Nandita Das wears many hats and her fiery passion to make a difference is evident in the choices she has made in her life and work. She is known to never shy away from controversial issues and unconventional roles and has chosen to be part of stories that she feels need to be told. She has acted in over 30 feature films in ten different languages with many eminent directors like Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shyam Benegal, Deepa Mehta, Mani Ratnam and others.
Firaaq, her directorial debut feature film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008, and has traveled to over 50 festivals, winning over 20 awards and much appreciation from audiences and critics. She has been on the jury of Cannes Film Festival twice (2005 and 2013), among others. The French Government conferred her with the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres), their prestigious civilian award. In 2011 Nandita Das was the first Indian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Women’s Forum. Nandita did her Masters in Social Work from University of Delhi and worked with various NGOs, before she made forays into films. She continues to advocate issues of social justice, especially those of women, children and the marginalised communities, through various platforms.
She has been a featured speaker at many reputed universities and social forums, both in India and abroad. She writes a monthly column called the Last Word, for the magazine, The Week. She was the Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society, India, where she made many big and small changes to revamp the organization.