Veera Kapur Ee: Celebrating Her National Award-Winning Journey
Smartkhabrinews was the first to contact and congratulate costume designer Veera Kapur Ee, who won Best Costume Designer for the feature film Sardar Udham at the 69th National Film Awards 2023. In an exclusive conversation, Veera shared her excitement and reflections on this remarkable achievement.
Veera Kapur Ee expressed her shock and joy upon receiving the prestigious National Award. She stated, “I have just found out 3 minutes ago and I am a little bit in shock. I wasn’t expecting this [award]. This [National Award] is the best thing I could have ever dreamt of. I haven’t got the chance to let it sink in.”
A Journey to Remember
Winning her first National Award as a costume designer for Sardar Udham holds special significance for Veera Kapur Ee. The film, directed by Shoojit Sircar, has been Veera’s mentor for the last two decades. Reflecting on her journey, Veera recalled the time when Shoojit expressed his vision for a film on Sardar Udham and how he envisioned her as an integral part of the project. She reminisced, “I have been working with Shoojit Sircar, who is my guru, my mentor, for the last 20 years. And I remember him telling me about 16 to 18 years ago that he wanted to make Sardar Udham. It has been a long wait, and he told me to ‘better learn everything, and you are going to do the costumes one day for it’. And he actually gave me that opportunity and I am eternally grateful.”
Despite her disbelief in winning the award, Veera Kapur Ee emphasized the role of her team, particularly Rakhi Menon, her chief costume assistant, who stood by her side and contributed tirelessly. With a career spanning films like Pink and Qala, Veera emphasized the collaborative effort required to bring a movie to life. She expressed her satisfaction that the dedication and hard work invested by her and her team have finally received the recognition they deserve.
Designing Over 1000 Costumes
Veera Kapur Ee’s creative endeavors for Sardar Udham resulted in designing more than 1000 costumes. She reflected on the significance of this achievement, saying, “You spend so many years working and putting in a lot of hard work. It [Winning the National Award] is a dream come true and a great feeling to be appreciated for the work you do. It is a complete team effort. Shoojit Sircar is the one who always trusted me and to give me a film of this scale, to convey the message that he wanted to make for so many years. All thanks to him.”
The process of designing for a period film like Sardar Udham came with its challenges. Veera elaborated, “We did a lot of research. The only challenging part was getting the right kind of textures and fabrics to depict a period in time. We did face challenges in sourcing the right fabric for the British police costumes.”
A Collaborative Journey
Veera Kapur Ee’s collaboration extended to working with actor Vicky Kaushal, who portrayed the character of Sardar Udham. Veera spoke highly of Vicky’s commitment to his role, saying, “Vicky is one of the most wonderful human beings I have ever had the good fortune of working with. He completely surrenders to the character. He will never crib about the costumes. He just gets into the character. He became Sardar Udham, he felt it… and I think that’s what makes the film so beautiful. To understand the emotion and portray that so beautifully.”
In conclusion, Veera Kapur Ee’s journey as a costume designer for Sardar Udham highlights the dedication, collaboration, and artistic vision that go into creating a cinematic masterpiece. Her recognition at the 69th National Film Awards serves as a testament to her exceptional work and the collective effort that brings stories to life on the big screen.