Veteran filmmaker Basu Chatterjee passes away

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New Delhi: Veteran filmmaker Basu Chatterjee, known for his soulful cinema, passed away following age related health issues. He was 93.

Chatterjee who is survived by his daughters Sonali Bhattacharya and Rupali Guha, died in his sleep at his Santacruz residence this morning.

The veteran filmmaker’s cinema was progressive, unhurried and a slice of everyday life. He preferred actors like Vidya Sinha, Amol Palekar and Zarina Wahab for his inspiring middle-class stories. Some of his best known works are “Us Paar”, “Chitchor”, “Rajnigandha”, “Piya Ka Ghar”, “Khatta Meetha”, “Baton Baton Mein”, Swami, Apne Paraye and Shaukeen.

His work with Amitabh Bachchan in “Manzil”, Rajesh Khanna in “Chakravyuha”, Dev Anand and Tina Munim in “Man Pasand” has developed cult classic status over the years.

In 1992, Basu Chatterjee won the National Film Award for best film on family welfare for Durga.

Basu Chatterjee had a very close association with Doordarshan in which he directed its two iconic serials – Byomkesh Bakshi and Rajani.

Besides the very successful detective TV show ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ and the popular ‘Rajani’, the renowned filmmaker also directed numerous shows like ‘Darpan’ and ‘Ek Prem Katha’ for Doordarshan.

Before film-making, Basu worked as an illustrator and cartoonist with the weekly tabloid Blitz for 18 long years.

He ventured into the industry by assisting Basu Bhattacharya in the Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman starrer Teesri Kasam (1966), which later won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film.

Eventually, he made his directorial debut with Sara Akash in 1969, which won him the Filmfare Best Screenplay Award.

President of the Indian Film and Television Directors Association, Ashoke Pandit said, the last rites of the filmmaker were performed at the Santacruz crematorium in the presence of close family members.

Film fraternity led by Amitabh Bachchan also condoled the death of the director, who placed the middle class and its everyday joys and struggles at the centre of his cinematic world.

President Ramnath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief over the demise of Basu Chatterjee.

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