British filmmaker Pratibha Parmar has spent more than 20 years behind the camera bringing fresh perspectives to stories of women, minorities and social issues. Her award-winning work has been exhibited widely at international film festivals and broadcast in many countries. Nina’s Heavenly Delights , her award winning debut feature film debut was released in the UK and US in 2006/7.
Born in Kenya, of Indian decent, Parmar moved with her family to England at a young age. Following university in England, she began her filmmaking career with documentary shorts as a way to express her passion in representations of subjects and issues not in the mainstream.
In 1991 her career reached a critical turning point with the release of A Place of Rage, a documentary about African-American’s women role in the civil rights movement. The film received international critical acclaim and was named Best Historical Documentary by the National Black Programming Consortium in the U.S. Her other documentary credits include The Righteous Babes, A Brimful of Asia, andthe award-winning Khush. Drama credits include Sita Gita, Wavelengths and Memsahib Rita.
In 1993, Parmar released her most challenging and inspirational film to date. Warrior Marks, which documented ritual female mutilation in Africa, came at a time when the subject was still taboo in the international community. The award-winning documentary was made in collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker, the author of “The Color Purple.”
Parmar has directed music videos and is the co-author and editor of several books. In October 2007, she was awarded the Visionary Award for her body of work from the One in Ten Film Festival, and she is a past winner of the San Francisco Frameline Film Festival Life Time Achievement Award.
Before she began to make films, she was a youth and community worker working in the Asian community with young women. She studied at Bradford University for her BA Hons degree and did postgraduate studies at the Cultural Studies Centre at Birmingham University. She travelled to India as a student and worked as a volunteer in rural development projects around India. During this time she spent 3 months working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta.