Renowned Bengali filmmaker and theatre personality Goutam Halder died of cardiac arrest in Kolkata on Friday. He was 67. Halder died at a private hospital, where he was admitted after complaining of chest pain at his Salt Lake residence in the morning, sources in the Bengali film industry said.
He had directed around 80 stage plays, including Rabindranath Tagore’s Rakta Karabi recently. Halder had made his first Bengali film Bhalo Theko in 2003, with actor Vidya Balan in the lead role. He also directed Nirvana with Rakhi Gulzar in the lead role in 2019.
Expressing grief over his death, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a statement, “Saddened by the demise of distinguished film director and theatre personality Goutam Halder. His demise is a great loss to the world of culture. Condolences to his family members and admirers.”
Family friend and actor Chaiti Ghosal, who was cast in Halder’s Rakta Karabi, wrote on social media, “Famous theatre personality and film director Gautam Halder is no more. My deepest respect to you. He was my mentor in the world of theatre.” She wrote on Instagram with a few pictures with him, “RAKTOKOROBI R BISHU PAGOL FOREVER. Bhalo theko…I am so grateful to have done innumerable RAKTOKOROBI SHOWS AS NANDINI under your direction.”
Halder had also made a documentary, Strings for Freedom, on Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in 1999.