Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri is an award-winning director, photographer, writer and cultural anthropologist, known for her “Iconic imagery and visionary storytelling” (Huffington Post). She was born in Calcutta, India, to a historic Zaminder family and a British mother, volunteering with Mother Teresa. At 14 she began traveling the world as a model/actress, learning from leading artists. At 19 she returned to co-found Shakti Empowerment Education Foundation for women and children, in her family home. Before graduating from Princeton University with a Magna Cum Laude (High Honors) AB in Anthropology, she spearheaded the creation of a Program in South Asian Studies, and her photography was discovered by David Bowie, who commissioned her first celebrity shoot and album cover for Heathen, launching her long-term collaboration with former harpist Markus Klinko. Indrani became internationally acclaimed as a top photographer for celebrities and brands from Beyonce to Kate Winslet and L’Oreal to Nike, before becoming in 2011 a director of commercials and music videos for the likes of David Bowie and Alicia Keys.
Her directorial work has been featured in the New York Times, The London Sunday Times, Times of India, Daily Express, The Daily Beast, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and VICE. According to Forbes “Indrani’s direction is brilliant and provocative.” Huffington Post says “Her creative lens, coupled with an impassioned perspective on gender realities in India, resulted in a powerful and provocative piece of film.” Jezebel says “Indrani’s work is jubilant…with an underlying feminist message”. She was selected by Pepsi as one of its 10 “most dynamic directors” alongside luminaries such as Spike Lee for its “Beats of the Beautiful Game.” Indrani’s films have swept 22 awards including 2 Gold Lions at Cannes Festival of Creativity, Best Picture and Best Director at both the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and the London Fashion Film Festival, and Best Picture at the Princeton Film Festival. Her films have been screened at The Lincoln Center NY, The Pompidou Centre Paris, The Rubin Museum of Art NY, The Museum of the Fashion Institute NY, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Australian Center for the Moving Image among others.
Indrani has worked with numerous NGO’s and social causes, such as Keep A Child Alive for which her video and stills campaign raised over a million dollars in under a week and garnered over 150 press articles; the UN’s Nothing But Nets and Population Services International fighting malaria in Central African Republic; and the Make A Wish Foundation and the American Cancer Society. In India, Indrani created films for Nanhi Kali, Yuwa, and Sambhali Trust for girls’ empowerment and health in India, and she directed the top 10 Bollywood stars for “Girl Rising India”, which was the top trend on Twitter on its screening weekend. She was director of outreach at the UN World Film Forum and special advisor to the UN World Technology and Fashion forums.
In 2013 the Lincoln Center presented a week-long exhibition of her work, to celebrate her book ICONS (Perseus Press). She was the subject of a 6-part docu-series on Bravo TV (NBC) about her work, named Double Exposure, syndicated to over 200 countries.