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Filmmaker Anjan Das passes away

Anjan Das  

Filmmaker Anjan Das, who had won two national awards, breathed his last on Monday in a hospital here, his family said.

He was admitted to the hospital on May 8 after he fell ill. The director in his 60s, best known for his films like Shaanjhbatir Rupkathara (strokes and silhouettes) and Jara Brishtite Bhijechilo (those drenched in rain), had been battling liver cancer.

Mourning Mr. Das’s death, filmmaker Ashok Viswanathan said Mr. Das was suffering from jaundice as well. His body would be taken to his residence in the city and NT 1 and Technician’s Studio in Tollygunj in south Kolkata, and then to Keoratola Crematorium in south Kolkata, where his last rites would be performed, Mr. Viswanathan said.

Mr. Das entered film direction with documentaries. He directed two documentary films — The Art of Anant Malakar and Tripura — before he made his first feature film Sainik (soldier) in 1976. Although the film was a commercial failure, it earned him critical acclaim and was screened at international film festivals, including Berlin International Film Festival.

Known for making celluloid adaptations of novels, his film Shaanjhbatir Rupkathara in 2001 earned plaudits and did the rounds at various international film festivals. Starring veteran actors Soumitra Chatterjee and Indrani Halder, the film was an adaptation of poet Joy Goswami’s debut novel.

Mr. Das won his first national award for his period drama film Iti Srikanta (yours truly, Srikanta) in 2004, based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Srikanta. The film fetched him the best audiography award. He won his second national award in 2006 for Faltu (useless) which was based on writer Syed Mustafa Siraj’s story Ranir Ghater Brittanto .

Mr. Das’s next film Jara Brishtite Bhijechilo was an entrant to the Indian Panorama of International Film Festival of India in 2007. Ms. Halder, who played a leading role in the film, had bagged the best actress award at the Madrid International Film Festival. This was followed by Achin Pakhi and Banshiwala in 2010 and Bedeni (the snake charmer’s wife) in 2011.

Terming the death a big loss, filmmaker Goutam Ghosh said, “Mr. Das died an early death. We lost a very good director. He had recently finished work of his latest film and was excited about its release. I hope the film will be released soon in his memory.”