Das in 2018
|Born||1969 (age 49–50)|
|Years active||1989, 1996-present|
|Soumya Sen (2002-07)|
Subodh Maskara (2010-2017) (Separated)
Nandita Das (born 1969) is an Indian actress and director. She has acted in more than 40 feature films in ten different languages. Das has been acclaimed for numerous performances, including in Fire (1996), Earth (1998), Bawandar (2000), Kannathil Muthamittal (2002), Azhagi (2002), Kamli (2006), and Before The Rains (2007). Her directorial debut was with Firaaq (2008), which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, traveled to more than 50 festivals, and won more than 20 awards.
Das has twice served on the jury of 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 alongside Jane Campion, Maji-da Abdi, Nicoletta Braschi, and Semih Kaplano?lu.
In 2011, she received the Government of France's Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters), 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 is 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 who has shown us what both feet-on-the-floor authenticity looks like and how keeping your values in focus and applying your talent can fuel women and the world forward." Her fellow inductees were Anna Fendi, Heidi Klum, and Madam Chen Zhili.
Das's 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 was schooled at the Sardar Patel Vidyalaya. She received her bachelor's degree in Geography from Miranda House and a 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 including Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shyam Benegal, Deepa Mehta, and Mani Ratnam. She began her acting career with the theatre group Jana Natya Manch. She has taught at the Rishi Valley School.
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 acted in films in ten different languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Odia, and Kannada. The movie star Sukanya provided Das's speaking voice in the Tamil classic Kannathil Muthamittal.
In 2008, she completed filming her directorial debut, Firaaq. The film is a work of fiction "based on a thousand true stories" and is set a month after the 2002 Gujarat riots. 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 the film 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. The film was also screened at Toronto International film festival.
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).
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 was one of the petitioners who sought mercy for Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Das also donated to the launch of the investigative journalism magazine Tehelka, founded by Tarun Tejpal.
Das supported the "Dark is Beautiful" campaign in 2013. Launched by Women of Worth in 2009, a campaign that 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: "Even in the [Indian film] industry when 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."
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 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.
|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
|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||English,
|2016||Untitled Kutty Revathi Film||TBA||Tamil|
|2018||Dhaad||Monghi||Gujarati||shot in 2001|
|2019||Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai?||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|