Acclaimed Indian film director Ghosh dies at 49

NEW DELHI (AP) — Rituparno Ghosh, who directed award-winning films mostly dealing with the dilemmas of India’s urban middle class, has died of cardiac arrest at age 49.

Ghosh shot to fame with his first film, “Hirer Angti” or “The Diamond Ring,” in 1994. Then followed a string of Bengali-language movies that earned him 12 national film awards, including for best director.

Press Trust of India quoted his family as saying Ghosh died Thursday at his home in the eastern city of Kolkata.

Ghosh directed about 20 feature films overall, earning critical acclaim at international film festivals including in Locarno, Switzerland, and in London.

His 2007 creation, “The Last Lear,” was in English and centered on a retired actor who is persuaded to return to cinema to reprise the lead role in a production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan starred in the film that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Bachchan tweeted remembrances of Ghosh early Friday, calling him a “brilliant director” and a “sensitive artistic mind.”

Shekhar Kapur, director of the 1998 Academy Award-winning period film “Elizabeth,” tweeted that he was “shocked by the passing of Rituparno Ghosh.” He described Ghosh as a “hugely creative explorer on film.”

Indian character actress Kiran Kher said Ghosh was a marvelous director and that his death was a “huge loss for Indian cinema.”

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