Paoli Dam is an Indian actress who started her career with the Bengali television serial Jibon Niye Khela (2003). She then worked in Bengali television serials such as Tithir Atithi and Sonar Harin; the former ran for six years on ETV Bangla. Dam spent her childhood in Kolkata, earning a postgraduate degree in chemistry from Rajabazar Science College. Initially, she wanted to become a chemical researcher or a pilot. Her debut Bengali film—Teen Yaari Katha, directed by Sudeshna Roy and Abhijit Guha—began in 2004, but was not released until 2012. Dam's first film release was Agnipariksha, directed by Ravi Kinagi. Between 2006 and 2009, she appeared in five Bengali films, coming into prominence with the 2009 Kaalbela, directed by Goutam Ghose. In 2011, she received international recognition for her role in the Bengali film Chatrak. The film was screened at the Cannes film festival and also at film festivals in Toronto and the U.K. In 2012, Dam made her Bollywood debut in Hate Story and also appeared in Vikram Bhatt's Ankur Arora Murder Case, directed by Sohail Tatari. She won the Viewers' Choice Award for Best Actress for her performance in Natoker Moto at the Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival in 2016.