Obituary: Shamin Desai, pioneer of Channel V, passes away

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 21, 2011
Desai was suffering from stomach cancer.

Shamin Desai, an ad filmmaker and a director, and one of the pioneers of Channel V, passed away on Tuesday. He was suffering from stomach cancer. Desai is survived by his wife.

Desai left Channel V in 1996-97. Later, he started his own production company, PS Films, in Mumbai.

He became well-known for his ability to conjure characters such as Aunty 303 at Channel V. He also directed a Hindi feature film, 24x7 Raftaar, which is yet to be released, and various other music videos, including KK's popular music video, Pal.

Speaking to afaqs! Desai's colleagues and peers, who fondly remember him as an ace at his work, as well as a good human being, feel his demise has rendered a big blow to the creative industry.

Pratap Suthan, founder, The Advisory, remembers Desai from his stint at Mudra in the '90s, where both were senior writers. He says, "Desai was one of the gutsy creative guys who transited early from creative into filmmaking. He was someone who pushed the craft. I remember many of us talking about his edgy filmmaking style, and the gloss he got into his work."

Suthan adds, "It's a pity that I never got to work with him, and sadder still, that I couldn't find an opportunity to share some time. Rest in peace, friend."

Talking about Desai, Shashanka Ghosh, filmmaker and scriptwriter, says, "He was an astonishing filmmaker, with great vision. I hired him when Channel V was launched in India. We all worked together to establish it as a brand. His visual stunts were outstanding. He had an extremely creative bent of mind."

Sheetal Sudhir, creative head, Channel V remembers Desai very fondly. She reminisces about the time when she joined Channel V as an intern, when he was heading the creative side. Says she, "He was my mentor. It is extremely sad to have lost such a great personality. Whatever I have learnt is from him. He was a creative genius."

Another individual, on conditions of anonymity, says, "It is a pity that the industry lost a person like him. I am extremely shocked. It is too personal a moment for me right now. I convey my condolences to his family."

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