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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.
Asif Kapadia was born in 1972 in north London, to a Muslim Indian 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. 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.
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).
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 second highest grossing documentary of all time in the United Kingdom, overtaking Kapadia's 2010 movie Senna.
Awards and nominations
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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 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.
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 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
Winner of Best Documentary of the Year – Hollywood Film Awards, 2015
- Indian Tales (1994)
- The Waiting Room (1996)
- Wild West (1996)
- The Sheep Thief (1997)
- The Warrior (2001)
- The Return (2006)
- Far North (2007)
- Senna (2010)
- Amy (2015)
- Earnhardt (TBA)
- "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.
- "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.