About Deepa Mehta

Deepa Mehta has never shied away from voicing her thoughts, using cinema as her medium. Her movies are outrageously honest, the most controversial of which were the Elements Trilogy.

Deepa Mehta celebrates her birthday on 1st January 1950. She was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India before she migrated to Canada in 1973.

She did her schooling at Welham Girls High School. She has a degree in philosophy from the University of Delhi.

Deepa Mehta was married to a Canadian movie producer and director Paul Saltzman and they have a daughter Devyani.

She has written, directed and produced movies and television shows since 1975.

Deepa Mehta directed a short film At 99: A Portrait of Louisa Tandy Murch (1975) and a comedy Martha, Ruth & Edie (1988). She worked on three episodes of Danger Bay (1989 – 1990) and one episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1993).

In 1991, she directed Sam & Me with Om Puri, exploring relationship in a Toronto neighbourhood. Camilla (1994) starred Bridget Fonda and Jessica Tandy.

Fire (1996) was the first of her trilogy which starred Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi and was about a lesbian relationship. It came under a lot of fire by conservative groups. Earth (1998) was set during the Partition of India and starred Nandita Das, Aamir Khan and Rahul Khanna.

In 2002, she surprised the audience with a lighthearted comedy Bollywood Hollywood with Lisa Ray and Rahul Khanna in the lead. Republic of Love (2003) was based on a novel by Carol Shields.

Water, the last of her trilogy was finally released in 2005. The movie which had initially cast Nandita Sen and Shabana Azmi was not allowed to be shot in India. She shot the movie in Sri Lanka. It was about the state of widows in India. The movie starred Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas and John Abraham. It went on to win many awards.

Her latest movies are Heaven on Earth, What's Cooking Stella?, Exclusion and Midnight's Children. Heaven on Earth is a grim look at domestic violence starring Preity Zinta and has won a lot of praise internationally. She has written What's Cooking Stella? along with her brother Dilip Mehta. Exclusion will be released in 2010 and is about the Komagata Maru incident about the immigrant laws. Midnight's Children is based on Salman Rushdie's award winning novel.

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