Asif Kapadia

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At  BFI  preview of Amy
Kapadia at the British Film Institute preview of Amy (2015)

Asif Kapadia (born 1972) is a British filmmaker. He directed several award-winning films, including The Sheep Thief (1997), winner of the 2nd Prize Cinéfondation for Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival, The Warrior (2001), which won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film 2003 and Senna (2010), winner of the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary, the BAFTA Award for Best Editing and the World Cinema Audience Award Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival 2011 and Amy (2015) which has become the highest grossing documentary of all time in the United Kingdom.

Early life[edit]

Asif Kapadia was born in 1972 in North London, to an Indian family. He attended Newport Film School (formerly part of the University of Wales, Newport, now the University of South Wales).,[1] achieved a first class degree with honours (BA Hons) in Film, TV and Photographic Arts from the University of Westminster. and an MA(RCA) in Directing for Film & TV at the Royal College of Art.


Kapadia's first feature film, The Warrior[2] was shot in the Himalayas and the deserts of Rajasthan. Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian described The Warrior as possessing "mighty breadth" and "shimmering beauty";[3] the film was nominated for three BAFTA awards, winning two: the Alexander Korda Award for the outstanding British Film of the Year 2003 and The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a Director, Screenwriter or Producer in their First Feature. The Warrior also won the Grand Prix at the Dinard Film Festival, the Sutherland Award at the London Film Festival, the Evening Standard British Film Awards for the Most Promising Newcomer and the Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Film.

Far North premiered at the Venice Film Festival, based on a dark short story by Sara Maitland. Kapadia used the brutal arctic landscape to show how desperation and loneliness drives a woman to harm the person she loves. Kapadia's fourth feature Senna,was the life story of Brazilian motor-racing Champion, Ayrton Senna. Senna was the highest grossing British documentary of all time (£3.3m, $5.2m), the second highest grossing documentary of all time in the UK (behind Fahrenheit 9/11).[citation needed]

Kapadia's most recent film Amy is a documentary that depicts the life and death of British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. The film was released on 3 July 2015 in the United Kingdom, New York & Los Angeles and worldwide on 10 July. The film has created a massive impact towards many, as the film has been described as "heartbreaking", "awe-inspiring", "unmissable", "the best documentary of the year" and "a tragic masterpiece". The film has received 5 out of 5 ratings when it was reviewed at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival in May. The film has become the second highest grossing documentary of all time in the United Kingdom, winning over Kapadia's 2010 movie Senna.[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Winner of Best Documentary & Best Editing at the BAFTA Awards 2012. Senna was also nominated for Outstanding British Film at the BAFTAs.

Nominated by the Producers Guild of America – Documentary Theatrical Motion Picture award 2012

Nominated by the Writers Guild of America – writer Manish Pandey for Documentary Screenplay

Winner of Best Documentary at the British Independent Film Awards 2012 BIFA, Senna was nominated Best British Film, and Best Technical Achievement for Editing.

Winner of Best Documentary at the London Film Critics' Circle Awards 2011. Editors Gregers Sall and Chris King were nominated in the Technical Achievement Category.

Winner of the World Cinema Audience Award Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival 2011.

Kapadia on accepting the award: "This is amazing. This festival has restored my faith in film festivals, Sundance is all about the films, the audience and the film makers. Every single screening is sold out. We were told that no one in the US knew who Ayrton Senna was, that there was no interest in Formula One, that we should forget about releasing the film here, so to win the Audience Award at Sundance is just fantastic, it makes us feel so proud. We hope this shows that there is an audience for SENNA in the US, both fans and people who have never heard of him before and I hope this is just the beginning of a long journey for SENNA in 2011."[this quote needs a citation] Named one of the top five documentaries of 2011 by the National Board of Review in NY.

Winner Best Motion Picture, Documentary – 2011 IPA International Press Academy Satellite Awards USA

Winner of Best Documentary – Evening Standard British Film Awards 2012

Nominated for the Grierson Award UK – Best Cinema Documentary 2011

Cinema Eye Honors 2012; Winner of Outstanding Achievement in Editing for Gregers Sall and Chris King. Nominated for three other awards; Outstanding Achievement in non-fiction Feature Filmmaking, Outstanding Achievement in an Original Music Score for Antonio Pinto & Audience Choice Prize.

Winner of three awards at the FOCAL International Awards 2012: Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release, Best Use of Sports Footage, as well as a Special Award for the contribution to Archive Filmmaking Industry. Nominated for Best Use of Footage in a Home Entertainment Release.

Winner of the Audience Award for Best International Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival 2011

Winner Best Editing for Gregers Sall & Chris King – IDA International Documentary awards LA 2011

Winner of the 2011 Dean Batchelor AwardMotor Press Guild USA

Winner of the Motor Press Guild's Best Audio/Visual of 2011

Winner of the Pioneering and Innovation Award – Autosport Awards for 2011

Winner of the Most Popular Documentary Award – Melbourne International Film Festival 2011

Winner of the Audience Award – Moscow International Film Festival 2011

Winner of Best Documentary – Audience Award at the Adelaide Film Festival 2011

Nominated for Best Film at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2012

Irish Film and Television Awards 2012 – Nominated for Best International Film.

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival – Top Five Audience Favourite.

Telluride Film Festival – Special Presentation.

Sheffield International Documentary Festival – Nominated for the Innovation Award

Winner of the Audience Award – Ghent Film Festival 2011

Winner of Best Documentary – Dublin Film Critics Circle

Winner of Best Documentary Feature – Utah Film Critics Association

Winner of Best Documentary – Austin Film Critics Association

Winner of Best Documentary of the Year – Hollywood Film Awards, 2015



  1. ^
  2. ^ Matt Warren (24 August 2001). "Review The silent soldier The Warrior". The Scotsman. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (10 May 2002). "The Warrior". Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]