Speaker: Mr. Sanjeev Chowdhury
Date of the Event: Sunday, September 9, 2007

Topic: "An inside look at Bollywood — India's film industry" — For three years, from 1997-2000, Sanjeev Chowdhury served as Canada's Vice-Consul and Assistant Trade Commissioner and Cultural Attache at The Canadian Consulate in Mumbai, India. Through this role, he met most of Bollywood's movers and shakers and will tell some stories about his friendships with Bollywood luminaries such as ... read more.

About the SpeakerPersonal Profile of Mr. Sanjeev Chowdhury:

Mr. Chowdhury is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He went to Saint Mary’s University where he was student union president and graduated in 1989 (B. Comm, Magna Cum Laude). In 1991, Mr. Chowdhury graduated from the American Graduate School of International Management (MBA, With Distinction) where he was named top graduate. His studies in America were funded by a Rotary International Foundation Scholarship.

In 1995, Mr. Chowdhury joined the Canadian Foreign Service. He served abroad in Mumbai, India and in Ottawa held a number of positions including Press Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director of Operations to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

In 2003, Mr. Chowdhury was named Consul General of Canada to Ho Chi Minh City.

In recognition of his work while Consul General, Mr. Chowdhury became the first foreign diplomat in Vietnam to be awarded three prestigious medals in one year by Vietnamese authorities (UNESCO Medal–Oct 2005, Ho Chi Minh City Insignia Medal-Apr 2006, and the Peace and Friendship Medal Between Nations-June 2006).

Mr. Chowdhury’s efforts did not go unrecognised back home, either.

In June, 2006, Mr. Chowdhury was chosen to receive Canada’s "2006 Foreign Service Officer Award" by the Canadian Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO). The Awards were instituted in 1990 by PAFSO as a means of providing peer recognition of exceptional achievement by career Foreign Service Officers. Mr. Chowdhury received the award at a gala dinner at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on June 15, 2006 as a result of his outstanding efforts in representing and promoting Canada in Vietnam as Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City.

Mr. Chowdhury was also recently appointed to the National Honourary Board of Directors of Theatre Halifax and was named an "Outstanding Nova Scotian" by the same group in 2005.

In August, 2006, upon completion of his term as Canada’s Consul General in Vietnam, Mr. Chowdhury was appointed Deputy Chief of Protocol and Director, Diplomatic Corps Services at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in Ottawa, a post he held for 7 months before being transferred to the new Afghanistan Task Force in Ottawa where he now serves as Director of Bilateral Relations and Inter-Departmental Co-ordination.

[Go to Top]

Synopsis of the Talk on "An inside look at Bollywood — India's film industry"

For three years, from 1997-2000, Sanjeev Chowdhury served as Canada's Vice-Consul and Assistant Trade Commissioner and Cultural Attache at The Canadian Consulate in Mumbai, India. Through this role, he met most of Bollywood's movers and shakers and will tell some stories about his friendships with Bollywood luminaries such as the late Sunil Dutt, Prem Chopra, Poonam Dhillon, John Abraham, Lisa Ray, and his charity work with Sonali Bendre, Salman Khan, and director Karan Johar, and the night he met most of Bollywood royalty at Tina Ambani (nee Munim's) 40th birthday bash at the Ambani compound. He'll also give you some insight into often overlooked parts of Bollywood: the playback singer and fashion designers, and tell some stories about his interactions with Lata Mangeshkar, Babul Supriyo, Sonu Nigam, Maneesh Malholtra, and Rocky S.

Finally, for the last 9 years, Mr. Chowdhury has served as the Founder Trustee of the Persis Khambatta Memorial Foundation, a foundation he set up in 1997 in India after the untimely death of his then best friend in Mumbai, Persis Khambatta (of Star Trek fame). This foundation awards a yearly scholarship to a student in Mumbai, and on September 9, you'll hear all about that too.

Don't miss a chance to learn what your favorite stars are really like!

[Go to Top]

Close Window

India Canada Friendship Circle
… forging close ties among Canadians with an interest in India
Go to ICFC Website