Nandita Das (born 7 November 1969) is an Indian actress and director. She has acted in over 40 feature films in ten different languages. Das appeared in the films Fire (1996), Earth (1998), Bawandar (2000), Kannathil Muthamittal (2002), Azhagi (2002), Kamli (2006), and Before The Rains (2007). Her directorial debut Firaaq (2008), premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and travelled to more than 50 festivals, winning more than 20 awards. Her second film as a director was Manto (2018). Based on the life of 20th Century Indo-Pakistani short story writer Sadat Hasan Manto, the film was screened at Cannes Film Festival in the "Un Certain Regard" section. In September 2019, Das produced a two-minute Public Service Announcement music video India's Got Colour. The music video is about the issue of colourism and urges the audience to celebrate India's diversity of skin colour. Her first book, 'Manto & I', chronicles her 6-year long journey of making the film. She wrote, directed, produced and acted in a short film called, Listen to Her, that sheds light on the increase in domestic violence and overburden of work that women have been facing during the lockdown.
|Born||7 November 1969 (age 53)|
|Years active||1989 – Present|
(m. 2002; div. 2007)
(m. 2010; sep 2017)
|Honours||Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2011)|
Das has served twice on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival. In 2005, she served on the main competition jury alongside Fatih Akin, Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek, Benoît Jacquot, Emir Kusturica, Toni Morrison, Agnès Varda, and John Woo. In 2013, she served on the Cinéfondation and short films jury with Jane Campion, Maji-da Abdi, Nicoletta Braschi, and Semih Kaplanoğlu.
In 2011, she was made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Government, one of the nation's highest civilian awards. She was commended for her "contribution towards the development of Indo-French cooperation in the field of cinema." In 2009, France released a stamp featuring Das, from artist Titouan Lamazou's project "Women of the World."
Das was the first Indian inducted into the International Hall of Fame of the International Women's Forum in Washington, DC. She was recognized in 2011 for "her sustained contributions to the arts and to the world as one of the most gripping cinema arts leaders of our time." Her fellow inductees were Anna Fendi, Heidi Klum, and Madam Chen Zhili.
Early life and educationEdit
Das' father is the artist Jatin Das, and her mother is Varsha Das, a writer. She was born in Mumbai and grew up mostly in Delhi in an Odia family, where she attended the Sardar Patel Vidyalaya school. She received bachelor's degree in Geography from Miranda House and Master of Social Work from the Delhi School of Social Work, both affiliated with the University of Delhi.
Das has acted in over 40 feature films with directors such as Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shyam Benegal, Deepa Mehta, and Mani Ratnam. She began her acting career with the street theatre group Jana Natya Manch. She is best known for her performances in director Deepa Mehta films Fire (1996) and Earth (1998; alongside Aamir Khan), Bawander (directed by Jagmohan Mundhra), and Naalu Pennungal (directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan ). She has also acted in the movie Before the Rains, an Indian-British period drama film directed by Santosh Sivan.She has acted in films in ten different languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Odia, and Kannada. The Tamil actor Sukanya provided Das' speaking voice in the Tamil classic Kannathil Muthamittal.
Das co-wrote, directed and acted in a play called Between the Lines (2014). She has also acted in Khamosh! Adalat jaari hai (2017), a Cineplay production written by Vijay Tendulkar.
In 2008, she directed her first film, Firaaq. The film is a work of fiction "based on a thousand true stories" and is set a month after the 2002 Gujarat riots in India. 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. Das said that the film "gave a voice to so much that remains silent". In 2018, Nandita directed Manto. Das decided to make a film on Manto after reading a translation of his stories in 2012. She always had Nawazuddin Siddiqui in mind for the role and approached him for the same. The film was premiered in Cannes Film Festival in 2018. The film was also screened at Toronto International Film Festival. In 2019 Das produced and directed a PSA music video, 'India's Got Colour'.
Das narrated the children's audiobook series Under the Banyan, and Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography by Charkha Audiobooks, The Story of My Experiments with Truth. She was also a voice actor in the children's television series Wonder Pets, as the Bengal Tiger in the episode Save the Bengal Tiger (2007).
Listen to HerEdit
During the pandemic, in May 2020, she wrote, directed and acted in a short film called, Listen to Her. The 7 min film, produced by Nandita Das Initiatives, is about the increase in domestic violence and overburden of work that women are facing during the lock-down. It was supported by UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and South Asia Foundation.
In 2002, Das married Saumya Sen. The couple began Leapfrog, a media organisation geared towards making socially conscious ad films. The couple divorced in 2007.[failed verification] After dating Subodh Maskara, a Mumbai industrialist, for a couple of months, she married him on 2 January 2010 and moved to Mumbai. Das and Maskara have a son named Vihaan. In January 2017, the couple announced that they have parted ways.
Das has master's degree in Social Work from the University of Delhi. She has worked for children's rights, HIV/AIDS awareness, to end violence against women. In 2009, Das was appointed Chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India. In 2012, she was the guest of honour at the iVolunteer Awards, held in Mumbai. Das also donated to the launch of the investigative journalism magazine Tehelka, founded by Tarun Tejpal.
India's Got Colour (Dark is Beautiful) campaignEdit
In 2013, Das became the face of the "Dark is Beautiful" campaign. Launched by Women of Worth in 2009, the campaign aims to draw attention to the effects of discrimination based on skin color in India. The campaign urges women and men to celebrate the beauty and diversity of all skin tones, using slogans such as "Stay UNfair, Stay Beautiful." Das said in 2014: In the [Indian film] industry a makeup man or a cinematographer would come and say can you lighten your skin a little, especially when you are playing the middle class educated character. In 2019, the Campaign was reinvented as India’s Got Colour. Along with Mahesh Mathai, Nandita Das has produced and co-directed a two-minute PSA for the campaign. The music video features several eminent artists from the Indian Film Industry.
Das has been a featured speaker at various platforms in India and abroad, including at MIT (in 2007, after a screening of Fire), and at Tufts University (in 2014, on gender in society and cinema).
In 2016, she gave a TEDx talk at TEDxWalledCity on "The Biggest Hypocrisy of Our Times: Our Attitude to Poverty." In 2011, she spoke at TEDxNarimanPoint, on "Transformation in Education".
In 2019. she gave a Tedx talk at TEDxShivNadarUniversity about A Mother's Journey With Anger
In August 2018 Power Brands awarded Nandita Das the Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar for being a polymath with purpose, advocating issues of communal harmony, peace and social justice, especially for women, children and the marginalized "others" through various platforms, for her expressions of courage and compassion on celluloid and her steadfast faith in the power of cinema effecting social change for a better world.
- For Acting
|2000||45th Filmfare Awards||1947 Earth||Best Debut||Won|
|2001||Santa Monica Film Festival||Bawander||Best Actress||Won|
|2002||Cairo International Film Festival||Amaar Bhuvan||Won|
|Tamil Nadu State Film Awards||Kannathil Muthamittal||Special Prize||Won|
|2006||Nandi Awards||Kamli||Best Actress||Won|
|2007||Madrid International Film Festival||Maati Maay (A Grave-keeper's Tale)||Won|
|2013||8th Lux Style Awards||Ramchand Pakistani||Best Film Actress||Nominated|
|60th Filmfare Awards South||Neerparavai||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
- For Direction
|2008||Asian Festival of First Films||Firaaq||Best Film||Won|||
|style="background: #9EFF9E; color: #000; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2"|Won|
|style="background: #9EFF9E; color: #000; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center; " class="yes table-yes2"|Won|
|2009||Kara Film Festival||Best Film||Won|
|International Film Festival of Kerala||Special Jury Award||Won|
|Thessaloniki International Film Festival||Special Prize (Everyday Life: Transcendence or Reconciliation Award)||Won|
|2010||Filmfare Awards||Special Award||Won|
|2018||Cannes Film Festival||Manto||Un Certain Regard Award||Nominated|
|Toronto International Film Festival||People's Choice Award||Nominated|
|Asia Pacific Screen Award||FIAPF (Films in the Asia Pacific region)||Won|
|2019||Filmfare Awards||Best Film (Critics)||Nominated|
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|1995||Ek Thi Goonja||Goonja||Hindi|
|1998||1947 Earth||Shanta, the Ayah||Hindi||Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut|
|Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa||Nandini Mitra||Hindi|
|Best Actress at Santa Monica Film Festival|
|Daughters of the Century||Charu||Hindi|
|2002||Aamaar Bhuvan||Sakina||Bengali||Best Actress at Cairo Film Festival|
Zee Cine Award for Best Actor – Female
|Azhagi||Dhanalakshmi||Tamil||Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Actress – Tamil|
|Kannathil Muthamittal||Shyama||Tamil||Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize|
|Lal Salaam||Rupi(alias Chandrakka)||Hindi|
|2003||Ek Alag Mausam||Aparna Verma||Hindi|
|Bas Yun Hi||Veda||Hindi|
|Shubho Mahurat||Mallika Sen||Bengali|
|Kagaar: Life on the Edge||Aditi||Hindi|
|Ek Din 24 Ghante||Sameera Dutta||Hindi|
|2005||Fleeting Beauty||Indian woman||English|
|2006||Maati Maay||Chandi||Marathi||Madrid International Film Festival (2007), Best Actress|
|Kamli||Kamli||Telugu||Nandi Award for Best Actress|
|2007||Before the Rains||Sajani||English,
|Paani: A Drop of Life||Mira Ben||Hindi||Short film|
|2008||Ramchand Pakistani||Champa||Urdu||Pakistani film|
|2012||Neerparavai||Esther||Tamil||Nominated—SIIMA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Tamil|
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Tamil
|2014||Rastres de Sàndal||Mina Kuminar||English,
|2017||Khamosh! Adalat Jaari Hai||Leela Benare||Hindi|
|2018||Dhaad||Monghi||Gujarati||shot in 2001|
|2019||Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai?||Stella||Hindi||Remake of classic Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai|
|Best Film and Best Screenplay at Asian Festival of First Films
Purple Orchid Award for Best Film at Asian Festival of First Films
Special Jury Award at International Film Festival of Kerala
Special Prize at International Thessaloniki Film Festival
Filmfare Special Award
Nominated—Golden Alexander at International Thessaloniki Film Festival
|2017||In Defence of Freedom||Hindi||Short film|
|2019||India's Got Colour||Hindi||Music Video|
|2022||Zwigato||Hindi||World premiere at the TIFF 2022|
- "Nandita Das's 'Manto' to be premiered at Cannes Film Festival". Scroll.in. 12 April 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- "India's got colour". UNESCO. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- Ians (16 April 2011). "French honour for Nandita Das". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- "Distinction conferred on Actor-Director Nandita Das, 2011". La France en Inde / France in India. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- "Philatelic issues related to Nandita Das issued by Foreign Countries". indianphilately.net. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- Taber, Kimberly Conniff (31 October 2007). "Titouan Lamazou: His vision of women around the world". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- "Game for Fame -Nandita Das is first Indian to be inducted into the International Women's Forum Hall of Fame". India Today. 5 November 2011.
- "The game changer". The Telegraph (India). Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- "Nandita Das in IWF's International Hall of Fame | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 29 October 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- "International Women's Forum Programs". International Women's Forum. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- "International Women's Forum Brochure" (PDF).
- "I am still searching for a place to call home". OPEN. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
- Khushwant, Singh (21 September 2009). "The Painter's Daughter". Outlook India. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
- Mendis, Isidore Domnick (23 June 2003). "Independent stardom". Business Line. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- "Nandita Das | Yale Greenberg World Fellows". worldfellows.yale.edu. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- Saltz, Rachel (4 June 2009). "The Variety of Life, Real and Imagined, in Movie-Mad India". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- Nandita Das talks about her directorial debut Firaaq. Radio Sargam. 26 January 2009.
- "Nandita Das and Nawazuddin Siddiqui bring Mantoiyat to JNU - Times of India ►". The Times of India.
- "Interview | If Manto Were Alive Today He Would Have Been Put Behind Bars: Nandita Das". The Wire. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- "Writing the writer". Deccan Herald. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- "Anurag Kashyap's Manmarziyaan, Nandita Das' Manto to be screened at Toronto International Film Festival- Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- throh. "Beneath the Banyan boughs". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 21 October 2003. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "Mahatma Gandhi Autobiography - Audiobooks free download". mkgandhi.org. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "Her own person". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 19 December 2004. Archived from the original on 30 September 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- Anand, Utkarsh (24 May 2009). "Actor Nandita Das files for divorce". Yahoo! India News. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- "Nandita Das is dating again". The Times of India. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.[permanent dead link]
- Jha, Subhash K (6 January 2010). "Nandita Das marries, moves to Mumbai by SUBHASH K JHA". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012.
- Lalwani, Vickey (12 August 2010). "It's a baby boy for Nandita!". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- "Nandita Das and husband Subodh Maskara split after seven years of marriage. Here's all the details". The Indian Express. 3 January 2017.
- "Atheism is the religion for these filmi folk". The Times of India. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- Garfinkel, Perry (2 October 2009). "Beyond the Screen". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
- Gautam, Savitha (27 September 2004). "Ms. Sense". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 27 December 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- "Profile of Chairperson". CFSI website. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010.
- "iVolunteer Awards Celebrates Volunteering by Recognizing Volunteers". indiacsr.in. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- "Tehelka business: Murky deals, profits for Tejpal family, Shoma - Firstpost". firstpost.com.
- Women, Respect. "Stay UNfair, Stay Beautiful!". respectwomen.co.in. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
- Even within independent cinema there is a kind of populist independent cinema: Nandita Das – "The American Bazaar". 30 September 2014.
- Rosario, Kennith (3 October 2019). "Nandita Das brings out rap video to fight skin-tone discrimination". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
- "Struggles of Being a Woman in Society and Cinema: A Talk with Nandita Das | Yale Greenberg World Fellows". worldfellows.yale.edu. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- "Naaree Interviews Actor And Director, Nandita Das". Naaree - Work From Home Career Advice For Women in India. 7 November 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- TEDx Talks (21 March 2016). "The biggest hypocrisy of our times: Our attitude to Poverty - Nandita Das - TEDxWalledCity" – via YouTube.
- TEDx Talks (20 September 2011). "TEDxNarimanPoint - Nandita Das - Transformation in Education" – via YouTube.
- "Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das receive Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar". Business Standard. Press Trust of India. 30 August 2018.
- "Daily India media recognizes 13 Indian stalwarts with Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar 2018 | Central Chronicle - Central India's Premier English Daily". Archived from the original on 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
- Toh, Christopher (13 December 2008). "THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL". Today. p. 40. Retrieved 7 October 2022 – via NewspaperSG.
- Oza, Nandini (5 January 2018). "After 17 years, Gujarati film Dhaad starring Nandita Das set for release". The Week.
- Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (6 March 2019). "Manav Kaul, Nandita Das and Saurabh Shukla... #AlbertPintoKoGussaKyunAataHai - an official remake of the cult classic by Saeed Akhtar Mirza - to release on 12 April 2019... Directed by Soumitra Ranade... The 1980 classic starred Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil. t.co/e3JaquzPMI" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (14 December 2020). "RANA DAGGUBATI NEW POSTER... On #RanaDaggubati's birthday today, Team #ViraataParvam unveil the new poster... Final schedule is in progress in #Hyderabad... The #Telugu film costars #SaiPallavi, #NanditaDas and #Priyamani... Directed by Venu Udugula... D Suresh Babu presentation. t.co/sfrEpk5pr0" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Dasgupta (16 August 2022). "Kapil Sharma sheds his comic image in Nandita Das' Zwigato, plays an orthodox husband. Watch first trailer". The Indian Express. Retrieved 6 September 2022.