Lagaan Art Director Nitin Desai Found Dead, Cops Suspect Suicide

Mumbai: Nitin Chandrakant Desai a renowned art director tragically passed away on Wednesday. Desai died by suicide at the age of 58, according to officials. According to police sources, Desai was found hanging at his studio in Karjat. The police were alerted and rushed to the spot. A probe into Desai’s death from all angles is currently underway, an official told news agency PTI.

Born on January 25, 1965, in Dapoli, Maharashtra, Desai began his career as an assistant art director on the television film Tamas (1987). He later worked as an assistant art director on television series such as Kabir (1988-1990) and Chanakya (1991) before making his independent art direction debut on Chanakya in 1991.

Desai continued to work on television series, including Bharat Ek Khoj (1992-1993), Kora Kagaz (1993), and Swabhimaan (1995-1996). He made his Bollywood debut as an art director with the film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999). His other successful Bollywood films include Lagaan (2001), Devdas (2002), Swades (2004), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015).

Critics and audiences alike have praised Desai’s work. He received four National Film Awards for Best Art Direction and three Filmfare Best Art Direction Awards. In 2016, he was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award in India.

Desai founded ND Studios, a film and television production facility in Karjat, Maharashtra, and produced the film Desh Devi (2002). His sets were known for intricate detail and historical accuracy, creating some of the most iconic and memorable scenes in Bollywood history.