Friday, August 19, 2011

India's top art director Samir Chanda dead..

Critically acclaimed art director Samir Chanda passed away today evening following a massive cardiac arrest. Winner of three National awards, Chanda worked with renowned names in the industry that included Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Govind Nihalini, Kalpana Lajmi, Vishal Bhardwaj, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra and Pankaj Kapur. 

A trained painter from Calcutta Art College, Samir's vast training and understanding of Indian art and architecture ranged from the recreation of sets from the 10th century to the modern contemporary world. He had been associated with movies like Aks, Raavan, Bose The Forgotten Hero, Guru, Rang De Basanti, Krishna, Omkara, Saat Khoon Maaf and Bengali films like Kharij, Yatra, Kaalpurush, Moner Manush, Kaalbela among others. The National Award winning Chanda has also directed a Bengali film titled "Ekti Nodir Golpo" starring Mithun Chakraborty.

Samir also art directed Shunya Communications “Agar Aisa Ho To” – a television serial directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee wtih Faaroque Shaikh, Renuka Shahane, Rajit Kapoor, Harish Patel and others. According to Mohan Das (Eon Films), who was the associate producer of this serial, “Samirda was extremely talented and it was a pleasure working with a man who was not only humble but down to earth. Even though he had a few national awards in his belt at that time and was only doing feature films, yet he was enthusiastic about our project. When we asked him what made him take up our project, he said that he jumped at the offer, just coz he wanted to work with Hrishida (Hrishikesh Mukherjee)."

A specialist in recreating sets of Rajasthan, Samir art directed several films set in this exotic and colourful state including Kalpana Lajmi’s national award winning “Rudaali” and Govind Nihalini’s “Rukmavati Ki Haveli”. Samir’s aesthetic style and knowledge of the art scene in this mystical region of India, enhanced the richness, layers and textures of Desert Dreams. A favourite with Shyam Benegal, Samir did most of Shyam’s film from the late eighties till date including “Sardari Begum” and “Bose The Forgotten Hero.  May god rest his soul in Peace.

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