A popular Bengali film and TV actress, Paoli Dam is known for her roles in films like Chhatrak
(2011), Hate Story
(2014), and Natoker Moto
(2015). Apart from her work in films, the actress also has a successful career in the TV industry and has appeared in several series like Sonar Harin and Tithir Atithi.
Born in Kolkata, West Bengal, Paoli Dam is the daughter of Amol Dam and Priya Dam, who originally hailed from Faridpur District, Bangladesh. Paoli, along with her brother Mainak had a traditional Bengali upbringing. The actress went to Loreto School in Bowbazar and was brilliant at her academics. She also won many scholarships. After finishing her schooling, Paoli went to Vidyasagar College, Kolkata to pursue her graduation degree in Chemistry and later got her postgraduate degree in Chemistry from Rajabazar Science College, which is affiliated with the University of Calcutta.
Although the actress is trained in classical dance and singing, she never wanted to be an actress. In fact, she aspired to be a chemical researcher or a pilot. Paoli got her break in acting when she featured in the Bengali series Jibon Niye Khela, which was broadcast on Zee Bangla. The actress said that her stint with TV helped her learn a lot about acting and that it groomed her to pursue a career in the film industry.
After almost three years of working in the Bengali TV industry, Paoli Dam got her first break in the film industry when she was cast by director Rabi Kinagi
in Agni Pariksha (2006) co-starring Prosenjit Chatterjee
, Priyanka Trivedi
, and Dulal Lahiri
. After her debut film failed to get Paoli recognition, she earned critical praise for her role in the Bengali drama Kaal bela
(2009), which was directed by Goutam Ghose
. The film also featuring Parambrata Chatterjee
, Santu Mukhopadhyay
and Soumitra Chatterjee
was based on a novel by Samaresh Majumdar
and is set against the backdrop of the Naxalite movement.
After her success with Kaal bela
, the same year, Paoli collaborated with stalwart Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh
for the first time in her career for Shob Charitro Kalponik
, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali 2009 and was screened in the Marche du Film at the Cannes Film Festival. In her first release in 2010, the actress starred in Atanu Ghosh
directed Bengali film Takhan Teish
. The film, which was Ghosh`s second directorial venture had its premiere at the 6th Osaka International Film Festival.
The actress next appeared in a slew of films like Thana Theke Aschi
, Mati O Manush, Hurumtaal, Bangla Banchao
, Moner Manush and Someday Somewhere... Jete Pari Chole
most of which did not fare well at the box office. She, however, more than made up for her unsuccessful films as she gained international recognition with her performance in Chhatrak
(2011) directed by the Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundara
. The film, which was screened at the several International film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 where it received wide critical appreciation. Notebook, an online magazine stated, "the film artistically portrays cinematic dreams and nightmares, visible intuitions of the world, visual understanding of what corruption of the society and the corruption of the soul can do.
Her 2019 release includes Sanjhbati, directed by Leena Gangopadhyay. Her 2021 release includes Raat Baaki Hai.