What do Satyajit Ray and Amitabh Bachchan have in common? Both are respected celebrities at home and abroad. Read on for several other big names who've taken India abroad.
Satyajit Ray: The Bengali filmmaker is considered as one of the auteurs of world cinema. His Apu trilogy brought him international acclaim. Pather Panchali (1955), won eleven international prizes, including Best Human Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival while Aparajito won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray an honorary Oscar in 1992 for Lifetime Achievement.
Mrinal Sen: Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak’s contemporary, Sen is a Bengali director who made films on the stormy Sixties and the social realities of lower and middle-class Bengalis. During his career, Mrinal Sen's films have received awards from almost all major film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Karlovy Vary, Chicago and Cairo. Retrospectives of his films have been shown in almost all major cities of the world.
Mira Nair: Nair’s debut feature film, Salaam Bombay! (1988) won the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival and also earned the nomination for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Nair’s films such as Monsoon Wedding (2001) and The Namesake (2006) have earned international fame, while her most recent offering, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, based on Mohsin Hamid’s novel of the same name is set to release in 2013.
Deepa Mehta: Indo-Canadian writer-director Mehta’s Elements trilogy -- Fire (1996), Earth (1998) and Water (2005) won critical acclaim. Water was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Mehta’s recent Midnight’s Children, based on the Rushdie novel, released to a muted response.
AR Rahman: Rahman’s score for Slumdog Millionaire won him two Academy Awards in 2009. Described as the world's most prominent and prolific film composer by Time magazine, he has won two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe.
Shekhar Kapur: The maker of films such as Bandit Queen and Mr. India, Kapur tasted international honour with his historical biopics on Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth and its sequel The Golden Age) garnered 7 Academy Award nominations.
Amitabh Bachchan: His phenomenal popularity has made the world sit up and take notice. In 1999, Bachchan was voted the "greatest star of stage or screen" in a BBC Your Millenium online poll while in 2000; he became the first living Asian to have been modelled in wax at London's Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Many universities have conferred honorary doctorates upon him. His role in the upcoming Great Gatsby adaptation has excited interest.
Aishwarya Rai: Rai, who won the Miss World title in 1994, has often been described as the world’s most beautiful women. Apart from Bride and Prejudice (2004) and Provoked (2007), she has acted in international films such as Pink Panther 2 and the Last Legion. None of them, however, set the box office afire. She is one of Indian cinema’s most recognisable films abroad, appearing on Oprah and walking the red carpet at Cannes.
Irrfan Khan: Khan's work in movies such as The Namesake, A Mighty Heart and Life of Pi has brought him to international notice. He essayed the role of a villain in the big-budget The Amazing Spider-Man.
Om Puri: One of India’s most respected actors, his roles in East Is East (1999, City of Joy (1992), and Gandhi (1982). In 2007, he appeared as General Zia-ul-Haq in Charlie Wilson's War, which stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
Anupam Kher: Kher has made his presence felt on the international radar with his roles in movies such as Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004), and most notably, in last year’s Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook.
Mallika Shehrawat: Shehrawat acted in The Myth (2007), a Chinese film, co-starring with Jackie Chan. In 2009, Sherawat starred in a Hollywood film named Hisss, co-starring Irrfan Khan.
Frieda Pinto: Pinto rose to prominence playing the role of Latika in the 2008 British Indian drama film Slumdog Millionaire, which marked her debut.She has since starred in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Immortals and Trishna where she played the lead character. She has been signed as a spokesperson for the international brand L’oreal and is a regular on People and Vogue magazine’s best-dressed list.
(Compiled by: HT Research)