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Deepak Verma, (born 1969) is a British actor, writer and television/film producer.
Verma trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama for three years (1988–1991). He made his television debut in the Scottish detective series, Taggart in 1992. However, he is best known for his portrayal of the adulterous gambler, Sanjay Kapoor, in the popular BBC soap opera, EastEnders (1993–1998). During his time on the show, Verma's character was central to many explosive storylines, including the breakdown of his marriage to Gita (Shobu Kapoor), caused by his extramarital affair with her sister, as well as being falsely accused of her suspected murder. The couple eventually left Walford together in the midst of press scandal.
Since leaving EastEnders in 1998, Verma has set up his own film and television production company, Pukkanasha Films. The company's mission is to develop and produce a slate of innovative, offbeat, fresh and vibrant feature films by drawing on diverse cultural backgrounds, particularly Indian and Western. He has also written several stage plays and screenplays, including Tandoori Chicks, a screenplay about three sisters and their dad's Indian restaurant; Eastside Story and London Gold (BBC films), two high concept feature films; Hitman, a film based on the cult novel by Max Kinnings; and a screenplay entitled Ghostdancing. Based on Émile Zola's Thérèse Raquin, it is a tale of adultery and murder transposed to a small town in present-day, much like his real life.
His first play, Pool of Tranquility, was selected in the finals of the Royal Court Young People's theatres young writer's Festival in 1992, where it was a finalist. That led to a BBC Radio 4 commission to write a play based on the life of India's most famous bandit, Phoolan Devi. He's since penned plays for Radio 4, the BBC World Service and a play at the Kings Head, Islington.
Verma was chosen to represent the UK at the Talent Campus at the Berlinale 2004, Berlin Film Festival. He is a member of the European Producer's Club and, recently was a participant in RISE, (Recontres Internationales Des Scenaristes Europeens). He is also currently a participant in the prestigious Eave programmes for European producers.
His company Pukkanasha Films is producing a film version of 'Wuthering Heights', set in India (Rajasthan), originally produced by Tamasha Theatre company. He has just completed a film Called 'Mumbai Charlie', about a community in India who worship Charlie Chaplin, which won an award at the Honolulu Film awards. He is developing a slate of films in the US, UK and India and will be shooting a feature in Spring 2014.
His plays Ghostdancing and adaptation of Wuthering Heights have been published by methuen.
In 2010 Verma came up with the concept for FAITHSHORTS, a global film competition to inspire young people to make short films about their Faith. This was developed and produced by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and is an annual event.Faith Shorts is an annual global short film competition launched by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to provide young people with the opportunity to express their faith through film. This competition gives young voices a global platform on which to showcase their films.
Deepak is a regular contributor to press, radio and TV on British Television.