Mahabanoo is a nationally and internationally acclaimed producer, director, and stage and screen actor. She became one of India's first stand-up artists and first female stand-up artist in the mid-1990s and has since performed to rave reviews in Bombay, Pune, Delhi, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Madras, London, Sri Lanka and Singapore.
MAHABANOO MODY-KOTWAL recently received the very prestigious Karmaveer Puraskar Award for her work in using art towards solving issues of social justice, particularly in the arena of violence against women. She was chosen by Femina Magazine as one of the 50 most powerful women in India in 2007. Human rights activist and author Zerbanoo Gifford, in her recently released book Confessions to a Serial Womaniser - Secrets of the World's Inspirational Women, has featured Mahabanoo as one of the 200 most inspirational women in the world. The book was launched along with portraits of these women at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Mahabanoo was privileged to have been selected to the Yale School of Drama’s directing programme and successfully completed coursework at one of the best theatre institutions in the world.
Film credits include: The Letters (with Juliet Stevenson), Ghanchakkar (with Emran Hashmi and Vidya Balan), Sudhir Mishra’s Inkaar, Shirin Farhad (with Boman Irani and Farrah Khan), Barah Aana (with Naseeruddin Shah & Vijay Raaz), Little Zizou (produced by Mira Nair, directed by Sooni Taraporewalla), Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black (with Amitabh Bachchan & Rani Mukherjee), Buddha Mar Gaya (with Om Puri, Anupam Kher & Paresh Rawal), Sixth Happiness (directed by Waris Hussein), and the Merchant-Ivory’s Cotton Mary (with Greta Scacchi & James Wilby), Afterglow, Vintage Rusi, and The Bedpan. Television: Bollywood Hero (U.S.) and Batliwalla House Number 43 (India).
As a director and producer, Mahabanoo has given India some of its most memorable plays in the past 10 years: Art, Shirley Valentine, (W)Hole in the Head, Once I Was Young . . . But Now I'm Wonderful! (Two) Hot To Handle! And Lift Kara De! THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES and its Hindi version KISSA YONI KA.