Deepa Mehta PROFILE
Deepa Mehta was born in India and received a degree in philosophy from the University of New Delhi. She began her cinematic career writing scripts for children’s films. In 1991, Mehta produced and directed her first feature film "Sam & Me", the poignant story of an unlikely friendship between two men, both outcasts of sorts, who form a deep and permanent bond despite the fact that neither is welcome in the other’s world. "Sam & Me" won the very first Honourable Mention by the Critics in the prestigious Camera D’Or category in the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.
In 1992, she directed a one hour episode of the "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", (the adventures of Indiana Jones as a boy) produced by George Lucas for ABC television. "Benaras" was filmed on location in Benaras, India.
Mehta directed the final episode of George Lucas’ "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" in 1994. The MOW, "Travels with Father", was shot on location in Prague, Czech Republic and Greece. "Fire", Mehta’s third feature film, based on an original screenplay, was written, directed and produced by Mehta. "Fire" opened the Perspective Canada Program at the 1996 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was tied with "Fly Away Home" for the Air Canada Peoples Choice Award. It was one of twenty-nine films selected from over 1400 entries world-wide, for the prestigious New York Film Festival. At the Vancouver International Film Festival, "Fire" won the Federal Express Award for Best Canadian Film as chosen by the audiences. At the Chicago International Film Festival, it won two Silver Hugo Awards for Best Direction and Best Actress. In Mannheim, "Fire" won the Jury Award and in Paris, it was voted Favourite Foreign Film. Most recently, it won the International Jury Prize for Best Film at the Verona International Film Festival in Italy, October 1997. "Fire" had been sold to 33 countries world-wide and had its North American release on August 22, 1997, followed by releases in Europe, Australia and India in September, 1998. The theatrical release in North America commenced Autumn 1997, and met with a tremendous response.
"1947" ("Earth" as it is called outside of the Indian subcontinent), based on Bapsi Sidhwa’s critically acclaimed novel, Cracking India, is the second film in Mehta’s trilogy of the elements, Fire, Earth and Water. "1947" ("Earth") was shot in New Delhi, India, in January of 1998. It had its World Premiere as a Special Presentation at the 1998 Toronto Film Festival where it was received with a standing ovation and critical acclaim. "1947" ("Earth") won the Prix Premiere du Public at the Festival du film asiatique de Deauville, France in March, 1999 and the Critics’ Award at the Schermi d’Amore International Film Festival, Italy in April of the same year. Currently, "1947" ("Earth") has been sold to 22 countries and was released in Europe, India and North America in September, 1999.