Pradeep Sarkar (1955-2023) was an Indian director, who is known for directing Parineeta (2005). He is also known for directing numerous ads, web series, and music videos. He breathed his last at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai on 24 March 2023.
Pradeep Sarkar was born on Saturday, 30 April 1955 (age 67 years; at the time of death) in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal, India. His zodiac sign is Taurus. After moving to Delhi from Kolkata in 1971, he enrolled at Delhi College of Art, where he graduated as a gold medallist in 1979.
Pradeep Sarkar was born into a Bengali family in Kolkata.
Parents & Siblings
He has a sister named Madhu Sarkar Kuriakose, who is an entrepreneur.
Wife & Children
His wife, Panchali Sarkar, is a filmmaker. His son, Ronit Sarkar, is a playback singer. His daughter, Raya Sarkar, is an artist.
Pradeep Sarkar started his career with Tulika, a small advertising agency. After working at Tulika for a few years, he left the company and joined Grant Kenyon & Eckhardt (now merged with Contract), where he worked for seventeen years and became its vice president. Thereafter, he left Grant Kenyon & Eckhardt and joined Kelvinator, where he directed his first commercial. Later, he joined Vinod Chopra Productions in Mumbai, where he directed numerous commercials as Creative Director – Art. After establishing Wavelength Film Works Private Limited on 3 October 1997 and Apocalypso Filmworks Private Limited on 7 November 1997, Pradeep directed several commercials for well-known brands such as Catch, Eveready, Haier, Hero MotoCorp, LG, LIC, and Muthoot Finance.
Pradeep Sarkar has directed music videos for many Hindi songs and albums including Dhoom Pichak Dhoom by Palash Sen (1998), Ab Ke Sawan by Shubha Mudgal (1999), Piya Basanti by K. S. Chithra and Sultan Khan (2000), and Maaeri by Euphoria and Palash Sen (2000). Pradeep Sarkar worked as an editor in Rajkumar Hirani’s 2003 film Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. Pradeep made his directorial debut with the 2005 Hindi film Parineeta, starring Vidya Balan, Saif Ali Khan, and Sanjay Dutt. He also wrote the script for the film. In an interview, Pradeep said that before he began working on the film, Vidhu Vinod Chopra told him that making a three-hour-long film was harder than making a thirty-second-long advertisement. While talking about it, he said,
Before starting work on Parineeta, Vidhu Vinod Chopra told me, Just because you have made 30-sec ads, don’t think that you now have three hours to play around with. People are smarter and more impatient than you think.”
In 2007, he directed and wrote the script for Laaga Chunari Mein Daag: Journey of a Woman, a Hindi film. In the same year, he directed another Hindi film titled Eklavya: The Royal Guard. In 2010, he directed the Bollywood film Lafangey Parindey. He directed the 2014 Hindi film Mardaani, starring Rani Mukerji. In 2018, he worked with Kajol and directed the Hindi film Helicopter Eela.
In 2019, he directed Coldd Lassi Aur Chicken Masala, a Hindi comedy web series which premiered on ZEE5 and AltBalaji. In the same year, he directed and wrote the script for a 2019 short film titled Neel Samandar. In 2020, he directed the ZEE5 Hindi web series Arranged Marriage and Forbidden Love. He was the executive producer of a 2021 Bengali film titled Jokhon Ratri Name. In 2022, he directed a ZEE5 Hindi web series titled Duranga, which is adapted from the Korean drama Flower of Evil. In 2022, Prakash began directing Noti Binodini, starring Kangana Ranaut. He, however, passed away before the completion of the film’s production.
- Pradeep Sarkar won the Filmfare Award for Best Art Direction (2005), the Zee Cine Award for Most Promising Director (2005), the Apsara Film Producers Guild Awards for Best Debut Director (2006), Screen Awards for Best Debutant Director (2006), Stardust Awards for Hottest Young Director (2006), and the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director (2006) for the film Parineeta.
- For directing commercials for Aaj Tak, an Indian news channel, Pradeep Sarkar received the Rapa Award and the Abby Award in the Best Director category (2003).
Pradeep Sarkar was undergoing dialysis in Mumbai as the potassium level in his blood had dropped drastically. His immune system was drastically affected since he recovered from COVID-19 in 2022. Pradeep Sarkar passed away at the Lilavati Hospital in Bandra, Mumbai on 24 March 2023 between 3.10 am to 3.30 am after pneumonia infected his lungs. According to his wife, Pradeep had a viral fever on 22 March 2023 and despite following the prescribed medications, his fever did not subside. Due to a persistent fever, Pradeep was rushed to the Lilavati hospital on the morning of 23 March 2023. She further added that when Pradeep was en route to the hospital, his vitals began dropping, and his condition became serious. In an interview, while talking about it, she said,
He passed away between 3.10am and 3.30am at Lilavati hospital. He had viral fever on March 22. After administering some medicines his fever subsided but not completely. So he was rushed to the hospital. By the time we reached the hospital, his vitals started dropping. He was put on a ventilator in the ICU and was diagnosed with pneumonia. The infection attacked his lungs. According to doctors, he had many comorbidities which weakened his immunity. His blood pressure was fluctuating. Since covid hit him in July 2022, he was quite weak.”
His last rites were conducted at the Santacruz Hindu Crematorium in Mumbai on 24 March 2023 at 4 pm.
- Pradeep Sarkar was fondly called Dada, which means elder brother, by his fans and colleagues.
- Pradeep Sarkar was an avid pet lover. He had two dogs named Lilo, a Chihuahua, and Yoda.
- Pradeep followed a non-vegetarian diet, and his favourite dish was Kosha Mangsho.
- Pradeep shared a close bond with Vidya Balan. In an interview, Vidya said that she saw Pradeep and his wife as her guardians and shared a “love-hate relationship” with him. Talking about it, she said,
Without attaching labels, Dada and his wife are like my guardians. If I can depend on somebody it’s him or her. I share a love-hate relationship with Dada. I fight with him, the way I fight with my father. He’s unaffected because except work nothing matters to him.”