Prashant Bhargava

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Prashant Bhargava
Born (1973-01-12)January 12, 1973
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died May 15, 2015(2015-05-15) (aged 42)
New York, New York, U.S.
Cause of death Cardiac arrest
Occupation Director
Notable work Patang, Radhe Radhe

Prashant Bhargava (January 12, 1973 - May 15, 2015)[1][2] was an award-winning American filmmaker and designer.

He died of a heart attack from a history of heart trouble.[3]


Bhargava was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, a graduate of Kenwood Academy. His interest in the arts began in his youth, when he was a graffiti artist.[4]

Bhargava studied computer science at Cornell University and theatrical directing at the Barrow Group and at the Actors Studio MFA program.



Bhargava's short film Sangam, described by Greg Tate of the Village Voice as "an elegant and poetic evocation of immigrant angst, memory and haunted spirituality", premiered at the Sundance Film Festival,[5] receiving awards at the Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival and Short Shorts Asia.[citation needed] "Beautiful shot on Super 16, Super 8 and still photography" the "poetic and affecting" film (Indiewire) was distributed by Film Movement and MUBI and broadcast on Arte/ZDF, The Sundance Channel[6] and PBS. His other directorial efforts include the documentary portrait of his grandmother Ammaji, experimental Super 8 short Backwaters and the poignant and meditative Kashmir, an audiovisual performance with band Dawn of Midi[7] on broken dreams and natural beauty in war torn Kashmir. He directed film segments for the politically searing Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd's Still Life Commentator (BAM Next Wave Festival).


Bhargava's feature length directorial debut, Patang (The Kite), released in theaters in the U.S./Canada in June 2012, is an anthem of the old city of Ahmedabad, weaving the stories of six people during India's largest kite festival. Defying convention in its process and cinematic language, Patang united a community ravaged by religious conflict and natural disaster. Starring two of India's finest actors, Seema Biswas and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Patang received rave reviews, garnering a rare 4 stars from Roger Ebert, who selected chose the film as one of 12 films in his annual film festival.[8][citation needed] The New York Times selected Patang as a Critics Pick, celebrating its "lovely, unforced quality".[9] Patang has been showcased to sold out audiences in over 30 international film festivals[citation needed]. Patang premiered at prestigious Berlin Film Festival[10] and in the highly selective main competition at the Tribeca Film Festival.,[4] a Special Jury Award at the Osians Film Festival in New Delhi, Best Feature Narrative at the DC APA Film Festival and Best Film and Best Director at the Rising Star Film Awards.[citation needed]

Radhe Radhe[edit]

Bhargava's last collaboration with Vijay Iyer, a film with live orchestral music, is entitled Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi. Based on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Radhe Radhe is a journey of desire and devotion to the Goddess Radha set during the primal and vibrant celebration of Holi in Mathura, India.

Other work[edit]

Bhargava's filmmaking built on his work as a commercial director and motion designer. Known for his intricately layered and lush visuals,[citation needed] Bhargava spearheaded over 100 campaigns for HBO including The Wire, Def Poetry Jam, Rome and OZ, and films such as Born into Brothels, John Frankenhiemer's Path to War, Mira Nair's Hysterical Blindness, Raoul Peck's Lumumba and Denzel Washington's Antwone Fisher. Bhargava has designed effects sequences for Alex Rivera's feature Sleep Dealer (Berlin, Sundance) and directed music videos and promos for bands Cornershop, Talib Kweli and Missy Elliott. Notable clients include Accenture, NBC, Woolrich, PBS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Volvo and OMango. His commercial work has earned recognition by the Broadcast Design Association and Adobe.[citation needed]

Bhargava has lectured at New York University, Cornell University, Amherst College, CUNY, University of Chicago and CEDIM. He was a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College and New York Foundation of the Arts Fellow in both 1997 and 2012.


  • Radhe Radhe (2014)
  • Patang (2012)
  • Kashmir (2011)
  • Ammaji (2014)
  • Backwaters (2005)
  • Sangam (2004)


External links[edit]