National Award-Winning Director Sumitra Bhave Passes Away Aged 78
She won multiple National Awards for her films
Award-winning writer and director Sumitra Bhave passed away in Pune aged 78. She was reportedly suffering from age-related ailments, and was under observation in a private hospital.
Bhave made her first film Bai in 1985, while working as the Director of Research Project at Stree Vani. The movie followed the life of a woman in the slums navigating daily life. The theme of social causes remained prevalent in many of her later projects. Bai won the 'National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film on Family Welfare' at the 33rd National Film Awards.
She also won a National Award under the 'Best Educational/ Motivational/ Instructional Film' at the 35th National Film Awards for the film Paani. She is known for various other films like Chakori, Laha, Three Faces of Tomorrow, and Gautam's Mother, all of which she both wrote and directed.
Bhave, along with her co-director Sunil Sukthankar, made a huge contribution to Marathi cinema. The duo started working together with the with the Marathi film Doghi, and also worked together for their film Devrai, both of which were honored with National Awards. The duo also directed Gho Mala Asla Hava which premiered at the Pune International Film Festival. The film marked the debut for actor Radhika Apte. She played the character Savitra who rebels against her father's wished to get her married in a comical commentary on married life.
Actor-director Swanand Kirikire expressed his condolences while applauding Sumitra for always making films on her own terms. "Rest In Peace Sumitra Bhave. Thank you for making such amazing heart felt films always on your own terms ...This song from your Kaasav | Leher Samandar Re...," he tweeted.
Milind Soman also tweeted, "Sumitra Bhave, one of the loveliest people, and one of the most wonderful directors I have ever worked with, has passed away. I will miss her." Milind worked in Astu and Samhita directed by Sumitra-Sukthankar.
Sumitra did always follow her heart, talking about issues that mattered, ranging for social issues to mental health. The latest Sumitra-Sukthankar collaboration Kaasav won the 'Swarna Kamal' at the National Awards. She also lend her voice to Chaintanya Tamhane's directorial The Disciple. The movie was entered into the 77th Venice International Film Festival making it the second Indian film since Monsoon Wedding. It will be available on Netflix from 30 April.
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