Noted production designer Nitin Desai was honoured by the prestigious Art Directors’ Guild Film Society and American Cinematheque in Hollywood on Sunday evening. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s
, for which he created awe-inspiring sets, was later screened at Egyptian Theatre, where eminent personalities from across the globe gathered.
Desai recalls being over the moon when he got the news a couple of days ago. “I was returning to Mumbai by an early morning flight when representatives of the guild called to congratulate me. First I didn’t understand what they were talking about, but when they told me about this honour, I was elated,” he said.
The ace art director reveals that his family was keen to accompany him, but couldn’t as his children have exams at school. However, he’s glad producer-friend Vidhu Vinod Chopra is in Los Angeles to join him in his glorious moments. “Vinod is an old friend. We’ll be teaming up for his international movie,
, for which he’s in LA,” he says.
Desai, who sourced locations for Oscar winning director Oliver Stone’s
, said he was looking forward to exchanging ideas and technology with his western counterparts. Asked to name the directors he’d like to work with in Hollywood and he replies, “Steven Spielberg and James Cameron. Why aspire for anything less than the best?” he says.
The art director who has films like
1942 A Love Story, Lagaan, Jodhaa Akbar, Slumdog Millionaire
and the recent
Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai
to his credit, has won National Award for Best Film Direction four times previously. He has also won a Genie Award for Best Achievement in Art Direction/Production Design for
Such a Long Journey