Actor, filmmaker, and activist Nandita Das is one of India’s most celebrated faces in parallel cinema. In a career spanning over two decades, Nandita has been a part of some path-breaking Indian films, starting with Fire (that depicted a lesbian relationship between two women played by Nandita and the legendary Shabana Azmi) in 1996. Till date, she has acted in over 40 films in 10 languages, working with eminent filmmakers and absolute newcomers.
In 2008, Nandita took to filmmaking after she had an almost burning desire to narrate a certain story. Firaaq, her debut directorial, is a searing account of the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots that shook the entire nation. Her second directorial venture, Manto, premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival to a standing ovation and went on to garner significant praise from worldwide audiences worldwide.
To be sure, lending her support to social causes gives Nandita a deep-rooted satisfaction and sense of fulfilment as much as films do. From fighting for children’s rights and spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS to speaking out against gender-based violence and working towards the upliftment of Indian widows, Nandita has been a crusader for all seasons and all reasons. Since 2013, Nandita has also been the 'default face' of an anti-colourism campaign. Her initiative, India’s Got Colour, seeks to celebrate the diversity of skin tones in this country and challenges desi society's unhealthy obsession with fair skin and the absurd demands it puts forth its women.