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Paoli Dam

Paoli Dam
Paoli Dam at party for Ankur Arora Murder Case in 2013
Dam in 2013
Born1980 (age 43–44)
Alma materUniversity of Calcutta
Years active2003–present
Notable workKaalbela (2009)
Hate Story (2012)
Elar Char Adhyay (2012)
Arjun Deb
(m. 2017)

Paoli Dam (born 1980) is an Indian actress[2] who started her career with the Bengali television serial Jibon Niye Khela (2003). She then worked in Bengali television serials such as Tithir Atithi and Sonar Harin; the former ran for six years on ETV Bangla. Dam spent her childhood in Kolkata, earning a postgraduate degree in chemistry from Rajabazar Science College. Initially, she wanted to become a chemical researcher or a pilot. Her debut Bengali film—Teen Yaari Katha, directed by Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha—began in 2004, but was not released until 2012. Dam's first film release was Agnipariksha, directed by Ravi Kinagi. Between 2006 and 2009, she appeared in five Bengali films, coming into prominence with the 2009 Kaalbela, directed by Goutam Ghose.

In 2011, she received international recognition for her role in the Bengali film Chatrak.[3] The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and also at film festivals in Toronto and the U.K.[4] In 2012, Dam made her Bollywood debut in Hate Story[5] and also appeared in Vikram Bhatt's Ankur Arora Murder Case, directed by Sohail Tatari. She won the Viewers' Choice Award for Best Actress for her performance in Natoker Moto at the Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival in 2016.

Early life and education

Dam was born in Kolkata, West Bengal to a Bengali family, which is originally from Faridpur (now in Bangladesh).[6] Her father and mother are Amol and Papiya Dam respectively. She also has a brother, Mainak.[7]

Dam attended Loreto School in Bowbazar, before passing her Higher Secondary Examination. She was a good student, winning scholarships.[8] Dam was admitted to Vidyasagar College for Women, affiliated with the University of Calcutta, graduating with a degree in chemistry.[9] She earned a postgraduate degree in chemistry from the Rajabazar Science College Campus of the University of Calcutta.[10][11]

She learnt classical dance and was also interested in theater from an early age, but she never aspired to become an actor.[8]


Television career

Dam began her acting career in Bengali television serials. In 2003, she appeared in Jibon Niye Khela, for Zee Bangla and later in the ETV Bangla serial Tithir Atithi, directed by Jishu Dasgupta; the latter ran for six years.[8] The actress also appeared in Tarpor Chand Uthlo, Sonar Harin and Jaya. Dam has said that she has learned a great deal from Bengali television, and it groomed her for a film career.[12]

Bengali film career


Dam's debut Bengali film Teen Yaari Katha, (directed by Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha), began in 2004, but was not released until 2012. Her first film release was Agnipariksha (2006).[13] The film was directed by Ravi Kinagi and produced by Debendra Kuchar; Dam played a supporting role.[citation needed] The actress next appeared in Tulkalam (2007), directed by Haranath Chakraborty and produced by Pijush Saha. Mithun Chakraborty and Rachana Banerjee played the lead male and female characters, respectively.[citation needed] Dam's third Bengali film release was I Love You, in which she had a supporting role as the heroine's friend.[citation needed] In 2008 the actress appeared in the Bengali film Hochheta Ki, a comedy of errors directed by Basu Chatterjee, in which Dam played a Bengali housewife.[14]


In 2009 Dam appeared in seven Bengali films, and came into focus with the success of Kaalbela (directed by Goutam Ghose). Based on a Bengali novel by Samaresh Majumdar, the film's background was the Naxalite movement of the 1980s. Dam played Madhabilata, the girlfriend of a young Naxalite leader,[15] and her performance was praised.[12] In its review, The Times of India appreciated: "Pauli, who plays Madhabilata with such integrity that the pain in her eyes and the romance in her voice charms viewers to believe that she has it in her to lend her face to everything that Madhabilita has epitomised".[15] In an interview, Dam said the film was a "turning point" in her career:[13] "Everybody needs a platform – Kalbela gave me the platform. I had to prove myself".[12] Her other six films released that year were Hochchheta ki, directed by Basu Chatterjee; Jamai Raja, directed by Swapan Saha; Box No. 1313; Mallick Bari; Shob Charitro Kalponik, directed by Rituparno Ghosh and Tinmurti.[citation needed]

In 2010, Dam appeared in eleven Bengali films, including Tara (directed by Bratya Basu), Takhan Teish (directed by Atanu Ghosh), Moner Manush (directed by Goutam Ghose), Kagojer Bou (directed by Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay) and Banshiwala (directed by Anjan Das); five of the eleven are unreleased. Moner Manush was Dam's second film with Ghose; in this film she played Komli, a Baul.[16] In its review, The Times of India found Dam making "sincere efforts in portraying the role of Kamli".[17] The actress later said in an interview that she learned a great deal from working with Ghose.[13]

In 2011, Dam appeared in Chatrak, directed by the Sri Lankan Vimukthi Jayasundara.[18] The actress played Paoli, a Bengali girl, and the film triggered controversy in India when an explicit unstimulated no-body-double sex scene with Dam and Anubrata Basu was leaked on the Internet.[3][19][4]


In 2012, Dam's first Hindi film Hate Story was released; she also appeared in three Bengali films: Bedroom (directed by Mainak Bhaumik), Elar Char Adhyay (directed by Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay) and Teen Yaari Katha (the actress' first film appearance, directed by Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha).[citation needed] Bedroom's story line revolved around the lives of Kolkata urban couples; Dam played Priyanka, a bored and irritable housewife.[20][21] Elar Char Adhyay was based on Rabindranath Tagore's literary work Char Adhyay, and was set in British Raj India during the 1940s. Dam played Ela, teacher of a group fighting for Indian independence. Her acting was praised; The Indian Express found Dam's characterization of Ela "wonderful"[22] and The Times of India wrote: "Those who thought Paoli's "Hate Story" outing was all about being bold will be pleasantly surprised by her sheer maturity in reinterpreting boldness in the context of an era long left behind".[23] In Teen Yaari Katha, the actress played a supporting role.[24]

Dam also appeared in Mainak Bhaumik's Family Album. The film, also starring Swastika Mukherjee, deals with an MMS scandal.[25]

In 2014, Dam acted in Chaya Manush. In the film, directed by Arindam De, she played Trisha, a journalist.[26] Later that year, Dam acted in Obhishopto Nighty (cursed nighty), directed by Birsa Dasgupta. Dam played the character of Miss Monica, a Bengali bar singer of the 1980s in the comedy-romantic film.[27] Dam said that she was initially reluctant to accept the role, but later realised that it was a "love story".[28] Her next releases were the drama film Sada Canvas[29] and the romantic comedy Hercules, directed by Abhijit Guha and Sudeshna Roy.[30] Dam described her character in Hercules, Minu, as "practical, grounded and not driven by emotions".[31] Her first 2015 release was Anjan Das' Ajana Batash, in which she played Deepa, who works in an ad agency in Kolkata, "lost in depression amongst all the affluence".[32]

Dam's upcoming films include Debesh Chattopadhyay's Natoker Moto - Like a Play which, according to Dam, was a "fictional biopic of a famous actress of the Bengali stage during the 1970s",[31] Auroni Taukhon by Saurav Chakraborty, which is a love story set against the background of communal riots,[31][33] and Swarup Ghosh's rom-com Tobuo Aparichito.[31][34]

Bollywood career

Paoli Dam in sunglasses, white blouse and jeans
Dam at the launch party for Hate Story, her debut Bollywood film

In 2012, Dam made her Bollywood debut in Hate Story, directed by Vivek Agnihotri and produced by Vikram Bhatt.[35] The film had female protagonists; Dam played Kavyah Krishna, a sex worker.[36] In the film, she and her friend Vicky pull off a caper against one of India's biggest business tycoons.[37]

Dam's performance in this film received a lukewarm response. The Times of India in its review:[37]

Paoli Dam doesn't disappoint one bit on the latter aspect, she is not bad in terms of her acting abilities either. She doesn't incite the pathos that one could fervently feel for her character's plight. But though her act is not accomplished, she manages to pull off her role quite well.

After the film's commercial success, producer Vikram Bhatt planned a sequel, in which Dam was replaced by Surveen Chawla.[38]

After Hate Story, Dam appeared in Vikram Bhatt's next film Ankur Arora Murder Case. The film, directed by Sohail Tatari, is based on the true story of a young boy who died in an operating room due to medical negligence. Dam plays a lawyer fighting for justice.[39] In an interview, she described her role: "It's something very real and close to life and it's a de-glamourised role. It's something that I really enjoyed playing".[40][41] After attending a special screening of the film in Mumbai, Indian film critic and journalist Taran Adarsh called Dam and said that she should work more in Bollywood.[42]

Dam performed an item number in the 2014 comedy-horror film Gang of Ghosts, directed by Satish Kaushik.[43]

Dam is scheduled to appear in the Hindi film Yaara Silly Silly, directed by Subhash Sehgal.[44] As of April 2013, she will also appear in Ashuu Trikha's thriller Jee Jaan Se (with Kay Kay Menon and Raveena Tandon) as a homemaker whose life is shattered after the death of her husband.[44] According to a 25 April 2013 article in The Times of India, after working in two Vikram Bhatt films, Dam has been offered a third (also a thriller).[44]

Other films

In 2012, Dam began working on the Konkani film Baga Beach, directed by Laxmikant Shetgaonkar. The actress said in an interview: "I like working in different kinds of films. I met Laxmikant Shetgaonkar at the Cannes film festival in 2011 and later heard his script for Baga Beach and liked it. I thought it would be a very unique experience working in a Konkani film. And I thought 15 to 20 days of commitment to a film is not much to give".[45] In 2017, she made her Bangladeshi with Hashibur Reza Kallol's tragic romance Swatta, in which she played a prostitute co-starring with Shakib Khan. The film won numerous accolades including five National Film Awards in several categories including Khan's fourth Best Actor award at the 42 National Film Awards, six Bachsas Awards and two Meril-Prothom Alo Awards.[46][47][48]


Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Director Roles(s) Language Note
2006 Agnipariksha Rabi Kinagi Pooja Bengali
2007 Tulkalam Haranath Chakraborty Bengali
I Love You Rabi Kinagi Borsha (Pooja's friend) Bengali
2008 Aamar Pratigya Swapan Saha Anjali Ray Bengali
Hochchheta ki Basu Chatterjee Priya Bengali
2009 Kaalbela Gautam Ghosh Madhabilata Bengali
Jamai Raja Swapan Saha Bengali
Box No. 1313 Aniruddha Bhattacharya Bengali
Mallick Bari Anirban Chakraborty, P. J. Joseph Purnima Bengali
Shob Charitro Kalponik Rituparno Ghosh Kajori Roy Bengali
Tinmurti Raja Sen Debolina Bengali
2010 Thana Theke Aschi Saran Dutta Sandhya Mondol Bengali
Tara Bratya Basu Madhuja Bengali
Takhan Teish Atanu Ghosh Mohini Bengali
Mati O Manush Bengali
Kagojer Bou Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay Preiti Bengali
Hurumtaal Twinkle Bengali
Banshiwala Anjan Das Nipa Bengali
Bangla Banchao Anup Sengupta Bengali
Moner Manush Gautam Ghose Komli Bengali
2011 Ajob Prem Ebong... Arindam Dey Moyna Bengali
Someday Somewhere... Jete Pari Chole Sanghamitra Chowdhury Ruu Bengali
Chatrak Vimukthi Jayasundara Paoli Bengali
Bangla Bachao Anup Sengupta Mandira Bengali
2012 Bedroom Mainak Bhaumik Priyanka Bengali
Teen Yaari Katha Sudeshna Roy, Abhijit Guha Bengali
Hate Story Vivek Agnihotri Kavyah Krishnan Hindi
Elar Char Adhyay Bappaditya Bandyopadhyay Ela Bengali
2013 Hoi Choi Debarati Gupta Piyal Bengali
Sweetheart Arup Bhanja Mimi Bengali
Promotion Snhasish Chakraborty Shuja Bengali
Ankur Arora Murder Case Suhail Tatari Kajori Sen Hindi
Family Album Mainak Bhaumik Bengali
Baga Beach Laxmikant Shetgaonkar Sobha Konkani
2014 Chaya Manush Arindam Mamdo De Trisha Bengali
Obhishopto Nighty Birsa Dasgupta Miss Monica Bengali
Gang of Ghosts Satish Kaushik item girl Hindi
Sada Canvas Subrata Sen Rupa Bengali
Hercules Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha Minu Bengali
Parapaar Sanjoy Nag Urmila Bengali
2015 Ajana Batas Anjan Das Deepa Bengali
Tobuo Aparichito Swarup Ghosh Akansha Bengali
Auroni Taukhon Saurav Chakraborty Auroni Bengali
Natoker Moto – Like a Play Debesh Chattopadhyay Kheya Bengali
Yaara Silly Silly Subhash Sehgal Mallika a.k.a. Devanshi S Roy Hindi
2016 Zulfiqar Srijit Mukherjee Karishma Ahmed Bengali
Khawto Kamaleshwar Mukherjee Damayanti Chakraborty/Antara Bengali
2017 Swatta Hashibur Reza Kallol Shikha Bengali Bangladeshi film[49]
Maacher Jhol Pratim D. Gupta Sreela Bengali
Devi Rick Basu Devi Bengali
2018 Maati Saibal Banerjee &

Leena Gangopadhyay

Meghla Chowdhury Bengali
2019 Tritiya Adhyay Manoj Michigan Shreya Bengali

Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy

Pritha Mallick Bengali
Password Kamaleswar Mukherjee Mariom Bengali [50]
Sanjhbati Saibal Banerjee & Leena Gangopadhyay Phuli Bengali
2020 Raat Baaki Hai Avinash Das Vaasuki Hindi Film released on Zee5
Love Aaj Kal Porshu Pratim D. Gupta Bengali
Bulbbul Anvita Dutt Binodini Hindi
2022 Byomkesh Hotyamancha Arindam Sil Sulochona Bengali
2023 Palaan Kaushik Ganguly Paoli Bengali
Paharganj Halt Pritha Chatterjee
Ektu Sore Bosun Kamaleshwar Mukherjee


Year Show Role Channel Notes
1999 Jibon Niye Khela Zee Bangla [12]
Tithir Atithi ETV Bangla [12]
Tarpor Chand Uthlo Tara TV [12]
Sonar Harin ETV Bangla [12]
Jaya [12]
Scandal Tara TV
2016 Mahanayak Star Jalsha

Web series

Year Title Role Platform Note
2018–2020 Kaali Aparna Zee5
2022 The Great Indian Murder Shabnam Saxena Disney+ Hotstar
2022 Karm Yuddh Indrani Roy Disney+ Hotstar
2023 Charlie Chopra Saloni Dabral SonyLIV

Playback singer

Year Film Music director Notes
2009 Kaalbela Goutam Ghose


  1. ^ Hate Story Actress Paoli Dam Gets Married Businessman Arjun Deb Archived 25 October 2021 at the Wayback Machine. Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Actress Paoli Dam shoots for Mir Afsar Ali-hosted Mirakkel Season 10". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b Vats, Rohit (12 October 2011). "Is 'Chatrak' the boldest film ever made in India?". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b Dasgupta, Priyanka (18 September 2011). "I'll cast Paoli in my next: Vimukti Jayasundara". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Which is the raunchiest Hate Story? VOTE!". Archived from the original on 29 July 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  6. ^ ফরিদপুর যেতে চান পাওলি. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Actress Paoli Dam Parents". MerePix. Archived from the original on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  8. ^ a b c "Damned if She Does". India Today. Archived from the original on 4 March 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Paoli Dam: Who is she?". India Today. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Smita Patil of Bengali cinema". Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  11. ^ Paoli Dam on life after Kalbela
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h "Playing it right". The Telegraph (India). Archived from the original on 24 May 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  13. ^ a b c "Paoli Dam on life after Kalbela". Telegraph Calcutta. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Hccheta Ki review". Screen India. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  15. ^ a b "Kaalbela review". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Review Moner Manush". NDTV. Archived from the original on 6 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  17. ^ "Moner Manush review". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 30 October 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  18. ^ "A Calcutta girl at the croisette". Telegraph Calcutta. Archived from the original on 29 May 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  19. ^ Dasgupta, Priyanka (15 September 2011). "Paoli axed from movie promos". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  20. ^ "Mainak Bhaumik's next film 'Bedroom'". TollyRise. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  21. ^ "Bedroom movie review". WBRi. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  22. ^ "Elar Char Adhyay". The Indian Express review. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  23. ^ "Elar Char Adhyay". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 June 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  24. ^ "Teen Yaari Katha movie review". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 4 June 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  25. ^ "Mainak Bhaumick's new film with Swastika and Paoli". The Times of India. 26 June 2013. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  26. ^ "Chaya Manush review". The Times of India. 9 February 2014. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  27. ^ "Nightie gets naughty". The Telegraph (India). Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  28. ^ "Team Obhishopto Nighty and their lol V-day outing". The Telegraph (India). 12 February 2014. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  29. ^ "Sada Canvas review". The Times of India. 19 July 2014. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  30. ^ "Hercules review". The Times of India. 1 September 2014. Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  31. ^ a b c d "You can create magic even in a two-minute scene'". The Indian Express. 22 August 2014. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  32. ^ "Paoli Dam : 'Two of my films will be screened at IFFI'". Star Blockbuster. 26 October 2013. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  33. ^ "Prateik to make Tolly debut opposite Paoli Dam". The Times of India. 3 May 2014. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  34. ^ "Tollywood". The Telegraph (India). 31 July 2014. Archived from the original on 4 August 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  35. ^ "Heroines have to be desirable: Paoli Dam". The Times of India. 24 August 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  36. ^ "I am choosy about script: Paoli Dam (Interview)". FilmyTown. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  37. ^ a b "Hate Story: Movie Review". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 7 August 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  38. ^ "Surveen Chawla replaces Paoli Dam in Hate Story sequel". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  39. ^ "Sexy Paoli Dam goes de-glam". NDTV Movies. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  40. ^ "Paoli Dam's role in 'Ankur Arora Murder Case' close to life". Mid Day. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  41. ^ "Paoli Dam in Vikram Bhatt's Ankur Arora Murder, releases 14th June". Parda Phash. Archived from the original on 6 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  42. ^ "The Brave Outsider". The Telegraph (India). Archived from the original on 28 April 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  43. ^ "Gang of Ghost: Paoli Dam to do item number in Satish Kaushik's film". The Times of India. 24 September 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  44. ^ a b c "Paoli Dam in third Vikram Bhatt project?". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 28 April 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  45. ^ "Paoli Dam to act in Shetgaonkar's 'Baga beach'". The Times of India. 30 November 2012. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  46. ^ বাচসাস : সুবর্ণজয়ন্তী উৎসবে ৫ বছরের চলচ্চিত্র পুরস্কার প্রদান. Bhorer Kagoj (in Bengali). 6 April 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  47. ^ শিল্পীদের পাঁচ বছরের পাওনা মেটাল বাচসাস. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  48. ^ বাচসাস সুবর্ণ জয়ন্তী উৎসব ও চলচ্চিত্র পুরস্কার প্রদান. Janakantha (in Bengali). Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  49. ^ "Shakib Khan and Paoli Dam starring Swatta gets censor board nod". Dhaka Tribune. 1 February 2017. Archived from the original on 29 November 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  50. ^ Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (23 February 2019). "Filming begins today... First look poster of #Bengali film #Password... Stars Dev, Parambrata, Paoli Dam, Rukmini Maitra and Adrit... Directed by Kamaleswar Mukherjee... 4 Oct 2019 release." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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Paoli Dam
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