Sonali Kulkarni is among the most talented actresses of Bollywood. She was born in Pune and did her schooling from Abhinav Vidyalaya, Pune. She was a bright student and used to score very high percentages in exams. She studied in Ferguson College, Pune with Political Science as her subject and received scholarship in Marathi literature. She has a flair for languages like Marathi, Hindi, English, Gujarati, Italian and Tamil.
In her high school days Sonali Kulkarni attended a workshop led by Satyadev Dubey. Later, she established Samanvay, a theater group with her brother Sandesh in Pune. While pursuing her degree at Ferguson College, Pune she was given a break by Girish Karnad in the film Cheluvi.
She has been actively associated with both theater and cinema. She performed in the Marathi play, 'Pahila Vahila' written by Sandesh. In Mumbai her first play was 'Chahu' with Tushar Dalvi, which was very successful and completed 165 shows. Her first Hindi play in Mumbai was Makarand Deshpande's , 'Basant Ka Teesra Yauvan'. It was later converted into a feature film 'Danav' which was selected to be screened at Cannes Film Festival and and also at The Third Eye Asian Film Festival. She worked in another Makarand's play 'Sir Sir Sarla' which is about a professor and his relationship with his students.
She did a children's play 'Nakko re baba', for Grips Theatres and Dr. Jabbar Patel's Mukta, where she played a character who has to face discrimination.
Amol Palekar's 'Daayraa' was Sonali Kulkarni's first Hindi film in a lead role and she won the Best Actress Award in France International Film Festival for her performance.
The film 'Mission Kashmi'r was a turning point in her career. In the film she played the challenging role of Sanjay Dutt's wife and Hrithik Roshan's mother. The next successful movie was 'Dil Chahta Hai', where was performed a comic role. She has performed a wide variety of roles in films like 'Daayra', 'Doghi', 'Taxi No. 9211', 'Agni Varsha', 'Darna Zaroori Hai', 'Pyar Tune Kya Kiya' and 'White Rainbow'. 'In Silence Please - the Dressing Room' she has played the role of a journalist. The film is about a friendly cricket match between the two countries - India and Pakistan. She has also performed in a Gujarati film - 'Love is Blind' - which won the hearts of the audience.
Sonali Kulkarni worked in Vrindavan Film Studios which was directed by Lamberto Lambertini. She acted in a Italian film 'Fuoco Di Su Me' (transalates to Fire at my Heart) directed by Lamberto Lambertini. In the film she worked with Omar Sherif and the film was mostly shot in Procida, Italy.
She went to Venice in September 2005, at the 62nd Venice Film Festival to attend the Red Carpet Grand Screening of her Italian film.
Apart from theatre and films, Sonali Kulkarni is the guest editor of Viva, Loksatta's supplement. . She writes for the column 'So Kool' for this Express group daily, which is published on every Thursday.
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