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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

'Chocker Bali' director Rituparno Ghosh passes away

Acclaimed Bengali film director Rituparno Ghosh has died of a heart attack aged 49.

Mr Ghosh is said to have been suffering from an inflammation of the pancreas for several weeks and died early on Thursday morning in his hometown of Kolkatta.

An Economics graduate, Mr Ghosh had begun his career as an ad copywriter before entering cinema with his debut feature 'Heere Angti' in 1994.

He went onto make several award-winning films, including 'Chocker Bali', 'Raincoat' - both featuring Aishwarya Rai - 'Sunglass' and 'Chitrangadha', along the way winning a total of 9 National Awards.

Mr Ghosh also acted in some of his films, including in 'Aar Ekti Premer Golpo' and 'Chitrangadha'.

Born on 31 August 1963, Mr Ghosh grew up around films as his father was a documentary filmmaker.

Mr Ghosh found success almost as soon as he had taken up filmmaking himself. 

His second feature 'Unishe April', starring Aparna Sen and Debashree Roy, won India's prestigious National Award for Best Feature Film.

Rituparno Ghosh followed up the critical and commercial success of 'Unishe April' with a string of acclaimed films including 'Dahan' starring Rituparna Sengupta and Indrani Haldar, 'Bariwali' starring Kirron Kher, 'Titli' starring Konkona Sen Sharma and 'Shubho Mahurat' starring Raakhee and Sharmila Tagore.

The Aishwarya Rai-starrer 'Chokher Bali' was also not only a runaway hit but became a darling of the film festival circuit. 

Rituparno Ghosh directed Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta in the English language drama The Last Lear.

His swan song was Chitrangada which won a special jury National Award this year.

The film, which Rituparno Ghosh also starred in, was seen as semi-autobiographical and mirrored the director-actor's own struggle with gender and identity.

The filmmaker drew extensively on his personal experiences as a gay man in conservative Bengal to paint authentic depictions of middle-class anxiety in India.  He had only begun to be openly gay only following the death of his mother and developed a penchant for dressing up in elaborate and beautiful feminine outfits.

From Chokher Bali to his very last tweet however, Mr Ghosh will be best remembered for immersing everything in a poetic beauty.

Just two days before his death, Mr Ghosh tweeted:"Wrapped up the shoot of Satyanewshi, a crime thriller in the molten glow of the pensive falling afternoon."

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