Tributes poured in after the sudden demise of celebrated Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh on Thursday.
“I cannot believe that Rituparno is no more. It is very difficult to accept this news. We lost a very promising film director at a very early age,” said Soumitro Chatterjee, veteran actor and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee.
“Deeply saddened and shocked by the sudden demise of Rituparno Ghosh. He directed Bariwali, the first film I produced. Have amazing memories of him,” said actor Anupam Kher.
Born on August 31, 1963, in Kolkata, the director went to South Point School and studied Economics at Jadavpur University.
Ghosh gained recognition after the release of a children’s film, ‘Hirer Angti’ in 1994 and went on to win his first national award for ‘Unishe April’ in 1995. ‘Dahan’, ‘Asukh’, ‘Chokher Bali’, ‘Raincoat’, Bariwali’, ‘Antarmahal’ and ‘Noukadubi’ earned him praise and popularity. Politicians and people from the film industry poured into his residence on Thursday to show their respect.
“Golden age of Bengal has ended. The state has lost a very important artist,” said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. In his last few films, he was exploring same-sex relationships and his last released film, ‘Chitrangada’ was close to his heart. Even though the film didn’t perform well with mainstream audiences, it won him his last National Award.
Ghosh, who portrayed the role of a transgender in the film however, remained unhappy about the fact few people actually watched and appreciated the theme.
“I was the poster-boy of the Bengali film industry for a decade since my first released film ‘Unishe April’...I had an intense relationship with my viewers till ‘Chokher Bali’...and then things started changing as I started exploring same-sex relationships in my movies,” Ghosh said in a weekly column in March.
Hundreds of mourners thronged for a last glimpse of the acclaimed director and to pay their respects at Nandan.