Born on 1 January 1950, Deepa Mehta is an Indo-Canadian film director and screenwriter, most known for her Elements Trilogy, Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005); among which Earth was sent by India as its official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Water was Canada's official entry for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, making it Canada's first non-French Canadian film to receive a nomination in that category. She also co-founded Hamilton-Mehta Productions, with her husband, producer David Hamilton in 1996. She was awarded the Genie Award.
Mehta was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India though her family moved to New Delhi while she was still a child, and her father worked as a film distributor. Mehta attended Welham Girls High School, a boarding school for girls in Dehradun and graduated from the Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi with a degree in philosophy.
After completing her graduation, Mehta started making short documentaries in India, and in time she met Canadian documentarian Paul Saltzman, who was in India making a film and whom she was to later marry and migrate with to Canada in 1973. Once in Canada, she embarked on her film career as a screenwriter for children's films, she also made a few documentaries. In 1991, she made her feature-film directorial debut with 'Sam & Me'. It won the Honourable Mention in the Camera d'Or category of the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. Mehta followed up with Camilla starring Bridget Fonda and Jessica Tandy in 1994. In 2002, she directed Bollywood/Hollywood, for which she won the Genie Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Mehta directed two episodes of George Lucas' television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. The first episode, "Benares, January 1910", aired in 1993. The second episode was aired in 1996 as part of a TV movie titled Young Indiana Jones: Travels with Father. Mehta also directed several English-language films set in Canada, including 'The Republic of Love' and 'Heaven on Earth' which deals with domestic violence and has Preity Zinta playing the female lead.
In Canada she met and married filmmaker Paul Saltzman whom she divorced in 1993. The couple has a daughter, author Devyani Saltzman. Her daughter is an acclaimed author, curator and cultural critic. Mehta is currently married to producer David Hamilton. Her brother, Dilip Mehta is a photojournalist and film director, who directed, 'Cooking with Stella', which he co-wrote with Deepa.
Sam and Me (1991)
The Republic of Love (2003)
Heaven on Earth (2008)
Midnight's Children (2012)
AWARDS & AFFILIATIONS
Doctor of Laws, University of Victoria, 2009
Governor General's Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, 2012
Member of the Order of Ontario, 2013
Officer of the Order of Canada, 2013