Nainita Desai

Known for: Documentary, Feature Documentary

Ivor Novello award nominee and RTS and BIFA nominated composer, Nainita Desai is a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit, and the IFMCA Breakthrough Composer of 2020. She has scored countless BAFTA, Oscar, Emmy acclaimed productions and the PRS placed Desai at No 2 in their Top 10 female writers whose work was most used in Film & TV through 2018. She has also been awarded Best Original Music at the Music+Sound Awards 2019 and Naturvision Film Festival 2019.

Film4 recently labelled her as one of the top 5 ‘composers of 2020 who should be on your radar’ and her projects have been in the Top 5 Film Scores and Video Games scores of 2019 by Scala Radio.

Nainita’s most recent feature releases include Oscar 2020 nominated and BAFTA, Cannes, BIFA, SXSW winning feature doc For Sama which was also nominated for Best Music at the BIFAs 2019. Other recent projects include BBC drama series Unprecedented – a series of 14 short plays all conceived, acted and filmed during Covid lockdown, Untamed Romania, the most successful Romanian non-fiction film of 2018, WW2 period drama Enemy Within, psychological horror Darkness Visible [BFI], and Interactive game / video game Telling Lies one of the top critically acclaimed releases of 2019 by Annapurna Interactive.

Her current projects include feature film The Reason I Jump (Sundance World Cinema Doc Audience Award winner), Netflix original series Bad Boy Billionaires, Persona (CNN Films/HBOMax), Netflix feature American Murder (exec: James Marsh) The Sophy Story (Simon Chinn/Lightbox), innovative Quibi/BBC Studios series Fierce Queens.

Other recent projects include the RTS musically acclaimed series Extraordinary Rituals, the BBC NHU follow up to the multi-BAFTA winning series Human Planet, and the title theme for the prestigious BBC Royal Wedding Meghan and Harry.

Working in a wide range of musical genres, Nainita moves seamlessly between working with orchestras including the London Contemporary Orchestra (Phantom Thread, There Will Be Blood) and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, to scores utilising her collection of custom made, incorporating electronics, found sound as well as song-writing, which has led to collaborations with artists including Eivor (The Last Kingdom) and writing documentary musicals for the BBC including the acclaimed Mumbai High – The Musical.

Nainita’s musical foundations are rooted in world music, which has informed her experimental, creatively immersive approach. This, coupled with experience with sound design and technical innovation, fuels her powerful emotive scores. Her creative process involves deeply-researched collaborations to find those voices that are not usually heard, and sounds that are truly unique.

Additional Work

Outside of film and TV, Nainita’s projects also include upcoming classical commissions include new works for BBC Radio 3 ‘Postcards from Composers’ and acclaimed Vocal ensemble group, Voces8, for their latest album release as well as a large scale outdoor light art installation for acclaimed artist Bruce Monroe.

Nainita sits on the CAG Committee at the PRS, an ambassador for Screen Skills UK and sits on the media committee at Ivors Academy. She is also a full voting member of AMPAS, BAFTA, WFTV, GANG, the Alliance of Women Film Composers and frequently sits on juries for the Emmys, BAFTAs, RTS and other major industry awards.

Nainita is also in demand internationally, giving master-classes and interviews about her work ranging from the Royal College of Music, NFTS, Royal Academy of Music, Cannes Film Festival 2019, LA Comic Con USA, Rio de Janeiro Brazil ASA Women in Music Conference, NOPO in Oslo, Kiev Ukraine and India for the British Council, Glasgow FF, Sheffield Doc Fest, Soundtrack Cologne, Moshita Music Conference South Africa, Sundance 2020, WOMEX in Copenhagen.

Links

Nainita Desai's CV

View our composer's list of TV and film credits here.

FEATURES AND DRAMA
NIMS (2021) Theatrical feature doc | Noah Media | Dir: Torquil Jones
AMERICAN MURDER Feature doc | Netflix | Knickerbocker Glory | EP: James Marsh
PERSONA Feature doc | HBOMax - CNN Films | Dorothy Pictures Dir: Tim Travers Hawkins (XY Chelsea) Prod: Julia Harrington
GENERATION X Arrow Films | PBS | Channel 4 | Arte Dir: Liz Mermin
UNPRECEDENTED: THEATRE FROM A STATE OF ISOLATION 14 short dramas | BBC | Century Films | Headlong
THE REASON I JUMP Met Films | BFI | Vulcan Dir: Jerry Rothwell Prod: Al Morrow
FOR SAMA C4 | PBS | Dir: Ed Watts | Waad Al-Kateab
DARKNESS VISIBLE BFI |Protaganist | Psychological Horror Dir: Neil Biswas
ENEMY WITHIN 27Ten Productions | Dir: Gabriel Robertson Prod: Ken Petrie
UNTAMED ROMANIA Dir: Tom Barton-Humphries Off The Fence | European Nature Trust
THE LIFE AFTER BBC | Irish Film Board | Century Films | Dir: Brian Hill
MAXWELL BBC | Emmy Winner | Starring David Suchet
TO KIDNAP A PRINCESS ITV | Dir: John Alexander
ANEMONE Dir: Amrou Al-Kadhi Prod: Savannah James-Bayley BBC Films | Film London
CURFEW EON Productions | Dir: Oz Arshad Exec Prod: Barbara Brocolli
DOCUMENTARY 2019 | 2020
dragon THE SOPHIE STORY (w/t) (2021) Netflix | Lightbox | 3x60min | Exec: Suzanne Lavery, Simon Chinn
dragon BAD BOY BILLIONAIRES: INDIA (2020) - View project Minnow Films| 4x60min | Exec Producer: Morgan Matthews
dragon ENSLAVED (2020) - View project CBC | 6x60min Exec Prod: Samuel L Jackson
dragon MISCARRIAGE: THE LAST TABOO (2020) C5 | 90min film Dir: Janice Sutherland
dragon HIGH (2020) 6x30min | BBC |Blink Films | Drama-Doc
dragon TEA: ONE CUP A THOUSAND STORIES (2020) 5x60min | BBC Studios | Migu China
dragon FIERCE QUEENS (2020) BBC NHU series | QUIBI | 15x10 min
dragon ROSS KEMP: NHS ON THE FRONTLINE (2019) ITV 2x30min | Silverstar TV
dragon CALL THE POLICE (2019) BBC | Dragonfly TV | 3x60min
dragon MY GRANDPARENTS WAR (2019) C4 | Wild Pictures | Series Dir: Leo Burley 4x60min
dragon RACIAL BIAS (2019) C4 | Proper Content | Series Prod: Jackie Waldock 2x60min
dragon RESCUED (2019) - View project Discovery | Arrow Media | 6x60min
dragon WALKING WITH GIANTS (2019) C4 | October Films SP: Alexis Girardet | 3x60min
dragon MY FAMILY, THE HOLOCAUST AND ME (2019) - View project 2x60min Wall To Wall | BBC2 SP: David Vincent
dragon LITTLE BRITONS (2019) 3x60min Series Titles 9Lives Media SP: Colin Stone
dragon THE 1900 ISLAND (2019) BBC2 4x60min Wildflame TV SP: Alexis Girardet
dragon THREE DAYS (2019) C4 1x60min Sugar Film | Chris Durlacher
dragon BACK TO THE WILD (2019) 6x60min Double Act TV | Nat Geo Wild
BODYCAM SQUAD (2019) 10x60min Raw Cut TV Series 2 New Titles
dragon H-TOWN (2019) 6x30min BBC1 | 7 Wonder Series Prod: Catey Sexton
dragon EQUATOR FROM THE AIR (2018) BBC2 | 4x60min Dragonfly TV | Exec: Richard Bond | Ruth Shurman
dragon DAVID JASON: Planes, Trains and Automobiles (2018) UKTV | 5x60min SP: Chris Malone
dragon TRAVELLING BLIND (2018) 1x60min BBC2 | Spun Gold Dir: Will Lorimer
dragon THE DAY WE WALKED ON THE MOON (2019) ITV | Smithsonian 1x60min Finestripe Prods Dir: John Moulson
dragon LEGENDS OF THE DEEP (2018) 4x60min Discovery | Cineflix Media
dragon EXPOSURE: PROJECT X (2018) 1x60min ITV | Raw Cut TV
Awards and Nominations
NOMINEE: IVOR NOVELLO AWARDS 2020 | Best Original Film Score: FOR SAMA
BAFTA BREAKTHROUGH BRIT 2016
IFMCA Awards 2019 | WINNER: Breakthrough Composer of the Year and NOMINEE: Best Documentary Score: UNTAMED ROMANIA
RTS CRAFT+DESIGN AWARDS 2019: NOMINEE: Best Music – Original Titles EXTRAORDINARY RITUALS
BIFA (British Independent Film Awards) 2019 NOMINEE: Best Film Score: FOR SAMA
HOLLYWOOD MUSIC IN MEDIA AWARDS 2019 NOMINEE: Best Original Music for a Video Game Trailer: TELLING LIES
JERRY GOLDSMITHS AWARDS 2019 NOMINEE: Best Documentary Score: EXTRAORDINARY RITUALS
MUSIC+SOUND AWARDS 2019 WINNER: Best Original Music for a Video Game Trailer: TELLING LIES NOMINEE: Best Original Music for a TV Programme Titles: EXTRAORDINARY RITUALS
GOPO Romanian Film Awards Nominee 2019 NOMINEE: BEST FILM SCORE: Untamed Romania
RTS WEST AWARDS 2019 NOMINEE: BEST TV SCORE: Extraordinary Rituals
ASIAN WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS 2019 NOMINEE: ARTS+CULTURE AWARD
ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2017 NOMINEE: CONTRIBUTION TO ARTS+CULTURE
MUSIC + SOUND AWARD UK 2016: WINNER: BEST ORIGINAL FEATURE FILM SCORE: The Confessions of Thomas Quick
WOMEN IN SYNC AWARDS, NYC, USA 2016: WINNER: BEST MUSIC IN A FEATURE FILM: The Confessions of Thomas Quick
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