Born in East London in 1972, Kapadia studied filmmaking at the Royal College of Art where he first gained recognition with his short film The Sheep Thief (1997). Shot in Rajasthan, India on a self-raised budget of £25,000 and a UK crew of seven, The Sheep Thief won several awards including second prize in the Cinefoundation section of the 1998 Cannes International Film Festival, Grand Prix at the 1997 Brest Film Festival & Best Director at the Poitiers Film Festival.Kapadia’s ‘romance with India’ and his distinct visual style continued with the making of his first feature, The Warrior, shot entirely in the deserts of Rajasthan and the snow capped Himachal Pradesh. The Warrior was championed in the British Press as ‘epic’, ‘stunning’ and with a ‘shimmering beauty with something calm and seductively mysterious’ (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian) and went on to win two BAFTA Awards for Outstanding British Film of the Year and The Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a Director, Screenwriter or Producer in their First Feature Film, as well as the prestigious Sutherland Award at the London Film Festival among others. Far North, Kapadia’s latest film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival 2007, was four years in the making and is based on a short story by writer Sara Maitland. Kapadia uses the visual palette and expressive ambience of the landscape of Svalbard as his ‘take on the brutal cold landscape and what desperation and loneliness can drive people to do’. Using the ‘monochromatic colours of the landscape and the sea sprinkled with intense blue icebergs …mixed with grumbling cracking of ice fields and the subsonic booms of the water beneath’ (Jonathan Romney, Sight and Sound), Kapadia creates an eerie landscape where survival is key.
|2002 Jury Member|