Asif Kapadia (Film Directing, 2001)

Asif Kapadia

Fellow in 2001 for Film Directing

BAFTA award winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia is known for his visually striking films exploring the lives of ‘outsiders’, characters living in timeless, extreme and unforgiving circumstances or landscapes. His films have been distributed internationally, winning many awards and shown how versatile and expressive British cinema can be.

Born in Hackney, London in 1972, Kapadia studied filmmaking at the Royal College of Art where he first gained recognition with his short THE SHEEP THIEF (1997) telling the story of a street kid and the family who take him in, made with non professional actors in Rajasthan, India, the film won many awards including Second Prize at the 1998 Cannes International Film Festival (Cinefoundation), the Grand Prix at the 1997 European Short Film Festival in Brest & Best Director at the Poitiers Film Festival 1997.

Kapadia’s first feature THE WARRIOR (2001, FilmFour), was shot in the deserts of Rajasthan and the snow capped Himalaya. The film was championed in the British Press as ‘epic’and ‘stunning’ (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian) was nominated for three BAFTA awards, winning two for Outstanding British Film of the Year and The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a Director in their First Feature.

The Warrior also won the Best Film Award at the Dinard Film Festival, the prestigious Sutherland Award at the London Film Festival, the Evening Standard British Film Award for the Most Promising Newcomer, the Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Film and the Technical Achievement Award for Cinematography at the British Independent Film Awards.

FAR NORTH (2007, FILM4), premiered at the Venice Film Festival, based on a dark short story by Sara Maitland. Kapadia used the epic and brutal arctic landscape to show how desperation and loneliness drive a woman to harm the person she loves the most.

SENNA, (2010, Working Title / Universal Pictures) Kapadia’s fourth feature is the epic story of the monumental life of Brazilian motor-racing legend, Ayrton Senna. Spanning a decade, it follows his battles on track and off, against the politics that infest the sport. Sublime, spiritual, occasionally ruthless, Senna conquers Formula One to become a global superstar whilst privately remaining humble and giving millions to poor Brazilians. He contemplates life after motor-racing, whilst living on the edge. Today, he is revered in Formula One as the greatest driver of all time and in Brasil as a Saint.

SENNA is the highest grossing British documentary of all time.
The third highest grossing documentary of all time in the UK.
Winner of the World Cinema Documentary – Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival 2011
Winner of the Audience Award for Best International Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival 2011
Winner of Best Documentary – Audience Award at the Adelaide Film Festival 2011
Winner of the Audience Award – Moscow International Film Festival 2011