Nitin Desai is a notable art director and production designer in Bollywood; he is also a TV and Film producer. He was born in Mulund, Mumbai, Maharashtra. He did his schooling from Wamanrao Muranjan High School, Mulund. He learned photography from L S Raheja School of Arts and J J School of Arts. After which he made his entry into films. Nitin started his career by assisting art director
Nitish Roy for the TV serial, Tamas (1987); he was the fourth assistant to Roy.
Before joining Roy, he went to Mumbai’s Film City Studios, where he switched to 3D world of art direction from 2D format of still photography. He further worked for TV series as ‘
Kabir’ and ‘
Chanakya’. Nitin made his debut in the films by 'Adhikari Brothers’ ‘Bhookamp’ (1993). He was recognized by the 1994 film ‘1942: A Love Story’ by
Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Further he did Bollywood films as ‘
Akele Hum Akele Tum’ (1995), ‘
Vijeta’ (1995), ‘
Khamoshi: The musical’ (1996) and many more. Nitin is mainly known for the art direction and set designing of TV show ‘
Kaun Banega Crorepati’ and the superhit films as ‘
Devdas (2002) and ‘
Jodha Akbar’ (2008).
He has been honored with National Film Award for Best Art Direction for four films, namely, ‘
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ (1999), ‘Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar’ (1999), ‘Lagaan’ (2001) and ‘Devdas’ (2002). Also Filmfare Best Art Direction Award for ‘1942: A Love Story’, ‘Khamoshi’ and ‘Devdas’. For the film ‘Jodha Akbar’ he has received IIFA Best Art Direction Award and also Screen Awards for Best Art Direction for six films. In 2009, he received Best Art Direction Award from Maharashtra State Film Awards for the film ‘
Nitin’s work has been noticed internationally also through the films ‘Salaam Bombay!’, ‘Amok’ (a French film), ‘Such a long journey’ and ‘Holy Smoke’ (Canadian films) and for
Slumdog Millionaire for which he designed two sets; one of Kaun Banega Crorepati scene and other interior set of Taj Mahal. Nitin started his production house; under which he produced his first feature film ‘Desh Devi Maa Ashapura’ in 2003. Later in 2005, he opened the studio by the name ND Studios at Karjat, which is spread over 52 acres. The 50 per cent stakes were bought in this studio by Reliance Entertainment for Rs. 1.50 bn. Then he produced Marathi hit serial ‘Raja Shivchhatrapati’. He went on to produce many TV serials and film thereon.