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Veteran filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta dies at 77

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The prolific National award-winning director had been suffering from kidney-related ailments and was undergoing dialysis.

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Roushni Sarkar

National award-winning filmmaker and poet Buddhadeb Dasgupta died on Thursday. He was 77.

Dasgupta had been suffering from kidney-related ailments and was undergoing dialysis. According to reports, his wife Sohini Dasgupta found out that he died in his sleep early in this morning.

Born in 1944 in Purulia, Dasgupta started his career as a lecturer of economics at Syamsundar College. However, perceiving the gap between the theory he taught and the socio-political reality, Dasgupta started making films. He made his first film, a 10-minute documentary titled The Continent of Love, in 1968. In 1978, he made his first full-length feature Dooratwa.

A member of Calcutta Film Society, Dasgupta was deeply inspired by classics by world renowned directors such as Charlie Chaplin, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa and Vittorio De Sica among others. It is often said that one of his primary inspirations for making realistic films in the early stage of his career was Satyajit Ray.

The filmmaker is renowned for his experimentation and rich cinematic language. His Bagh Bahadur (1989), Charachar (1993), Lal Darja (1997), Mondo Meyer Upakhyan (2003) and Kalpurush (2005) won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film, while Dooratwaa and Tahader Katha (1992) won the National Film Award for Best Bengali Feature Film. Dasgupta also won the National Film Award for Best Director for Uttara (2000) and Swapner Din (2008).

However, the director was not confined to the Bengali film industry. In 1984, he made Andhi Gali, starring Deepti Naval and 2013, he collaborated with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Pankaj Tripathi for Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa.

Dasgupta also published several volumes of poetry, including Govir Araley,  Coffin Kimba Suitcase, Chhata Kahini and Roboter Gaan.

The prolific filmmaker is survived his wife and two daughters Alokananda Dasgupta and Rajeswari Dasgupta. Alokananda, a contemporary music director, is known for her work in Trapped (2017), Sacred Games (2018) and Leila (2019).