Nandana Sen at the Tagore Literature Awards.
|Residence||New York, USA|
|Occupation||Actor, activist, writer|
|Years active||1997-present (Latest release - Rang Rasiya, 2014)|
|Organization||Current Ambassadorship in Operation Smile, UNICEF, RAHI|
Nandana Sen (born Nandana Dev Sen in Kolkata) is an international actress, screen writer, children's author and child-rights activist.
Sen is the daughter of Nobel Laureate and Bharat Ratna economist Amartya Sen and Padma Shri winner Nabanita Dev Sen, one of the most prominent authors in the contemporary Bengali literature. Nandana Sen's first piece of writing was published when she was a child in the magazine Sandesh, selected by Satyajit Ray. She spent her growing years in various cities across Europe, India and America.
Nandana Sen studied literature at Harvard University, where she was awarded the Detur Prize in her first year for topping her class, and thereafter every year she also won both the John Harvard Scholarship and the Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Award for Academic Achievement of the Highest Distinction. As a Junior, she was elected early into the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Subsequently, Sen studied Film Producing at the Peter Stark Producing Program at the USC Film School. She wrote and directed various short films, including her thesis film “Arranged Marriage” which was shown at multiple film festivals. As an actor, Nandana trained at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, New York, as well as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London.
Along with acting in theatre and films internationally, Nandana also promotes the cause of child protection. Nandana is Smile Ambassador for the global children’s NGO Operation Smile, UNICEF India's National Celebrity for Child Protection and against Gender Based Violence, and Cause Ambassador for RAHI (India's first organization to break the silence about child sexual abuse). She collaborates with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) as a Child Rights Expert and Juror for Public Hearings. Nandana has been actively fighting to stop the crisis of child trafficking in India, both with organizations such as the NCPCR and the Terre des hommes foundation as well as addressing this topic in cinema. She has been invited to speak on the cause of child protection in international conferences, including the Global Call to Action Summit for Child Survival and Development organized by USAID  and the International Comprehensive Cleft Care Conference of 2013. Whenever possible, Nandana Sen has combined her commitment to child rights with her acting work, including originating the role of the traumatized protagonist of the play “30 Days in September” (Prithvi Theatre) and the film “Chuppee/ The Silence” on Child Abuse (UNIFEM).
Sen has starred in over 20 feature films from multiple countries and in various languages (see Filmography). Sen’s pathbreaking performance  as artist Ravi Varma’s muse, in her latest release Rang Rasiya (2014, a historical romance on the religious censorship of art), subsequently won her the prestigious Kalakar Award for Best Actress in 2015: in her acceptance speech, Nandana went on record saying that the award honours “the greater cause of free speech and expression, now under enormous threat everywhere, as shown by the horrifying Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris.” "The need to protect our creative freedom – whether we are actors or journalists, film-makers or novelists – is more urgent now than ever.” 
Sen experienced her first taste of cinema while still a student when director Goutam Ghose tapped her to play the lead in his dark and disturbing psychodrama The Doll (Gudia) as one of the targets of a middle-age man's sexual obsession, which premiered at the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.
Her first vehicle in Bollywood was the Rani Mukherjee and Amitabh Bachchan starrer Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black (2005) in which she played the role of Rani’s 17-year-old younger sister. Sen gave a highly proclaimed performance in the role and the film was applauded by both audience and critics, earning her a nomination for Breakthrough Performance of the Year. Time Magazine (Europe) selected the film as one of the 10 Best Movies of the Year 2005 from across the globe.
After teaming up on a succession of projects with Indian directors including Ram Gopal Varma and Ketan Mehta, Sen signed for one of the principal roles in the jarring, terrorist-themed American drama The War Within (2005) which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and, in the process, both made a name for herself and began to cultivate a reputation for being drawn to offbeat, challenging, and demanding roles, often with a social or political theme.
In the anti-war film Tango Charlie, Sen played the female lead opposite Ajay Devgan (also starring Sanjay Dutt and Bobby Deol) and with Anil Kapoor in My Wife's Murder. Both of these movies did well with critics. Nandana followed this by signing lead roles opposite Salman Khan in the bilingual Hollywood-Bollywood film Marigold, and Vivek Oberoi in Prince, at the same time playing the protagonist in unconventional but acclaimed films such as Strangers and The Forest.
The British television series Sharpe increased her notability. The episode ‘Sharpe’s Peril’ featured Sen in a pivotal role. In 2007, Sen signed on to portray a young rebellious woman fleeing from law authorities in director Shamim Sarif's lesbian-themed period drama The World Unseen. In 2010, Nandana starred in the Bengali super-hit Autograph, for which she was awarded the TeleCine Award for Best Actress and the Reliance BIG Bangla Rising Star Award.
Sen, whose professional choices have included a tenure as a literary editor at Houghton Mifflin Company, is also a screenwriter, a maker of short films, and a published writer in multiple genres, including poetry, narrative non-fiction, and Op Eds. Her first original screenplay to be made into a film was Forever, funded by Telefilm Canada. She was commissioned by Divani Films to adapt R.K. Narayan’s novel Waiting For the Mahatma into a film script, and by Big Bang Company to write an original script focusing on a father-daughter relationship. Sen is collaborating on a script about the history of the kiss in Indian cinema, with Italian filmmaker Franco La Cecla. Sen frequently contributes articles to newspapers and journals, and has also translated a book of poems by her mother Nabaneeta Dev Sen, titled Make Up Your Mind (iUniverse, 2013). Represented by Sophie Hicks Agency, Sen's first children’s book in verse, called Kiss This Kangaroo! will be published by Otter-Barry Books, followed by "Mambi and the Forest Fire" and “Love Book” in 2016. Sen is also writing a book on three generations of rule-defying Bengali women, tentatively titled “Shamlessly Female”, which grew from an essay she published with the same title.
She also dated an Indian film producer, Madhu Mantena, for few years.
|Year of Release||Film||Country||Role||Language||Notes|
|1997||The Doll / Gudia||India||Rosemary Braganza / Urvashi||Hindi||credited as Nandana Dev Sen|
|2002||Bokshu, The Myth||US/India||English|
|2004||The Miracle: A Silent Love Story||India|
|2005||The War Within||USA||Duri Choudhury||English|
|My Wife's Murder||India||Reena Wadhwa||Hindi|
|2006||The Silence / Chuppee||India||Short feature|
|2007||The World Unseen||UK||Rehmat||English|
|Strangers||UK/ India||Preeti||English / Hindi|
|Marigold||USA||Jaanvi||English / Hindi|
|2008||Sharpe's Peril||UK||Maharani Padmini||English||bbTV Movie|
|Jhootha hi sahi||India||Suhana Malik||Hindi|
|2012||The Forest||India||Radha||English / Hindi|
- Amartya Sen's daughter Nandana meticulously handles her passion from movies to non-profit work - Economic Times
- Operation Smile India - News & Press - News
- UNICEF India - Our partners - Celebrities Supporting UNICEF’s Work in India
- RAHI - Recovering and Healing from Incest
- TWF India-“Child abuse a neglected crisis in India”
- ‘State ranks second in child trafficking’ - The Hindu
- Nandana Sen to fight against child trafficking - The Times of India
- Nandana the maneater
- The Doll | Variety
- "Movie Review : Black". Sify.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- The War Within | Variety
- Marigold | Variety
- Sean Bean And Nandana Sen Cross Sharpe Swords In Orcha! - Planet Bollywood News
- Autograph - Prosenjit Chatterjee, Nandana Sen - Bengali Movie (2010) - Shree Venkatesh Films Production - Cinergy Pictures
- http://wonderwoman.intoday.in/photo/10-things-you-would-love-to-know-about-nandana-sen/1/4304.html#photo10 short films
- Most Read : Nandana Sen's Blog : nandana.sen - Times Of India Blog
- Mother of all stories
- Nandana shocked at Durga ma in bikini top! - Times Of India
- When another umbrella flew off exposing my first almost-kiss by Nandana Sen's Blog : Nandana Sen's blog-The Times Of India
- Pass By On The Sidewalk, Without Looking | Nandana Sen
- ‘Gender sensitivity is a matter of life and death... all of us are accountable’ - Indian Express
- Post 26/11, actress Nandana Sen finds herself in a reflective mood
- Of missing girls and missing the point
- Forever – Divani Films