Nitin Desai, art director known for ‘Lagaan’, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, found dead in studio

Posted By: Shweta Khandal

Posted On: August 2, 2023


A well-known art director named Nitin Chandrakant Desai was found dead on a Wednesday at his studio in Khalapur Raigad, near Karjat. He passed away by suicide at around 4:30 am on that day.

The police were informed by a worker at his studio, and when they arrived, they found his body hanging. The police are now investigating all aspects of the case.

Speaking about Desai’s unexpected passing, local MLA Mahesh Baldi said that the art director was facing financial difficulties.

“He was going through a tough time financially, and this might have been the main reason for his suicide,” Baldi shared with ANI.

During his long career of more than twenty years, Nitin Desai has collaborated with many famous directors like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Ashutosh Gowariker, Abbas Mustan, Rajkumar Hirani, and Milan Luthria.

He has been recognized for his outstanding work in movies such as Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (1999), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (2000), Lagaan (2002), and Devdas (2003), and he even received the prestigious National Film Award for Best Direction for these films.

Nitin Desai also received several awards for his incredible work. He won the Filmfare Best Art Direction Award for movies like 1942: A Love Story (1995), Khamoshi (1997), and Devdas (2003). He also got the IFA Best Art Direction Award for Jodhaa Akbar (2009).

In addition to that, he worked on the sets of the famous movie Slumdog Millionaire directed by Danny Boyle in 2008. He created two sets for the movie, including the one for the Kaun Banega Crorepati scene.

The following year, he won the Maharashtra State Film Awards’ Best Art Direction award for Harishchandrachi Factory (2009).

In 2002, Nitin Desai became a producer with Chandrakant Productions and made a devotional film called Desh Devi, which was about the Devi Mata of Kachch. He also produced a famous Marathi historical TV drama called Raja Shivchatrapati, based on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha empire.

In 2005, Desai established ND Studios on a vast area of 52 acres in Karjat, near Mumbai. The studio has been used for shooting movies like Traffic Signal, Jodhaa Akbar, and the well-known reality show on Colors TV, Bigg Boss.

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