2019 Disruptive Innovation Award Winner
Max Mark-Cranbrook 2019 Global Peacemaker Award Winner
United Nations Women's Entrepreneurship Distinguished Fellow
(Short bio) Tribeca Film Festival 2019 Disruptive Innovator award-winning director, photographer, and social justice advocate, Max Mark-Cranbrook 2019 Global Peacemaker and United Nations Women's Entrepreneurship Distinguished Fellow, Indrani creates transformative, multi-platform works of art, innovation and social impact. Her extensive global expertise leverages the power of art, media, technology, celebrity, music, fashion, branding, and education, to empower diversity, equality, and environmental sustainability. The recipient of 29 awards, published in media from HBO to CNN, New York Times to Vogue and Vanity Fair, she has created the image of over 300 brands, from Pepsi and Nike to L'Oreal. Discovered and mentored by David Bowie, she helped launched the solo careers of Beyonce and Lady Gaga creating their debut album art. Exhibited in museums worldwide and in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian. Co-Host of the Global People’s Summit at the United Nations, Host of New York Live Arts' Humanities Symposium, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Shakti Empowerment Education for women and children in India. Prolific public speaker at prestigious conferences and universities, she is a Princeton University graduate and visiting lecturer on "Mobilizing Millions with Art and Film for Human Rights and Social Justice."
“Across Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri’s body of work, from film and photography to philanthropy and social activism, she uses art as a means of processing and reflecting upon questions of self and society, justice and hope, history and myth... Indrani finds a singular thread and invites viewers to feel tugged and sometimes even lashed at by the thing that would have been invisible to most other eyes."
- Tracy K. Smith, US Poet Laureate and Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts, at the Princeton Arts and Humanities Symposium 2018
(Full bio) Indian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist, known mononymously as Indrani, is a “leading director and voice for female empowerment” (Tribeca Film Festival), a photographer, and social justice advocate.
"As a myth-maker, shaping the parameters of the possible, I explore transformation and the intersection between epic fantasy and abject realism from diverse perspectives, inspiring change." - Indrani
She is known for her “iconic imagery and visionary storytelling” (Huffington Post). Her work has won 29 awards including The Tribeca Film Festival 2019 Disruptor Award, The Max Mark-Cranbrook 2019 Global Peacemaker Award, Best Picture and Best Director at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, two Gold Lions at Cannes Festival of Creativity, and Best Film at the CNN 2018 Expose Awards. Indrani lectures at Princeton University on "Moving Millions to Action: Leveraging Art and Media for Human Rights and Social Justice."
"Dynamic...at the crossroads of pop culture and critical acclaim." (The Lincoln Center)
“An extraordinary director... riveting, shocking, touching... brilliant and provocative.” (Scott Goodson, Forbes)
"Her creative lens, coupled with an impassioned perspective on gender realities...powerful and provocative." (Katherine Brooks, Huffington Post)
AWARDS: Her films have won over 27 awards, including Best Picture and Best Director at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, two Gold Lions at Cannes Festival of Creativity, Best Film at the CNN Expose Awards 2018, and the Circle of Light Award 2018 at Harvard.
“Wielding her visionary work like a weapon, Indrani is using her art and resources for social justice and change,” (Soma Magazine) as a multiracial, bisexual artist empowering women and LGBTQ rights, people of color, and environmental sustainability.
A prolific speaker, Indrani is Co-Host of the Global People’s Summit during the General Assembly at the United Nations, democratizing access to conversations and information that shape the world; UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Distinguished Fellow; Host of New York Live Arts - AI Live Ideas Gala; co-Founder and Executive Director of the Shakti Empowerment Education Foundation.
"At the forefront of contemporary photography" - NOWNESS
While a student of Anthropology at Princeton University, Indrani was discovered and mentored by Iman and David Bowie, who commissioned her first book cover for I am Iman, and her first album art for Heathen, on Bowie's loss of faith in grand narratives after 9/11. Bowie later launched her directorial debut with the music video for his Valentine’s Day, exploring the mind of a high school mass shooter, which was featured in the HBO Movie Bowie: the Last 5 Years.
Indrani has empowered some of the world’s most legendary artists, including launching the solo careers of Beyonce and Lady Gaga, creating their debut album art for Dangerously in Love and The Fame (Collector's Edition) respectively. She famously put celebrities in coffins, including Kim Kardashian, Usher, Serena Williams and Elijah Woods for Digital Death, raising awareness and millions of dollars against AIDS in Africa and India for Keep A Child Alive, and many other projects for social good.
Featured in The New York Times, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Vanity Fair and VICE, and published in 23 books, Indrani's work is exhibited in museums including the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute, The Center Pompidou Paris, The Rubin Museum of Art NY, The Victoria & Albert Museum London, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The Museum at the Fashion Institute and The Australian Center for the Moving Image.
Her videos have over 70 million views online, and she has created images and commercials for over 300 international brands including Pepsi, Nike, Lancome, and L’Oreal. Regularly interviewed for CNN, HBO, E! News and Showbiz Tonight, she is invited to speak at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Centre Pompidou, Princeton, New York University and Harvard University.
EARLY LIFE: Born in Calcutta and raised volunteering with Mother Teresa, Indrani learned early the power of change that the tiniest of people can bring. Eager to learn from the top artists of the world, she became an international teen model-actor. At 18 she returned for a solo meditation and photographic pilgrimage across India, then co-founded Shakti Empowerment Education, SEEschool.org providing education, vocational training and micro-financing for 300 socio-economically disadvantaged women and children annually in West Bengal. Then she met classical harpist Markus Klinko and they began their professional photography careers together as the photography duo known as Markus + Indrani.
Indrani received a scholarship to Princeton University, where she reinstated Sanskrit and launched a student movement to create a South Asian Studies Program, founded the Eastern Philosophical Discussion Group, and graduated with a Magna Cum Laude BA in Anthropology, while advancing her photography and digital art career.
SOCIAL ADVOCACY: Working with over 25 NGOs, "Indrani is internationally recognized for her extensive work on social causes... Empowering young girls to become powerful agents of change" (Huffington Post).
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: United Nations, Harvard, Princeton, New York University, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Center Georges Pompidou. SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
ARTIST STATEMENT FOR "ICONS": "In a world where authenticity is an autograph and reality a genre of TV, my images provide society a mirror to reflect upon its ideals and devotions. Encouraging viewers to question what makes these individuals so beloved? What do they represent, what roles have they assumed or have we assigned them to play, that they inspire such passions in us? Why do we as a society raise them up to be larger than life, blur the lines between fantasy and reality, admiration and obsessive cult behavior, appoint them as deities for public consumption, then rip them apart if they reveal human frailties? As they shine so brightly, let us also reflect on the long shadows cast."
BRAVO (NBC) DOCU-SERIES DOUBLE EXPOSURE: Indrani was the subject of a 6-part docu-series on US primetime Bravo/ NBC TV. Featuring her creative process, the humor and challenges of working with stars such as Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, and Lindsay Lohan, along with designer / creative producer GK Reid and her photographic partner at the time, Markus Klinko. Syndicated to 200 countries.
PUBLICATIONS: The New York Times, Huffington Post, LA Times, London Sunday Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, V, Vanity Fair and VICE.
FEATURED ON: CNN, HBO, Access Hollywood, Extra! Inside Edition, E! News, America’s Next Top Model, Larry King Live, VH1’s Short List, Fashion Television, The “It” Factor, CBS, USA Today, and Showbiz Tonight.
EXHIBITIONS: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, The Victor & Albert Museum UK, The Brooklyn Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The Lincoln Center, Museum of the Fashion Institute, Rubin Museum of Art, The Australian Center for the Moving Image.
CLIENTS: Pepsi, Nike, Barney’s New York, LVMH, Lancome, Elizabeth Arden, MAC, L’Oreal Paris, Shiseido, Pantene, Head & Shoulders Herbal Essences, Remy Martin, Sky Blue, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Wolford, Girard Perregaux, Anna Sui, Baume et Mercier, DeBeers, Epson, Broncolor, Mattel, Hello Kitty, Jaguar CLIENT LIST