AMPAS ’16: Deepa Mehta

AMPAS ADDS WOMEN DIRECTORS: With our commitment to reviewing all new releases written and/or directed by women, FF2 Media now plays an important role in breaking down barriers. AMPAS invited 683 new members this year, 49 of whom are female directors. Who are they? What are their stories? We already know them, and we are here to tell you!


Deepa Mehta is an Indo-Canadian film director and screenwriter, known for her Elements Trilogy, Fire, Earth (India’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film) and Water (Canada’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film).

In 1996, Mehta co-founded Hamilton-Mehta Productions with producer husband David Hamilton. She has received both a Genie Award and Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

After making short documentaries in India, Mehta moved to Canada and began her film career as a screenwriter on children’s films. She made her feature-film directorial debut in 1991 with Sam & Me, a story of a young Indian boy and his relationship with an elderly Jewish man in the Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale. It won Honorable Mention in the Camera d’Or category of the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.

Mehta continued to make films like Camilla, along with television episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Mehta also directed The Republic of Love and Heaven on Earth, along with  Beeba Boys and Midnight’s Children.

Excerpt of FF2 Media review of Water from January 8, 2008:

With Water, Mehta once again tells a deeply personal story set in a moment of great historical change. This time the year is 1938, and Gandhi is just beginning to mobilize the crowds that will inevitably drive the British out of India a decade later. But eight year old Chuyia (Sarala) knows nothing about any of this; she is a child beset by her own miseries. Married to a man she barely knew, Chuyia is already a widow. According to custom, her father and her mother-in-law bring her to an ashram in Benares (the holy city on the Ganges River now called Varanasi), where she is expected to renounce the world and spend the rest of her life in mourning.

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deepaExcerpt of FF2 Media review of Midnight’s Children from April 26, 2013:

American movie audiences can probably relate best to Midnight’s Children as an Indian version of the Oscar-winning film Forrest Gump. But instead of the folksy Gulf Coast wisdom of “a box of chocolates,” Mehta fills the screen with vibrant Bollywood colors. She also digs deep into the intimate lives of her characters, showing she is now as much a Canadian (her adopted homeland) as she is Punjabi (the land of her birth).

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Photo Credit: CafDN & YouTube

Tags: AMPAS, Deepa Mehta, Earth, Female Directors, FF2 Media, Fire, Make Oscar Gold, Midnight's Children, Stop Blue Oscar, Water

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