demise. A report said that Nitin's company, ND's Art World Pvt Ltd, faced financial difficulties and had defaulted on a substantial Rs 252-crore loan from its financial creditor. 

Nitin contributed to numerous Hindi and Marathi films throughout his illustrious career. Among his notable collaborations was with renowned director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, for whom he crafted magnificent sets for iconic films such as Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Bajirao Mastani. He also collaborated with prominent filmmakers like Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, and Ashutosh Gowariker.

The news of Nitin's demise has deeply impacted the film and TV industry, with various personalities expressing their grief and paying heartfelt tributes. Director Vivek Agnihotri, heartbroken by the loss, remembered him as a legendary production designer and a visionary. 

He tweeted, “I am heartbroken and sad beyond control to learn about my dearest friend Nitin Desai’s death. A legendary Production designer, a visionary who made ND Studio… Nitin not only loved Pallavi and I, he always guided me even in films we didn’t do together. Why Nitin, why? ॐ शांति।”

Actor Riteish Deshmukh also paid tribute to the art director on Twitter, writing, “Deeply shocked to know that #NitinDesai, a legendary Production Designer who has contributed immensely to the growth of Indian cinema in no more. My heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. I had known him for years.. soft spoken, humble, ambitious & a visionary… you will be missed my friend. Om Shanti.”

Sanjay Dutt tweeted, “Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Nitin Desai. A brilliant art director and a good friend, his contribution to Indian cinema has been monumental. My thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Actor Neil Nitin Mukesh wrote, “Cannot accept the heartbreaking news. Our beloved #nitindesai has left for his heavenly abode. He was simply a genius. A visionary artist with grace, style who understood not just his craft but people. He was a positive soul who spread only love to all. My God give his family strength. Om Shanti .”

Nitin's illustrious filmography includes several acclaimed films like Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, Dostana, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Munnabhai MBBS, Mission Kashmir, Josh, and Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha, among many others. In 2005, he established his own film studio, ND Studios, situated on the outskirts of Mumbai in Karjat, offering a space for filmmakers to bring their visions to life.

He received widespread acclaim, garnering him numerous accolades. He was honoured with the National Film Award for Best Art Direction four times for his work. Nitin's passing marks the loss of a visionary artist whose transformative creations will continue to be celebrated and remembered in the world of cinema. 

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