Born in India, Udayan Prasad came to Britain at the age of nine. After attending art school in Leeds and the National Film and Television School, he made a number of documentaries, including A CORNER OF A FOREIGN FIELD (1985), about Pakistanis in Britain and INVISIBLE INK (1987), about the literature produced by writers from the Indian sub-continent on the British in Britain. During the early nineties he directed a number of high-prestige dramas for BBC TV, working with Britain's top writers.
His creative partnership with Simon Gray was particularly fruitful resulting in: THEY NEVER SLEPT (1990), a merciless parody of the British secret service during World War II starring Edward Fox; FEMME FATALE (1992), with Simon Callow and Donald Pleasence; RUNNING LATE (1992), starring Peter Bowles in a picaresque black comedy which won a Golden Gate Award for Best TV Feature at the San Francisco International Film Festival. He won a second Golden Gate Award for 102 BOULEVARD HAUSSMANN (1991), starring Alan Bates and scripted by Alan Bennett. 102 Boulevard Haussmann was also nominated for a BAFTA for best single TV drama.
In 1998 he again collaborated with Alan Bennett, directing TALKING HEADS – PLAYING SANDWICHES which resulted in a second BAFTA nomination for best single TV drama. His first theatrical feature was the critically acclaimed, BROTHERS IN TROUBLE (1995), a tragi-comic story set in the Sixties of an illegal immigrant struggling to survive in a grim northern English town. Brothers In Trouble won the Golden Alexander Award for best first feature at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. His second theatrical feature, MY SON THE FANATIC, was selected for Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and won the best feature award at the Potsdam Film Festival. The film was distributed in Europe and the United States to great critical acclaim.
GABRIEL & ME, his third feature, starring Billy Connolly and Iain Glen, was followed in 2001 by a documentary, ACCORDING TO BERYL. About Dr Samuel Johnson’s relationship with Mrs Thrale, the film featured Dame Beryl Bainbridge and was centred around her novel According To Queenie. In 2005 he made his fourth feature, OPA!, starring Matthew Modine and Richard Griffiths, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival the same year.
His fifth and most recent feature was THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF (2008), starring Eddie Redmayne, William Hurt, Maria Bello and Kristen Stewart. Produced by Arthur Cohn and shot in Louisiana, the film was his US debut, and had its premier in January 2008 at the Sundance Film Festival. The Yellow Handkerchief was released, to critical acclaim, in 2010 in the United States by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
In 2013 Udayan directed two episodes of THE TUNNEL for Sky Atlantic and Canal Plus - the Anglo French adaptation of the Danish/Swedish serial THE BRIDGE. The production company was Kudos Film & Television.
When not actively involved in production, Udayan is a frequent visiting lecturer on directing and screenwriting programmes at several film schools including The National Film & Television School in Beaconsfield, UK; The London Film School; The Wajda School in Warsaw and the National Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź́́, Poland. He is also an advisor and mentor on various international directing and screenwriting workshops.