Tannishtha Chatterjee

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Tannishtha Chatterjee
Tannishtha Chatterjee at Premiere of 'The Forest' (3).jpg
Chatterjee at the premiere of The Forest on 11 May 2012
NationalityIndian India
Alma materNational School of Drama
OccupationFilm actress
Years active2003–present

Tannishtha Chatterjee is an Indian film actress and director best known in the west for her performance in the British film Brick Lane (2007), the film adaptation of Monica Ali's best selling novel of the same name[1] for which she was nominated best actress at the British Independent Film Awards.[2] Her other notable roles have been in Academy Award-winning German director Florian Gallenberger's film Shadows of Time, Road, Movie with Abhay Deol, Dekh Indian Circus, for which she won the National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) and Marathi film Doctor Rakhmabai for which she has won the Best Actress Award at RIFF (Rajasthan International Film Festival) and PIFF (Pune International Film Festival). In 2019 she directed her first feature film Roam Rome Mein.

Early life[edit]

Chatterjee was born in Pune, Maharashtra, on 23 November, to a Bengali Hindu family. Her father was a business executive and her mother was a political science professor. Her family traveled and lived out of the country for some time, then moved to Delhi.[3] She studied at Bluebells School International. She majored in Chemistry at Delhi University before entering the National School of Drama.[4]


Chatterjee's performance in the German film, Shadows of Time earned her critical acclaim. It took her to international film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival.[5] Thereafter she worked on an Indo-French coproduction Hava Aney Dey (Let the Wind Blow) directed by Partho Sen-Gupta which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and won the best film award at the Durban International Film Festival among others. Following these, Chatterjee acted in Strings, Kasturi and the Bengali film Bibar, winning critical acclaim and best actress awards. Her work in the British film Brick Lane directed by Sarah Gavron gave her international exposure and recognition. Chatterjee was nominated for the British independent film awards along with actresses Judi Dench and Anne Hathaway.

Chatterjee played a major role in Bhopal: Prayer for Rain in which she starred with Martin Sheen.[6] She was the lead in Road, Movie with Abhay Deol and as earned the moniker Princess of Parallel Cinema in the Indian press.[7] Chatterjee was referred by the Indian media as the chief flag bearer at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. She won the best actress award at the Miaac New York Film Festival for her film Bombay Summer. Referred to as one of the most international of Indian actors, she is the lead in Lucy Liu's film Meena based on the book Half the Sky.[8]

A trained Hindustani classical vocalist, she sang in the movies Road, Page 3,[9] among others. She sang at the Royal Opera House in London with British composer Jocelyn Pook.[citation needed]

Chatterjee was a member of the jury at the 2010 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.[10] She appeared in a T series film I Love New Year opposite Sunny Deol directed by Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru.[11][12]

Tannishtha Chatterjee (left), IFFI (2009)

Tannishtha's Canadian film Siddharth was in official selection at the 70th Venice Film Festival and the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. She is the only Indian actress whose films have been selected in three of the major international film festivals in the same year.[13] Her other notable projects are Parched directed by Leena Yadav which opened in Toronto, Australian romantic comedy Unindian with Brett Lee[14] Island City which won the best debut director( Ruchika Oberoi) in Venice and Garth Davies's film LION co-starring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel.[15] Her film Angry Indian Goddesses received acclaim in Toronto and Rome international film festivals. In March 2016 Tannishtha was given a special award in a ceremony held at the BAFTA for her contribution to Asian Cinema.[16] She won the best actress for the film Parched along with three other actresses in Festival 2 Valenciennes and the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles 2016.[17] She was the president of the jury of the prestigious MOOOV film festival in Belgium in 2016.[18] She won the best actress at the Pune International Film Festival 2017 for her role in Dr. Rakhmabai.[19] In 2019 Tannishtha made her directorial Debut Roam Rome Mein which had its World premier at Busan International Film Festival where she won the Asia Star Award.


Tannishtha speaks quite often on the issue of race/colorism in Indian media. She has walked out during a roast when her skin color was the subject of jokes.[20] She explored racism in Indian film and TV industry on Mithaq Kazimi's talk show series.[21] Personally, she adopted a baby girl and has encourages others to do the same.[22]



Year Film Role Notes
2020 Unpaused Director
2019 Roam Rome Mein Reena Debut film as director[23] Asia Star Award Busan International Film Festival
2019 Jhalki
2019 Rani Rani Rani Rani
2018 Beyond the Clouds Chotu's mom
2016 Doctor Rakhmabai Doctor Rakhmabai Won— Best Actress Pune International Film Festival
Won— Best Actress Rajasthan International Film Festival
Nominated— Best Actress Maharashtra State Film Awards
Nominated— Best Actress 17th New York Indian Film Festival
Unindian Meera
Lion Noor
2015 Gour Hari Dastaan Anita
Angry Indian Goddesses Nargis Nasreen
Parched Rani Won Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Best Actress
Rough Book Santoshi [24]
Feast of Varanasi Inspector Rajveer Saxena
I Love New Year Riya
2014 Chauranga Dhaniya
Sunrise Leela
2013 Bhopal: Prayer for Rain Leela
Siddharth Suman Saini
Monsoon Shootout Rani
Gulaab Gang Kajri
Dekh Indian Circus Kajaro WonNational Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film)
2012 Anna Karenina Masha
Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid Shabri
2012 Jal Kajri
2010 Road, Movie Gypsy woman
2009 Bombay Summer Geetha
Barah Aana Rani
2008 White Elephant Sita
2007 Brick Lane Nazneen Ahmed Nominated-British Independent Film Awards Best Actress
2006 Strings-Bound By Faith
Bibar Nita Won Best Actress Bengal Film Journalists' Association ,Osian Film Festival
2005 Divorce Kamla
Shadows of Time Masha
2004 Hava Aney Dey Mona
Bas Yun Hi Sona
2003 Swaraj

Web Series[edit]

Year Title Role Platform Notes
2019 Parchhayee Lavani ZEE5 [25]


Year Function Award Nomination Film Status
2006 Osian film festival Best Actress Bibar Won
2007 British Independent Film Awards 2007 Brick Lane Nominated
Bengal Film Journalists' Association Most Promising Actress Bibar Won
2009 Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Best Actress Bombay Summer Won
2010 Stardust Award Road, Movie Nominated
2012 NYIFF Indo-American Arts Council Dekh Indian Circus Won
National Film Award (Special Mention) National Film Award Won
2016 London Asian Film Festival Contribution to Asian Cinema Won
Festival2valenciennes Best Actress Parched Won
Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Won
Rajasthan International Film Festival Doctor Rakhmabai Won
2017 Pune International Film Festival Won
New York Indian Film Festival Nominated
Maharashtra State Film Awards Nominated
2019 Busan International Film Festival Asia Star Award[26] Roam Rome Mein Won


  1. ^ Tannishtha Chatterjee. imdb.com
  2. ^ Nomination at BIfA. Zimbio.com (2007-11-28). Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  3. ^ "Tannishtha Chatterjee Rises To The Challenge In "Brick Lane"". India Journal. 20 June 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2009.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Career at NSD. Specials.rediff.com. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  5. ^ Berlin International Film Festival. Berlinale.de (2005-02-11). Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  6. ^ Expected to be acting with Sheen. Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2008-07-14). Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  7. ^ An interview with Tannishtha Chatterjee, main actress of BRICK LANE. cinemawithoutborders.com (2008-06-13.html)
  8. ^ "IFFI 2009: INTERVIEW – Tannishtha Chatterjee". Reuters. 30 November 2009.
  9. ^ Tannishtha Chatterjee. indiafm.com
  10. ^ "Promoting Films And Filmmakers Of The Asia-Pacific To A Global Audience". Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  11. ^ "A class act". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 15 May 2011.
  12. ^ "Tannishtha Chatterjee to work with Sunny Deol". The Times of India. 15 May 2011. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012.
  13. ^ Festival Queen: Tannishtha Chatterjee on a roll : Glossary – India Today. Indiatoday.intoday.in (2013-08-10). Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  14. ^ "Tannishtha Chatterjee, Bret Lee to get intimate in UnIndian".
  15. ^ "Tannishtha, Nawazuddin, Deepti Naval in Hollywood film". Business-standard.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Tannishtha Chatterjee 'hugely thrilled' with award in London". The Indian Express. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Festival2valenciennes". Festival2valenciennes.com. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ "Tannishtha Chatterjee bags Best Actress Award at PIFF". Times of India. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  20. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=455Zw0giWKs
  21. ^ https://www.facebook.com/WIONews/videos/vb.451369008407073/524063804470926
  22. ^ https://in.style.yahoo.com/parched-actress-tannishtha-chatterjee-adopts-080423811.html
  23. ^ "Tannishtha Chatterjee's directorial debut 'Roam Rome Mein' to premiere at Busan Film Festival". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 6 September 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  24. ^ "Ananth Mahadevan's Rough Book brings Indian education into sharp focus". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  25. ^ "Tannishtha Chatterjee In A Traditional Look On The Sets Of Parchhayee". Zee Tv. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  26. ^ https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/tannishtha-chatterjee-honoured-with-asia-star-award-at-busan-international-film-festival/1634468

External links[edit]