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Patron: Shekhar Kapur | From Blighty With Love

Patron: Shekhar Kapur

Shekhar Kapur is one of world’s most well known film directors and one of the few directors who have worked extensively in India’s film Industry (Bollywood) as well as in Hollywood.

Shekhar was a successful Chartered Accountant and Management Consultant in London before he turned his interests to media. He returned to India and went on to become one of India’s most well known models and highest paid Television actors. He directed many award winning commercials before finding his passions in film direction.

He started his direction career with a Hindi film “Masoom” which went on to win 5 filmfare awards, the biggest film awards in India. He then made a breakthrough science-fiction film “Mr. India,” which was a huge commercial success, and is considered one of the iconic films of the 80s in India cinema.

He then went on to direct the critically acclaimed “Bandit Queen” which became an international commercial and critical success, and was invited to numerous international festivals. It was based on the real life story of bandit queen Phoolan Devi. 

He established “Indian talkies” a film company with Ram Gopal Varma and Mani Ratnam, two of India’s prominent directors. The company produced a film “Dil Se” in 1998 starring Shahrukh Khan, India’s biggest star, and is considered one of the best films of Indian cinema.

In 1998, Kapur got international recognition for directing “Elizabeth,” which was nominated for 7 Oscars and won Oscar for best make-up. The film also catapulted Cate Blanchett into a major Hollywood star after her portrayal as Queen Elizabeth.

In 2000, he was awarded India’s state honor, the “Padma Shri.”

He directed Heath Ledger in “The Four Feathers” for Paramount/Miramax based on the novel by the same name by A.E.W. Mason. Heath Ledger’s performance as the British Army officer was widely acclaimed.

Kapur executive produced the Bollywood-themed Andrew Lloyd Webber musicalBombay Dreams,” which became a very big hit in London’s West End and was remade into a Broadway musical in New York.

Kapur then executive produced “The Guru” for Universal Studios starring Heather Graham.

He formed Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation an entertainment company focused on creating new stories and characters for a global audience. The Company was founded with Richard Branson and his Virgin Group, and well known spiritual guru and motivational author Deepak Chopra.

Kapur returned to direct Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” also for Universal Studios which was a sequel to the original Elizabeth. Golden Age was nominated for 2 Oscars including Cate Blanchett for actress in a leading role, and won the Oscar for best costume design.

He directed a segment of the film “New York, I love you.”  He is one of the 12 internationally acclaimed directors for the film which is similar in concept to the successful feature film “Paris, je t’aime” that opened the 2006 “Un Certain Regard” section of the Cannes Film Festival.

He recently directed a short film “The Passages” in Buenos Aires which was commissioned by Swarovski. He was then invited by Swarovski to do an installation based on the film at their museum in Wattens, Austria. The installation called “Sankalpa” is currently on display at the museum.      

Shekhar is very active in the blogsphere and posts his views regularly on current topics and films on his blog www.shekharkapur.com/blog

He is actively involved in the creation of a new media development fund out of Singapore. The potential partners of the fund are the Singapore government (MDA) and Cisco Systems. He also sits on the board of the Media Development Authority (MDA) for the Singapore government.

Shekhar is regularly invited to speak at the World Economic Forum. He is currently an environmental activist with water conservation related issues. He is also on the board of the International Global Water Challenge, the world’s premier body for water related issues. He also speaks actively all over the world on the impact of technology on media and how new media is changing the world.

His personal hobbies include scuba diving and mountaineering.

Kapur is presently involved with his passion project, “Paani” about the impending water wars in the world.

Academy Awards

Year Title Oscar nominations Oscar wins
1998 Elizabeth 7 1
2007 Elizabeth: The Golden Age 2 1

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