Marathi film industry loses an icon


Renowned Marathi movie director Sanjay Surkar passed away in Pune on Thursday following a heart attack. He was 53. Best known for his films on sensitive and controversial subjects, like Saatchya Aat Gharat, Chaukat Raja and Aapli Manse, his ongoing venture Laathi was about grief and strife of the elderly in the country.

It was while shooting for Laathi that Surkar collapsed.

According to executive producer of the film Pravin Wankhede, Surkar had come to the location at Jain Hostel near BMCC at 9 in the morning. He spent some time taking breakfast and discussing the shoot with the team and suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to Ratna Memorial Hospital on Senapati Bapat Road where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 12.30pm.

Dr Jyothsna Kangavkar, chief medical officer said, "He had a heart attack and by the time he was brought here, he was dead."

Surkar was taken to Tilak Smarak Mandir at 5pm, after which his last rites were performed at Vaikunth Smashan Bhumi in Navi Peth at 6pm.

Mohan Joshi, Subodh Bhave, Reema Lagoo, Suhas Joshi, Sachin Khedekar, Smita Talwalkar and several other actors who had worked with Surkar attended the funeral.

Reema Lagoo, a popular name in Hindi as well as Marathi cinema said 20 years ago she had done Marathi play Toh Ek Shan directed by Surkar. "We developed a great chemistry and I did three Marathi films directed by him, Aapli Mansa, Aai Shapath and Ghara Bahu. We also did a TV serial Noopur," she said adding he had great cinematic vision.

"He gave me my first negative role in Ghara Bahu. In fact, when he narrated the role, I said I found it incomplete. I will always remember that he actually sat with me, discussed the scenes and changed a few of them. He was so flexible and had no ego problems," said Lagoo.

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