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Raja Chhinal, NFDC's deputy general manager, dies at 47

Filmmaker Rima Das, Ritesh Batra and Onir were among those who condoled his death.  

Photo: Courtesy Nina Lath Gupta Facebook

Our Correspondent

Raja Chhinal, deputy general manager of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), passed away on 17 May at a Delhi hospital due to a brain abscess. He was 47. Chhinal is survived by wife Menaka and twin daughters, Vanna and Vania. 

Chhinal was considered an important player in the running of the NFDC Film Bazaar, a platform for independent cinema, held each year during the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), along with the director Nina Lath Gupta. He was also known for managing activities at international festivals in Berlin, Hong Kong, Toronto and Cannes, where he would guide new filmmakers.  

NFDC shared a statement on his death, which said, “Raja’s endeavours at NFDC will not be forgotten. His excellence sprang directly out of his commitment to promote Indian cinema internationally. His contribution towards making Film Bazaar a recognised global brand for NFDC and a credible platform for independent cinema was immense. Raja will truly be forever missed by his colleagues at NFDC. Our prayers be with those he leaves behind.” 

Known for her films Bulbul Can Sing (2019) and Village Rockstars (2018), filmmaker Rima Das reacted on his death. “On my first visit to Cannes I met Raja at the Indian Pavilion. He made me feel comfortable and at ease at a time when I was new to the industry. I remember how he was always ready to help with a smile. He has been a driving force for budding and independent filmmakers at NFDC. Shocked by his sudden passing away. We have lost a kind soul, a strong support,” she said to the portal, Screen Daily. 

Filmmakers Ritesh Batra, Onir and Bero Bayer, CEO, Netherlands Film Fund were among the many who shared their condolences on social media.