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Nitin Chandrakant Desai (Marathi:नितीन चंद्रकांत देसाई) is a noted Indian art director and production designer of Indian cinema turned film and television producer, most known for his work in World Cultural Festival 2016 At Delhi and films like, Lagaan (2001), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), Devdas (2002) and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999). During his career spanning twenty years, he has worked with directors like Ashutosh Gowarikar, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Hirani and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.[1] In 2002, he turned film producer with Chandrakant Productions' Desh Devi, a devotional film on the Devi Mata of Kutch.[2]

Nitin Chandrakant Desai
Nitin Chandrakant Desai at the premiere of Marathi film 'Ajintha', 2012
Nitin Chandrakant Desai at the premiere of Marathi film 'Ajintha', 2012
Native name
नितीन चंद्रकांत देसाई
Nitin Chandrakant Desai

Mulund, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Alma materSir J.J. Institute of Applied Art
L.S.Raheja School of Arts
OccupationActor, filmmaker, Art director, production designer
Years active1987 – present
Notable work
Jodhaa Akbar
Harishchandrachi Factory
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

He has won National Film Award for Best Art Direction four times, and Filmfare Best Art Direction Award three times. In 2005, he opened his ND Studios spread over 52 acres (21 ha) at Karjat, Navi Mumbai, near Mumbai, which has since hosted movies like Jodha Akbar, Traffic Signal as also Color's reality show Big Boss.[3][4]


Early life and educationEdit

He attended his school at Wamanrao Muranjan High School, Mulund in a Marathi Medium, He studied photography at the J.J. School of Art and L.S.Raheja school of arts, in Mumbai, before joining the films.[5][6]


He first went to Mumbai's Film City Studios in May 1987, and immediately switched from the 2-D format of still photography to a 3-D world of art direction. He joined noted art director, Nitish Roy as a fourth assistant for the period TV serial, Tamas (1987), directed by Govind Nihalani. Thereafter he worked TV series, Kabir for five-and-a-half years, series Chanakya for the first 25 episodes, and took over independently from the 26th episode onwards.

His first feature film was Adhikari Brothers' Bhookamp in 1993, but it was Vidhu Vinod Chopra's period film, 1942: A Love Story in 1994 that got him noticed.[5] Over the years he has worked in film like Parinda, Khamoshi, Maachis, Baadshah, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Raju Chacha, international projects like Salaam Bombay!, Amok (a French film directed by Joel Farges, which won Desai a Pri Genie nomination), Jungle Book, Kama Sutra, the Canadian film Such a Long Journey and Holy Smoke. He also created two sets for Slumdog Millionaire 2008 film, which include the set of Kaun Banega Crorepati scene, incidentally he had also designed the set for the Star Plus TV series, and an interiors set of the Taj Mahal.[7][8]

He turned film producer in 2003, with devotional film, Desh Devi Maa Ashapura.[5] Situated on the outskirts of Mumbai at Karjat, the ND studios was opened in 2005, spread over 52 acres (21 ha), later Reliance Entertainment picked up 50 per cent stake in the studio for about Rs 1.50 billion.[9][10] He turned to producing TV series, with Marathi serial Raja Shivchhatrapati, which became a big hit.[11]

In Marathi, he has produced a biopic movie Balgandharva released in May 2011.[12] He has also produced a reality TV show "Marathi Paul Padte Pudhe", which provides a platform for young talent. Concept is similar to America's Got Talent.

Currently he is working on Amol Gupte's "Sapno Ko Ginte Ginte", and after producing Chittod Ki Rani Padmini Ka Johur (2009) TV series, he is now producing historic TV series, Taj Mahal and Baji Rao Mastani.[13] In 2011,he also debuted as a lead actor by the Marathi film 'Hello Jai Hind' directed by Gajendra Ahire.

Most of Desai's successful work as an art director has been in period films, as can be seen by the fact that all 4 of his National Film Award for Best Art Direction awards have been for period films.


As ActorEdit

  • Hum Sab Ek Hain(1998-2001)
  • Daud:Fun on the run!(1997)
  • Hello Jai Hind!(2011)
  • Balgandharva (2011)

As DirectorEdit

As art directorEdit


As production designerEdit



  1. ^ Art Director Nitin Desai accredited for his long career International Reporter, MIL/TNN, 19 January 2008.
  2. ^ Mammoth crowd turns up for premiere in Kutch Screen, 22 November 2002.
  3. ^ Nitin Desai on Bollywood, ND Studio and much more CNN IBN, 10 May 2008.
  4. ^ Nitin Desai's Movie Studio: A Tour Business of Cinema, Rohini Bhandari, 9 March 2007.
  5. ^ a b c The art and craft of Nitin Desai, 18 January 2003.
  6. ^ Nitin Chandrakant DESAI India: Jodhaa Akbar Asian Film Awards.
  7. ^ I often build my dreams through my sets: Nitin Chadrakant Desai Realbollywood, 3 March 2009.
  8. ^ Game, set, movie: Nitin Desai, who created the sets for “Slumdog Millionaire”... The Hindu, 24 January 2009.
  9. ^ "Finally, a Hollywood movie made in India". Mint. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  10. ^ Hollywood productions to be filmed at ND studios Agencies Screen, 30 April 2008.
  11. ^ Aesthetic matters: Art director-turned-television producer Nitin Desai.. Deccan Herald.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ After Rani Padmini Nitin Desai to make Taj Mahal, Baji Rao Mastani Tellychaker, RajDixit 7 August 2009.
  14. ^ Filmography Bollywood Hungama.
  15. ^ Filmography Yahoo! Movies
  16. ^ Filmography Variety
  17. ^ Awards for Nitin Chandrakant Desai on IMDb
  18. ^ 1994–2000 Awards Screen.
  19. ^ Nitin Chandrakant Desai took home his seventh Screen trophy for Best Art Direction this year for Gandhi My Father. Screen, 18 January 2008.
  20. ^ Harishchandrachi Factory is India's Oscar entry The Times of India, Chitra Nair, TNN 21 September 2009. "46th Maharashtra State Film Awards.."

External linksEdit