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Filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar dies at 67

Director of Parineeta, Mardaani, and acclaimed ad-filmmaker passed away earlier today

Pradeep Sarkar began his directorial journey in the Hindi film industry with Parineeta. (Wikimedia Commons)
Pradeep Sarkar began his directorial journey in the Hindi film industry with Parineeta. (Wikimedia Commons)

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Acclaimed director, Pradeep Sarkar, known for directing films such as Parineeta, Mardaani, and Laaga Chunari Mein Daag passed away on 24 March. Director Hansal Mehta confirmed his death on Twitter. 

"He passed away between 3.10 am and 3.30 am at Lilavati hospital," his wife, Panchali told PTI. He had a viral fever on Wednesday. After administering some medicines his fever persisted and he was rushed to the hospital. 

"By the time we reached the hospital, his vitals started dropping. He was put on a ventilator in the ICU and was diagnosed with pneumonia. The infection attacked his lungs," Panchali said. He also had many comorbidities which weakened his immunity and since testing positive for Covid in July 2022, he was quite weak, she added. 

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Sarkar, born on 30 April 1955 in Kolkata, is well-known for his emotive storytelling in the advertising and filmmaking space. When he was young, his father asked him if painting billboards is what he wants to do for a living. Sarkar clearly had different plans. He graduated from Delhi College of Art with a gold medal in 1979. After working in mainstream advertising as a creative director for 17 years, he began his directorial journey as an ad-film maker by launching his production house in Delhi. As an ad filmmaker, he has won the RAPA Excellence Award for Best Director of the Year Award at Abby’s. 

Sarkar began his directorial journey with ad-making and even launched his production company, Pradeep Sarkar Films. His debut in the Hindi film industry was with the screen adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's Parineeta starring Vidya Balan, Saif Ali Khan, and Sanjay Dutt. His last directorial on the big screen was Helicopter Eela starring Kajol and Riddhi Sen. 

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Sarkar has also been a prolific music video director. Some of his directorial include Shubha Mudgal’s Ab Ke Saawan, Euphoria’s Dhoom Pichak Dhoom and Maaeri, Sultan Khan’s Piya Basanti and Bhupen Hazarika’s Ganga went on to become benchmarks of excellence in visual appeal and storytelling.

Pradeep also won the Best Debutant Director in Screen Awards in Stardust Awards in 2006 for Parineeta, which also went on to win five Filmfare Awards. 

Many celebrities offered their condolences through social media. Ajay Devgn wrote on Twitter, "The news of Pradeep Sarkar’s demise, 'Dada' to some of us, is still hard to digest. My deepest condolences. My prayers are with the departed and his family. RIP Dada.”

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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