Deepa Mehta: News
Indo-Canadians are often trapped between two contrasting cultural identities, but for Deepa Mehta, it was a blessing in disguise. She weaved through her conflicting identities and created transnational masterpieces. Her Canadian identity helped her in tackling Indian issues in a way no Indian could do. Born on January 1, 1950, in Amritsar, Punjab, Mehta studied at Welham Girls High School. After graduating from Lady Shri Ram College for Women with a bachelor’s in philosophy, she began her career by making films and documentaries for the Indian government. In 1973, she migrated to Canada with her husband Paul Saltzman. In 1991, she made her feature film debut with the film ‘Sam & Me.’ At the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, the film received a special mention in the Caméra d'Or category. ‘Fire,’ the first of her ‘Elements Trilogy,’ was released in 1996. ‘Earth’ and ‘Water,’ the second and third installment in the trilogy, were released in 1998 and 2005, respectively. All three films were highly acclaimed by critics. ‘Water’ was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The Vancouver Film Critics Circle awarded her the Best Director award for ‘Water.’ In 2012, Mehta’s ‘Midnight’s Children,’ an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel, was released amidst great appreciation from various corners. She was appointed as an Officer to the Order of Canada (highest civilian honor in Canada) in 2013 for her work.
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Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta swears by Tony Morrison's quote, "All art is political," and says artistes across the world will always fight for freedom of expression, trying not to succumb to "self-censorship".
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