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Casting director-producer Seher Aly Latif of ‘The Lunchbox’ fame dies of cardiac arrest, celebs mourn demise

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Mumbai: Casting director Seher Aly Latif, known for her work on films like “The Lunchbox” and “Durgamati”, passed away on Monday due to cardiac arrest, her associate and director Neeraj Udhwani said. She was in her early 40s.

Also the co-founder of independent production company Mutant Films, Latif backed the Netflix series “Bhaag Beanie Bhaag”, starring Swara Bhasker, and “Maska”, a film for the streaming service which featured Manisha Koirala.

Udhwani, who directed “Maska”, said Latif was admitted to Lilavati Hospital eight days ago due to kidney failure.

“There was some infection, which caused renal failure. She was admitted last weekend. She was on antibiotics and was recovering. But today she suffered a cardiac arrest and suddenly it was all over,” the filmmaker told PTI.

Latif was known for her extensive work as a casting director on projects like mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan’s biopic “The Man Who Knew Infinity”, starring Dev Patel; filmmaker Gurinder Chadha’s period film “Viceroy’s House” and Bhumi Pednekar-fronted drama feature “Durgamati”.

She was the Indian casting associate for acclaimed international projects like the Kathryn Bigelow feature directorial “Zero Dark Thirty”, Julia Roberts-starrer “Eat Pray Love”, the Netflix series “Sense8”, season four of the Showtime espionage thriller “Homeland” and the BBC One/AMC series, “McMafia”.

Nimrat Kaur, who starred in “The Lunchbox” and “Homeland”, took to Twitter to pay tributes to Latif.

“One of the kindest, most loving people Mumbai gifted my life with. Still trying to process this unreal news… Travel on into the light my dearest, sweetest Seher. The unpredictable, ghastly shortness of life remains baffling. Await to meet you on the other side,” Kaur wrote.

Filmmaker Ritesh Batra, who helmed the acclaimed 2013 drama “The Lunchbox”, shared Kaur’s tweet and said he was shocked to learn about Latif’s passing.

“I don’t believe it, unfair parting with a kind soul and real friend. Goodbye Seher, I hope there is another side,” Batra wrote.

“Maska” actor Nikita Dutta posted a picture with Latif to remember her.

“The heaven will be blessed with your mushy hugs and infectious smile. Still can’t fathom this though,” Dutta wrote.

“Salut #SeherLatif such an amazing casting director, producer and wonderful person. Gone too soon. Thank you for your legacy of films. God bless,” tweeted fellow casting director Tess Joseph.

Latif was also attached as the executive producer on films like “Shakuntala Devi”, starring Vidya Balan, and Akshay Kumar’s “Gold” (2018).

Latif is survived by her husband and parents. 

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