Kolkata: With the death of National Award-winning filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, members of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community of the city say they have lost "an ardent supporter" in the genius storyteller.
"We have lost a very close friend of ours. We have lost one of our ardent supporters," Subhagata Ghosh of the sexual-rights group Sappho for Equality (SFE) told IANS.
Rituparno, who was suffering from pancreatitis, passed away at his South Kolkata residence in sleep around 7.30 a.m. following a massive cardiac arrest, film industry sources said. He was 49.
The acclaimed Bengali filmmaker, who has movies like "Chokher Bali", "Antarmahal", "Dosar" and "Chitrangada" to his credit, was also known for his cross-dressing style and fascination for make-up.
Born Aug 31, 1963, in Kolkata, Ghosh started his career in the world of advertisement, and shifted to celluloid in 1992 with the Bengali movie "Hirer Angti" and won a total of 12 National Film awards.
His other National Award winning Bengali films are "Dahan", "Bariwali", "Asukh", "Utsab", "Shubho Mahurat", "Chokher Bali", "Dosar", "Shob Charitro Kalponik" and "Abohoman".
Rituparno's last release "Chitrangada" (2012), where he also acted, won the Special jury honours at the National Film Awards.
"He came to the film festival organised by LGBT community last year in November. There 'Chitrangada' was screened. As a member of the community, I feel very sad to lose a very close friend of ours. His death is a great loss for the literary world, cultural world and for LGBT community as well," said Ghosh.
Earlier, gay filmmaker Onir had also condoled his death via Twitter saying, "His passing away will be a big loss not only to lovers of cinema and art, but a huge loss to the LGBT community."