|Profession(s)||• Art Director
• Production designer
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
|Hair Colour||Salt & Pepper|
|Debut||Film (art director): Bhookamp (1993)
Film (producer): Desh Devi Maa Ashapura (2003)
TV (art director): Chanakya (1991)
TV (actor): Hum Sab Ek Hain (1998)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||Screen Award for Best Art Direction
• For '1942: A Love Story' in 1994
• For 'Khamoshi: The Musical' in 1996
• For 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' in 1999
• For 'Josh' in 2000
• For 'Lagaan' in 2001
• For 'Gandhi, My Father' in 2008
Filmfare Award for Best Art Direction
• For '1942: A Love Story' in 1995
• For 'Khamoshi: The Musical' in 1997
• For 'Devdas' in 2003
National Film Award for Best Art Direction
• For 'Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar' in 1999
• For 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' in 2000
• For 'Lagaan' in 2002
• For 'Devdas' in 2003
IIFA Best Art Direction Award
• For 'Jodhaa Akbar' in 2009
Maharashtra State Film Award for Best Art Direction
• For 'Harishchandrachi Factory' in 2009
Genie Award for Best Achievement in Art Direction/Production Design
• Nominated for 'Such a Long Journey' in 1998
|Date of Birth||6 August 1965 (Friday)|
|Birthplace||Bhagwat Multispeciality Hospital in Dapoli, Maharashtra|
|Date of Death||2 August 2023|
|Place of Death||N D Studio, Karjat, Maharashtra|
|Age (at the time of death)||57 Years|
|Death Cause||Suicide by hanging The Times of India|
|School||Wamanrao Muranjan High School (now Wamanrao Muranjan Madhyamik Vidyalaya & Junior College) in Mulund, Mumbai|
|College/University||J.J. School of Art, Mumbai
L.S.Raheja School of Arts, Mumbai
|Educational Qualification||He studied photography at the J.J. School of Art and L.S.Raheja School of Arts in Mumbai.|
|Address||H. No. 1501, Daffodils Sainath Gardens, Navghar Road, Tata Colony, Mulund (E), Mumbai (400 081)|
|Controversy||Accused of cheating advertisment agencies: In 2018, Rakesh Shinde, the owner of Vihang Digital World, an advertising agency, complained to the Vartak Nagar police station that Desai hadn't paid him Rs 51.7 lakh for three months of work. Shinde also claimed that the cheques he received from Desai either bounced or came from inactive bank accounts. Desai, however, denied the allegations in an interview and said that he would take legal action against Shinde for falsely accusing him. Desai mentioned that Shinde had made similar false accusations in the past, and he intends to pursue legal measures against him. Additionally, there was another complaint in the same case by Dev Kate, the owner of an advertising agency, who stated that Desai owes him Rs 1 crore for completed work. Hindustan Times|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Married|
|Wife/Spouse||Naina Nitin Desai (Film Producer)
|Children||Son: 1 (Name not known)
Daughter: Mansi Desai (Production coordinator at Mold3D)
|Parents||Father: Chandrakant Ganpat Desai
Mother: Meena Chandrakant Desai (Film Producer)
|Siblings||Brother: 1 (Name not known)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Nitin Chandrakant Desai
- Nitin Chandrakant Desai was an Indian artist who worked in the film industry as an art director, production designer, actor, and producer. He created beautiful sets and visuals in many popular Bollywood movies like ‘Lagaan’ (2001), ‘Devdas’ (2002), ‘Swades’ (2004), ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ (2008), and ‘Panipat’ (2019).
- He began his career at Mumbai’s Film City Studios in May 1987. Initially, worked with 2-D still photos, but soon he shifted his focus to the 3-D realm of art direction. In that same year, he serve as the fourth assistant to the esteemed art director Nitish Roy on the television film ‘Tamas’ (1987). He later worked as a fourth assistant on the TV series ‘Kabir’ for five and a half years.
- In 1991, he started as an assistant to art director Nitish Roy on the TV series ‘Chanakya.’ He assisted him for the initial 25 episodes and from the 26th episode onwards, he took over the series marking his debut as an independent art director.
- After making his debut in the film as an art director with the Hindi film ‘Bhookamp,’ he worked on the film ‘1942: A Love Story’ (1944) which proved to be a breakthrough in his career.
- In 2005, Desai created ND Studios, located in Karjat, Mumbai. The studio is famous for its vast and impressive sets, attracting both local and international productions. It occupies a large space of 52 acres (21 hectares) out of which Reliance Entertainment later bought 50% ownership for about Rs 1.50 billion.
- Following the acquisition of a 50% stake in Big ND Studio by Reliance Entertainment, the renowned US-based film studio ’20th Century Fox’ signed a decade-long agreement to lease four floors at the studio. Later, Walt Disney also entered into a contract to film at the same studio for a period of 10 weeks.
- In 2008, he worked for the Oscar-winning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ for which he created two sets, one of which include the temporary set of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati.’
- Some of the most famous films for which Desai worked as an art director and production designer include ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ (1999), ‘Lagaan’ (2001), ‘Devdas’ (2002), ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’ (2006), and ‘Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal’ (2007).
- After making his debut as a producer with the film ‘Desh Devi Maa Ashapura’ (2003), he produced the Marathi-language historical TV series ‘Raja Shivchatrapati’ (2008), which aired on Star Pravah. The show went on to achieve tremendous popularity and became a major hit during its time. In April 2020, the show was re-broadcasted amid the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
- In 2011, he produced and directed the Marathi biographical film ‘Balgandharva.’ He also played the role of Lokmanya Tilak in the film.
- Desai produced the talent show ‘Marathi Paul Padte Pudhe,’ which followed a concept similar to ‘America’s Got Talent.’
- He also created the set for the popular reality show ‘Bigg Boss.’
- After making his acting debut with the TV show ‘Hum Sab Ek Hain’ in 1998, he returned to acting with the Marathi-language film ‘Hello Jai Hind!’ (2011) in which he played a lead role.
- In 2020, he worked as a production designer for the Hindi web series ‘Paurashpur.’ The web series premiered on ZEE5 and ALT Balaji.
- On 7 May 2021, Desai’s ND Studios caught a massive fire at the set of the film ‘Jodha Akbar.’ After the shooting of the film, the set was kept intact by the authorities for tourist attraction. A large part of the set was destroyed by the fire. In an interview, when Desai was asked whether he will take action against people at fault, he said,
I am not in the mental state to think about anything on those lines right now. I am still in trauma. Jodhaa Akbar ka jo set tha who bade dil se banaya tha. It was not a mere structure, but an emotion. This set gave ND Studios its identity.” The Times of India
- In April 2022, Nitin Chandrakant Desai transformed his ND Studio into a Bollywood Theme Park, consisting of seven film sets and a range of experiential activities. The park, launched in April 2022, offers visitors to recreate famous Bollywood scenes and become a part of various iconic Bollywood setups. In an interview, Desai talked about it and said,
Whenever I saw people rushing for autographs of filmstars or trying to walk, speak or sing like them, I felt there should be some facility wherein people would have an opportunity to turn their dreams to reality, at least for a short while. This thought led me to develop this theme park.” The New Indian Express
- In 2022, Desai’s ND Studios hosted the four-day cultural event called ‘Maha-Utsav’, starting from April 28th to May 1st. The event celebrated the rich culture, art, traditions, taste, and bright colours of Maharashtra, marking the 62nd anniversary of the state’s formation. In an interview, while talking about the cultural event, Desai said,
The Maha-Utsav, is a positive step towards this endeavour where we will support artists and their craft through our year-long advocacy campaign. The Maha- Utsav’ of Maharashtra’s great tradition will not only provide a platform for artists working in this field to preserve the heritage but also inspire the new generation.”
- In addition to ND Studio, he had affiliations with several other companies, namely KND Investments and Finance Pvt. Ltd., ND Holdings Pvt. Ltd., Namaskaar Art Studios Pvt. Ltd., and ND S Art World Pvt. Ltd.
- Following his death on 2 August 2023, it was reported in the media that Desai had committed suicide due to a financial crisis as he was debt-ridden and had a loan of Rs 180 crore from a finance company named CFM. Reportedly, Desai had mortgaged a total of 42 acres of land and other properties after signing loan agreements in 2016 and 2018. Later, he could not pay off the loans and was under a huge debt. After CFM failed to recover the loan amount from Desai, the company entrusted Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction to recover all its loan accounts, which also failed to recover the stipulated amount despite several efforts. Later, the company resorted to SARFAESI Act to recover the mortgaged land by confiscating the property. Edelweiss company also filed a petition to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCTL) following which the process of debt recovery was accepted by the court. India Today On 3 August 2023, it was reported in the media that he recorded an audio suicide message hours before his death at 4 am on 2 August 2023 in which he named four persons whose number was saved in his mobile’s contact list. The Times of India