Radha Bharadwaj was born in India and moved to the United States to study film. As a schoolgirl in India, she won state-level and national competitions for her short stories and poetry. She won acclaim in India as a teen, for her work as writer, director and actress on stage, and for her televised plays.
Bharadwaj is now a rarity in Hollywood, being an Asian American female director who creates English language features that are not narrow, ethnic tales but are universal in theme and scope. Her scripts uniformly feature rich, complex and unusual characters—this, coupled with her ability to direct actors to powerful performances, has enabled Bharadwaj to draw major talent to her films.
Bharadwaj’s screenwriting and directing feature debut is Closet Land. The surreal psychological drama has gone on to attain the status of a cult classic. Closet Land stars Alan Rickman (Harry Potter films) and Madeleine Stowe (The Last of the Mohicans). Director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) produced the feature. Philip Glass (Mishima, The Hours) was the creative musical consultant, Richard Einhorn (Voices of Light) provided the score, and Oscar-winner Eiko Ishioka (Dracula, Mishima) designed the film’s stark, hallucinatory set and its costumes.
The screenplay for Closet Land won the prestigious Nicoll Screenwriting Fellowship sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The script was also chosen to participate in the highly competitive Sundance Screenwriting Laboratory, sponsored by the Sundance Film Institute.
Closet Land was released in the United States by Universal Pictures. The film won acclaim and accolades in noteworthy film festivals such as the Toronto International Films Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, the Women in Film Festival, Los Angeles; Stockholm International Film Festival, to name a few.
Bharadwaj’s second feature is the Victorian gothic mystery, Basil. The film stars Christian Slater (Heathers, Interview with a Vampire), Sir Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius, Hamlet), Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black) and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club, Requiem for a Dream). The director’s cut for Basil was twice selected to be the closing night film for the prestigious Special Presentation series at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Bharadwaj also writes literary mystery novels and short fiction.