National Award-winning writer, painter, cartoonist and animation filmmaker Gautam Benegal has passed away due to a cardiac arrest aged 56. News of Gautam’s demise was shared on social media by his friend Kaizaad Kotwal.
He wrote in a Facebook post, “I am in deep shock. Gautam Benegal is no more. Just yesterday we were exchanging messages. What a huge loss to all of India, especially her artistic, intellectual and progressive denizens. I still cannot process this. RIP Gautam.”
After the news of Gautam’s death surfaced on social media, netizens took to the comments section to mourn. One of the netizens wrote, “Gautam, can’t believe you have left this space for good. Reading your informative, inspiring, enthralling but distinctly succinct and acerbic posts made my day and I shall miss you.” Another comment read, “What a terribly shocking news. Cannot believe it. A Facebook friend for many years, is suddenly gone. A great talent, a painter, writer, animator, illustrator, documentary filmmaker, gone forever. Unbelievably sad. To say that you will be missed Gautam, is an understatement.”
At 16, Gautam illustrated for children’s magazine Sandesh. He made films for the Films Division of India and his movies have also been nominated for film festivals in Teheran, Belarus, Hiroshima, and Cairo among other places. He had received the National award (Rajatkamal) Best animation Film for 2010: The Prince and the Crown of Stone, reported The Quint.