Director Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi on the set of Sony Pictures Classics’ The Mother – 2004.

While he may have dabbled in other areas of moviemaking, Hanif Kureishi’s talent and passion clearly lies in the written word. The London-born screenwriter made a name for himself with Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. After this first success, Kureishi continued crafting passionate indie dramas, most notably Udayan Prasad’s My Son the Fanatic and the upcoming Venus, which has already landed Kureishi a nomination for Best Screenplay at the British Independent Film Awards.

Venus, which tells the story of an unconventional relationship between an aging actor and a 19-year-old family friend, is already gaining buzz for the lead performance by Peter O’Toole (who may finally win that long elusive Oscar). In addition to his work as a screenwriter, Kureishi has also found success as a playwright, short story writer and novelist. His book, The Buddha of Suburbia, won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel in 1990. Over the years, Kureishi has proven his ability to tackle a variety of topics adeptly, including immigration, national identity, sexuality and race. By interweaving these various elements, he has managed to consistently create powerful and complex characters, whether it be on stage, within the pages of a book or realized on screen.

For more information on Kureishi and his current projects, visit www.hanifkureishi.com.

Sound Off: Kureishi has made his name in the screenwriting world by writing unapologetically sexual characters and narratives, including his most recent film, Venus, which examines a May-December romance. Is it important for writers of independent films (like Kureishi and John Cameron Mitchell) to portray the subjects that are inherently censored in mainstream cinema? Talk back in the comments section!