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Hollywood honours Bollywood art director

Art Director Nitin Desai, who has worked for renowned films like Lagaan, Devdas, Jodhaa Akbar and Slumdog Millionaire, earns critique from the American Cinematheque.

bollywood Updated: Aug 31, 2010 19:10 IST
Hiren Kotwani
Hiren Kotwani
Hindustan Times

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.

Nitin Desai

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,

Broken Horses

, 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


First Published: Aug 30, 2010 13:06 IST