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Nandita Das (born 7 November 1969) is an award-winning Indian film actress and independent filmmaker. As an actress, she is known for her critically acclaimed performances in Fire (1996), Earth (1998), Bawandar (2000) and Aamaar Bhuvan (2002). As a director, she is known for her directorial debut Firaaq (2008), which has won a number of national and international awards, including Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Government of France.

Early life

Born in New Delhi to noted Indian painter, Jatin Das, originally from Orissamarker, and her Gujarati Hindu-Jain mother, a writer, Varsha.

She went to Sardar Patel Vidyalaya in New Delhi. She received her bachelor's degree in Geography from Miranda House and Post Graduation from the Delhi School of Social Work. She was a good student, getting firsts in all of them.

Career

Acting

Nandita Das started her acting career with a theatre group called Jannatya Manch. She taught at the Rishi Valley Schoolmarker.

She is best known for her performances in Deepa Mehta Films Fire, Earth alongside Aamir Khan, Bawander (directed by Jagmohan Mundhra) and Amaar Bhuvan (directed by Mrinal Sen).

Das has played storyteller/narrator in the audiobook series for kids "Under the Banyan" by Karadi Tales. She has also been the narrator in the audiobook of Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography by Charkha Audiobooks "The Story of My Experiments with Truth". She has also lent her voice for the children's series, The Wonder Pets as the Bengal Tiger.

Nandita has acted in films in ten different languages to date: English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Oriya and Kannada.

Directing

In 2008, she completed filming her directorial debut, Firaaq. Firaaq is a work of fiction, based on a thousand true stories and is set a month after the Gujarat carnage in 2002. It is an ensemble film that interweaves multiple stories over a 24 hour period, as the characters from different strata of society, grapple with the lingering effects of violence. The film traces the emotional journeys of ordinary people- some who were victims, some perpetrators and some who chose to watch silently. The film’s stellar cast includes Naseeruddin Shah, Raghubir Yadav, Paresh Rawal, Deepti Naval, Sanjay Suri, Tisca Chopra, Shahana Goswami and Nowaz.

The film won top honours at the Asian Festival of First Films 2008 in Singaporemarker, where it won the awards for "Best Film", "Screenplay / Script", and "Foreign Correspondents Assn. Purple Orchid Award for Best Film". The film has also won awards at other international film festivals, including the Special Prize award at the International Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greecemarker, the Special Jury Award at the International Film Festival of Kerala, and the Best Editor award for the film's editor Sreekar Prasad at the Dubai International Film Festival. It will be released in India on the 20th of March 2009. The film also won an award at the Kara Film Festival.

"I'm so glad 'Firaaq' has been applauded by audiences around the world, from Toronto, London, Pusan to Kolkata and Trivandrum. After all, human emotions are universal and after the kind of feedback I have got in different parts of the world, I understand that more. Audiences have been able to empathize with the journeys of the characters everywhere. It's more so in India, where it's set and hence people can identify with it more. It's been said that the film gave a voice to so much that remains silent and that it should be seen at least once. Though it's always great to win awards at every competitive festival we entered the film in, but it's actually the audience reaction that really matters," Nandita Das told Radio Sargam.

Personal life

In 2002, Das married long-time boyfriend Saumya Sen. The couple began Leapfrog, an advertising organization geared towards making socially conscious ad films. The couple divorced in 2009. The first lasted a bare three years, ending in divorce by mutual consent. She is now dating Subodh Maskara, an industrialist based out of Mumbai.

Philanthropy

Das gives talks around the world about the impact of her films and the need for powerful social movements in India. She spoke at MITmarker on 12 April 2007 after a screening of Fire.

She also speaks to campaign against AIDS and violence against women.She was appointed as the chairperson of the Children's Films Society of India in 2009.

Awards and honours

2001 Santa Monica Film Festival
  • Won - Best Actress - Bawander


2002 Cairo Film Festival
  • Won - Best Actress - Amaar Bhuvan


2002 Tamil Nadu State Film Awards


2005 Cannes Film Festival


2006 Nandi Awards


2008 Asian Festival of First Films
  • Won - Best Film - Firaaq
  • Won - Best Screenplay - Firaaq
  • Won - Foreign Correspondents Association Purple Orchid Award for Best Film - Firaaq


2009 International Film Festival of Kerala
  • Won - Special Jury Award - Firaaq


2009 International Thessaloniki Film Festival
  • Won - Special Prize (Everyday Life: Transcendence or Reconciliation Award) - Firaaq
  • Nominated - Golden Alexander - Firaaq


Filmography

Actor

Year Title Role Language Notes
1989 Parinati Oriya
1996 Fire Sita English
1998 Earth Shanta, the Ayah Hindi
Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa Nandini Mitra Hindi
Janmadinam Sarasu Malayalam
Biswaprakash Anjali Oriya
1999 Deveeri Deveeri (Akka) Kannada
Rockford Lily Vegas English
Punaradhivasam - Malayalam
2000 Hari-Bhari Afsana Hindi
Saanjh Urdu
Bawandar Sanwari Hindi Won, Best Actress at Santa Monica Film Festival.
2001 Aks Supriya Verma Hindi
Daughters of the Century Charu Hindi
2002 Aamaar Bhuvan Sakina Bengali Won, Best Actress at Cairo Film Festival.
Won, Zee Cine Award for Best Actress
Kannaki Kannaki Malayalam
Pitaah Paro Hindi
Azhagi Dhanalakshmi Tamil
Kannathil Muthamittal Shyama Tamil
Lal Salaam Rupi(alias Chandrakka) Hindi
2003 Ek Alag Mausam Aparna Verma Hindi
Bas Yun Hi Veda Hindi
Supari Mamta Sikri Urdu
Shubho Mahurat Mallika Sen Bengali
Kagaar: Life on the Edge Aditi Hindi
Ek Din 24 Ghante Sameera Dutta Hindi
2004 Vishwa Thulasi Sita Tamil
2005 Fleeting Beauty Indian woman English
2006 Maati Maay Chandi Marathi Marathi Film by Chitra Palekar with Atul Kulkarni
Podokkhep Megha Bengali
Kamli Kamli Telugu Won, Nandi Award for Best Actress (Telugu)
2007 Before the Rains Sajani English
Provoked Radha Dalal English
Naalu Pennungal Kamakshi Malayalam
Paani: A Drop of Life Mira Ben Hindi
2008 Ramchand Pakistani Champa Urdu
2009 Before the Rains Sajani English,Malayalam
2010 Midnight's Children Padma announced


Director

Year Title Language Others
2008 Firaaq Hindi

Urdu &

Gujarati
Won, Best Film and Best Screenplay at Asian Festival of First Films.
Won, Purple Orchid Award for Best Film at Asian Festival of First Films.


Won, Special Jury Award at International Film Festival of Kerala.




Won, Special Prize at International Thessaloniki Film Festival.






Nominated, Golden Alexander at International Thessaloniki Film Festival.





References

  1. 'My work has been less visible in India'—India Buzz-Entertainment The Times of India, 23 April 2008.
  2. http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?261783
  3. www.firaaqthefilm.com
  4. http://movies.indiatimes.com/Gossip/Nandita-Das-is-dating-again/articleshow/5255407.cms
  5. Deepa Mehta to adapt 'Midnight's Children'


External links




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