Film director Ghosh dies

Indian movie director Rituparno Ghosh, whose work includes award-winning films in the Bengali language, has died of cardiac arrest.

Ghosh, 49, died on Thursday at his home in the eastern city of Kolkata, his family said.

Ghosh directed about 20 feature films in the Bengali language, mostly dealing with the dilemmas of India's urban middle class.

He shot to fame with his first film Hirer Angti, or The Diamond Ring, in 1994. Then followed a string of movies that earned him 12 national film awards, including for best director.

His 2007 creation The Last Lear was in English and centred on a retired actor who is persuaded to return to cinema to reprise the lead role in a production of Shakespeare's King Lear. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan starred in the film and it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Ghosh's films earned critical acclaim at several international film festivals, including in Locarno, Switzerland, and London.

Shekhar Kapur, director of the 1998 Academy Award-winning period film Elizabeth, tweeted that he was "shocked by the passing of Rituparno Ghosh". He described Ghosh as a "hugely creative explorer on film".

Indian character actress Kiran Kher said Ghosh was a marvellous director and his death was a "huge loss for Indian cinema".