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Art Director Nitin Desai Remembered in Oscars’ In Memoriam Section

The Oscars’ In Memoriam segment paid tribute to art director and producer Nitin Desai in the early hours of Monday, alongside a roster of esteemed individuals including Tina Turner, Friends star Matthew Perry, composer Bill Lee, actress Chita Rivera, actor Ryan O’Neal, comedian Richard Lewis, actress Glenda Jackson, and others. Desai tragically passed away at the age of 57 due to suicide last year.

During the 2024 Oscars on Sunday, Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo Bocelli delivered a poignant rendition of “Time to Say Good-Bye (Con Te Partirò)” as the ceremony honored those who had passed away in the past year.

Nitin Desai, a frequent collaborator of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, left an indelible mark through his set designs for iconic films such as Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Bajirao Mastani. He also collaborated with eminent filmmakers including Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, and Ashutosh Gowariker. His diverse credits encompassed projects like Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, Dostana, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Munna Bhai MBBS, Mission Kashmir, Josh, and Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha. His final film credit was the 2019 war epic drama Panipat, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker.

Tragically, Desai was discovered deceased at his studio in Karjat, Maharashtra. Authorities initially suspected it to be a case of suicide. Reports indicated that he had encountered financial challenges, including defaulting on a loan and filing for bankruptcy. Desai’s company cited a fire incident at the studio on May 7, 2021, leading to property loss, and attributed blame to creditors for issuing a recovery notice on the same day. Allegedly, his creditors sought to assume ownership of ND Studios.

Furthermore, the segment honored other prominent individuals including Michael Gambon, Andre Braugher, Matthew Perry, Tina Turner, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Reubens, Richard Lewis, Alan Arkin, and numerous others who made enduring contributions to the entertainment industry.

Ziya Khan


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