Tannishtha Chatterjee

  • Actor, Director, Writer

Nov 23, 1980  in Pune, Maharashtra, India

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Known as the Princess of Parallel Cinema, Tannishtha Chaterjee is an Indian actress who made her debut with the National Award winning film Swaraj (2003). Post which, she appeared in films such as Hava Aney Dey (2004), Shadows of Time (2004), Bibar (2006), Brick Lane (2007), Bombay Summer (2009), and Angry Indian Goddesses (2015). Tannishtha received the National Film Award Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) for her performance in the film Dekh Indian Circus (2011).

Early Life
Born in Pune, Maharasthra into a Bengali Hindu family, Tannishtha's father is a business executive, while her mother is a political science professor. The family moved to Delhi, where Tannishtha graduated in Chemistry from Delhi Univesity and later attended the National School of Drama. Belonging to an extremely forbearing family, Tannishtha's has been brought up in a very progressive environment. "I have dated firangs in the past and they have come home, mingled with my family. My parents are cool about it. The first time I had alcohol, it was with my folks. I have been lucky to have ultra liberal, secular parents.", she once said in an interview.

Movie Career
After making her silver screen debut in the award winning film Swaraj, Tannishtha starred in the German film Shadows of Time, shot in Kolkata, India. Directed Florian Gallenberger, the movie along with her starred Prashant Narayan and Irrfan Khan in pivotal roles. Shawdows of Time earned her immense critical acclaim and in the same year, in 2004, Tannishtha appeared in Partho Sen Gupta's Hava Aney Dey. Co-starring Nishikant Kamat, the movie was first screened at the Berlin International Film Festival and bagged several awards globally.

In 2007, Tannishtha played the lead in the British film Brick Lane. Directed by debutant director Sarah Gavron, the film is an adaptation of Monika Ali's novel by the same name. The film was mostly well praised and Tannishtha was nominated for the British International Film awards in the best actress category. She subsequently starred in movies like Barah Aana (2009), Road, Movie (2010), and Jal (2012).

With as many as five releases in 2013, Tannishtha soon established herself as an actress of substance. Her first release in the year, Dekh India Circus opened to highly positive reviews by the critics. Co-starring, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the film follows the story of a husband and wife, who in spite of all the adversities are trying to provide for their two kids. Both Nawazuddin Siddiqui & Tannishtha Chatterjee received the best actor and actress awards respectively for the film at the 12th annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF). Her next releases in the same year were Gulaab Gang, which stars Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla, Monsoon Shootout, Siddharth, and Bhopal: Prayer for Rain.

In 2015, Tannishtha starred in Pan Nalin's drama film with an ensemble cast featuring  Sandhya Mridul, Sarah-Jane Dias, Anushka ManchandaAmrit Maghera, Rajshri Deshpande and Pavleen Gujral in important roles. The movie was placed second in the voting for the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2016, she featured in UNIndian, opposite former Australian cricketer, Brett Lee. Although not a hit in India, the movie opened to mostly positive reviews. Tannishtha's other release in the same year includes the movie Parched, co-starring Radhika Apte and Surveen Chawla.