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Deepa Mehta Biography

Toronto-based film director and writer Deepa Mehta was born in 1950 in Amritsar and raised in Delhi alongwith her brother. She graduated from the University of Delhi before migrating to Canada in 1973. In Canada, she met Canadian Paul Saltzman, whom she married.
Though she started off her film career as a scriptwriter for children’s films, she made her feature-film directorial debut with Sam & Me. This movie won the First Honorable Mention in the Camera d’Or category of the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. Another of her movies Camilla was released in 1994.

Deepa has acquired name and fame for her elements trilogy, which include Fire released in 1996, Earth released in 1998 and Water released in 2005. Water was nominated for the 2007 Oscar Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film. She started writing and editing documentaries under the banner Sunrise Films before she began directing documentaries with At 99: A Portrait of Louise Tandy Murch in 1975. Some of her other documentaries, include Travelling Light: The Photojournalism of Dilip Mehta and The Twin in 1988.

Sam & Me depicts the friendship between a Muslim immigrant and a Jewish man. Camilla starring Jessica Tandy and Bridget Fonda depicts an elderly violinist smitten by a younger musical aspirant. She directed the Greece segments of the TV-movie Young Indiana Jones: Travels With Father in 1996. Her movie Earth was based on Bapsi Sidwha’s novel “Cracking India” set in independence-eve India and the partition of the country. Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel Water: A Novel is based upon Mehta’s film, Water.