Nitin Desai’s ND Studio turns two

MUMBAI: It has hosted Madhur Bhandarkar’s Traffic Signal as also Sony’s reality show Bigg Boss, and is currently being used to film Ashutosh Gowariker’s opus Jodha Akbar.

Art director Nitin Desai’s ND Studio in Karjat turned two on 7 March, 2007 with a grand celebration to mark the occasion. The studio, located 88 kms from Mumbai, “was an attempt to give back to the industry that has given me so much,” according to Desai.

Reminisced the veteran art director, “When Oliver Stone and I went location hunting for his film Alexander, we could not find any appropriate location with infrastructural facilities, and Stone went back empty handed. But he credited Bollywood for functioning the way it does and for making so many films. This also speeded up my decision to set up a studio.”

Apart from chief guest Amitabh Bachchan, among those present at the function were actors, producers and directors who have shot at the studio since its inception. These included director Ketan Mehta and Aamir Khan (Mangal Pandey – The Rising), Firoz Khan (My Father, Gandhi), Anil Kapoor (Darna Zaroori Hai, Salam-E-Ishq), producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra (Lage Raho Munnabhai, Munnabhai Chale Amerika promo), director Madhur Bhandarkar (Traffic Signal), and director Ashutosh Gowariker (Jodha Akbar).

Said Bachchan, “When Nitin first came to me with a booklet of photographs of the facilities he would provide at the studio, I wished him luck, but deep within, I thought it would never happen. Today, I am happy I was proved wrong.”

Gowariker, whose association with Desai goes back to Lagaan and Swades, said that he too did not believe that the studio would see the light of day.

Actor Aishwarya Rai, who was an architecture student before joining films said, “I had first worked with Nitin on Josh where he recreated Goa in Film City. Since then, I have worked with him in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas and now Jodha Akbar. I cannot find superlatives enough to describe his creations. The architecture student in me is thrilled every time I see his work.”   

The highlight of the event was a sound and light show arranged by action director Ravi Dewan. In a studio sized 240/100/60, 30 artistes, suspended from the ceiling, showered flowers on guests as they arrived.

“I wanted the stunt to be extraordinary to showcase the capabilities of the studios. Stunts of such caliber are only possible because of the size of the studio floor,” added Desai.

Designer Neeta Lulla, who is working on Jodha Akbar, also presented a fashion show on the occasion. Future projects which will be shot at ND Studios include Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion and Mira Nair’s Shantaram.

French filmmaker Xavier will also be shooting his next film here.

Click on the link below for the EXCLUSIVE slideshow of the celebrations:
Nitin Desai Studio anniversary celebrations

Rohini Bhandari

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