1972 (age 45–46)|
North London, England
The Sheep Thief|
Asif Kapadia (born 1972) is a British filmmaker. His early award-winning films include The Sheep Thief (1997), winner of the 2nd Prize Cinéfondation for Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival, and The Warrior (2001), winning the BAFTA Award for Best British Film 2003.
Kapadia directed the documentary film Senna (2010), based on motor racing legend Ayrton Senna, which won 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. He filmed Amy (2015), based on singer Amy Winehouse, which has become the highest grossing documentary of all time in the United Kingdom, and also won him an Academy Award and Grammy Award in 2016. In 2018 he will release the film Maradona, based on Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, with Kapadia stating, "Maradona is the third part of a trilogy about child geniuses and fame."
Asif Kapadia was born in 1972 in north London, to an Indian Muslim British family. He attended Newport Film School (formerly part of the University of Wales, Newport, now the University of South Wales), achieved a first-class degree (BA Hons) in Film, TV and Photographic Arts from the University of Westminster and an MA (RCA) in Directing for Film and TV at the Royal College of Art.
Kapadia's first feature film, The Warrior, was shot in the Himalayas and the deserts of Rajasthan. The film caught the attention of The Arts Foundation who in 2001 awarded him a fellowship in Film Directing. Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian described The Warrior as possessing "mighty breadth" and "shimmering beauty"; 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. In 2003
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).
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 and Los Angeles, and worldwide on 10 July. 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 highest grossing British documentary, and second highest grossing documentary of all time in the United Kingdom, overtaking Kapadia's 2010 movie Senna.
In 2018, a documentary film titled Maradona, based on Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, is to be released. Following on from Senna and Amy, Kapadia states, "Maradona is the third part of a trilogy about child geniuses and fame." He added, "I was fascinated by his journey, wherever he went there were moments of incredible brilliance and drama. He was a leader, taking his teams to the very top, but also many lows in his career. He was always the little guy fighting against the system... and he was willing to do anything, to use all of his cunning and intelligence to win."
Awards and nominations
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|List of awards and nominations|
|Year||Award / Film Festival||Category||Work||Result||Ref(s)|
|2011||British Independent Film Awards||Best British Documentary||Senna||Won|
|Best British Independent Film||Nominated|
|Best Technical Achievement||Nominated|
|Sundance Film Festival||World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary||Won|
|Satellite Awards||Best Documentary Film||Won|
|Grierson Awards||Best Cinema Documentary||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Film Festival||Audience Award for Best International Feature||Won|
|Melbourne International Film Festival||Most Popular Documentary Award||Won|
|Moscow International Film Festival||Audience Award||Won|
|Adelaide Film Festival||Best Documentary – Audience Award||Won|
|2012||British Academy Film Awards||Best Documentary||Senna||Won|
|Outstanding British Film||Nominated|
|Producers Guild of America Awards||Documentary Feature||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Documentary||Nominated|
|London Film Critics Circle Awards||Documentary of the Year||Won|
|Evening Standard British Film Awards||Best Documentary||Won|
|Cinema Eye Honors||Outstanding Achievement in Editing||Won|
|Outstanding Achievement in non-fiction Feature Filmmaking||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in an Original Music Score||Nominated|
|Audience Choice Prize||Nominated|
|FOCAL International Awards||Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release||Won|
|Best Use of Sports Footage||Won|
|Special Award for the contribution to Archive Filmmaking Industry||Won|
|Best Use of Footage in a Home Entertainment Release||Nominated|
|2015||Hollywood Film Awards||Best Documentary of the Year||Amy||Won|
|2016||British Academy Film Awards||Best Documentary||Amy||Won|
|Outstanding British Film||Nominated|
|Academy Awards||Best Documentary – Feature||Won|
|1994||Indian Tales||Yes||Short film. 12 mins long.|
|1996||The Waiting Room||Yes||Short film. 8 mins long.|
|1996||Wild West||Yes||Short film. 1 min long.|
|1997||The Sheep Thief||Yes||Short film. 24 mins long.|
|2010||Senna||Yes||Released in 2010 in Brazil, 2011 everywhere else|
|2015||Amy||Yes||Won the 2016 Academy Award for Documentary Feature|
|2016||Ali and Nino||Yes|
|2017||Mindhunter (TV series)||Yes||Netflix series. Directed episodes 3 & 4.|
- "Film-maker Asif Kapadia: 'Maradona is the third part of a trilogy about child geniuses and fame'". The Guardian. 1 October 2017.
- "The Saturday interview: Asif Kapadia". The Guardian.
My films often have a spiritual dimension which comes from my Muslim background, and I'm happy to tackle that in cinema.
- "Asif Kapadia's 2012 Odyssey: the film that captures London's dark side". The Guardian.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
- "An interview with Asif Kapadia". University of Westminster. University of Westminster. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- Matt Warren (24 August 2001). "Review The silent soldier The Warrior". The Scotsman. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- Bradshaw, Peter (10 May 2002). "The Warrior". theguardian.com. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "U.K. Box Office: 'Amy' becomes second biggest doc ever". Cornerstone film.
- "Amy Winehouse documentary breaks box office records". The Guardian.
- "Amy director Asif Kapadia set to make Maradona documentary". The Independent. 1 October 2017.