Deepa Mehta Wiki, Age, Husband, Family, Biography & More

Deepa Mehta

Deepa Mehta is an Indo-Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter who is also a co-founder of Hamilton-Mehta Productions. Often described as a “transnational” artist, her films, which are generally based on controversial themes, traditions, and challenging stereotypes, have been screened at almost every international film festival.

Wiki / Bio

Deepa Mehta was born on Sunday January 1, 1950 (age 72 years; from 2022) in Amritsar, Punjab, India. She moved to Delhi with her family in her own childhood and did her studies at Welham Girls High School, Dehradun, which was a boarding school. Mehta went on to obtain a degree in Hindu Philosophy from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi. After graduation, Deepa made some documentaries in India. Later, in 1973, she married a Canadian documentary maker and moved to Canada, where she has lived ever since.

Physical appearance

Height (approx.): 5 ′ 5 ″

Hair color: Black

Eye color: Black

Deepa Mehta during a session

Family

Fathers and brothers

Deepa Mehta belongs to a family from the Indian film industry. His father, Satwinder Mehta, earned his living as a movie distributor and his mother, Vimla, was a homemaker. His younger brother, Dilip Mehta, an Indo-Canadian photojournalist has also brought home laurels for his five-year coverage of the Bhopal gas tragedy. The brother-sister duo worked together to write the script for Cooking with Stella (2009).

dilip mehta

Dilip Mehta, Deepa Mehta’s brother

Speaking of her relationship with cousin Ritu Kumar, who is a well known designer, Deepa said:

I was about 2 years old when she announced to the family that she looked like a doll and my pet name, courtesy of her, became ‘Dolly’! Terribly embarrassing to get rid of him as he got older! “

husband and sons

Deepa fell in love with and married Canadian documentary filmmaker Paul Saltzman in India in 1970. Three years later, the couple moved to Toronto, Canada, and welcomed their daughter Devyani Saltzman, who is now an eminent author and review.

Paul Saltzman, husband of Deepa Mehta

Paul Saltzman, husband of Deepa Mehta

Deepa Mehta with her daughter Devyani Saltzman

Deepa Mehta with her daughter Devyani Saltzman

Mehta separated and divorced Paul in 1983, after which she married Canadian film producer David Hamilton, who has an MBA from Harvard University. He is also a co-founder of Hamilton-Mehta Productions.

Deepa Mehta with her husband David Hamilton

Deepa Mehta with her husband David Hamilton

Religious views

Expressing her religious views on Hinduism in an interview, Deepa stated:

Hinduism did not start out as a religion. It started as a philosophy. It is a way of life. Whether you go from Shankara-chariya to Ramanuja … the charvaka school … the yoga school or any of the other Hindu schools of thought. You had the charvakas that were totally … that arose as a reaction to the Brahmanical [philosophy]. There has always been an antithesis or a question mark, and Hindu philosophy has always been one that has questioned itself and realized that only by changing, evolving, can a way of thinking, a way of thinking or a philosophy. That is the beauty of Hinduism “

She further elaborated on extremism in all religions and cited,

But then there are the extremists coming in and that changed the perception and the people who live Hinduism, and the people who don’t … from one of the most open schools of thought, philosophy or religion in the world, to being an extremist. . Suddenly you had the BJP on the right and the RSS. I think that when extremist forces enter, be it Hinduism, be it Islam, be it Christianity as it is now … or even Buddhism, what happens first is that the interpretation of a thought or a religion is becomes law. It becomes exclusive, and that is the danger ”.

Signature / Autograph

Signature Deepa Mehta

Career

Filmmaker

Deepa Mehta directed her first documentary At 99: A Portrait of Louise Tandy Murch in 1975. Before making her first feature film Sam & Me (1991), she directed a few more documentaries such as KYTES: How We Dream Ourselves (1986), Traveling Light (1986) ), Martha, Ruth and Edie (1988) and Saltzman produced the CBC drama Danger Bay (1984-1990).

Deepa Mehta directing a movie

Deepa Mehta directing a movie

Best known for her brave and provocative Trilogy of Elements, she directed Fuego (1996), Tierra (1998) and Agua (2005) which, on the one hand, earned her recognition and appreciation and, on the other, made her a target of extremists. in India. . The Element trilogy was ahead of its time and depicted uncomfortable social realities such as a lesbian relationship between two housewives from separated marriages (Fire), the uprooting of a family during the India-Pakistan partition (Earth), and the atrocities of a widow a cause of the conservative rituals and customs of society (Water).

Deepa Mehta Water GIF by Maudit

Some other notable works under his direction are Bollywood / Hollywood (2002), The Republic of Love (2003), Heaven on Earth (2008), Midnight’s Children (2012), Beeba Boys (2015), Anatomy of Violence (2016) and Funny Boy (2020). This includes some episodes of the Young Indiana Jones television series, which Star Wars director George Lucas asked him to direct for him. Her recent addresses include Leila (2019), Little America (2020), and Yellowjackets (2021). Speaking of his career as a filmmaker, Mehta cited,

I see myself as a very emotional filmmaker rather than a radical ”.

Producer

After completing her education, Mehta started working for a production company in India. At the time of his marriage, he was in the middle of producing his first feature film based on a girl bride. She started a production company called Sunrise Films with her husband Paul and her brother Dilip in Canada. They produced documentaries and television series Spread Your Wings (1977-1979). She is now a co-founder of Hamilton-Mehta Productions and has produced some exemplary films such as KYTES: How We Dream Ourselves (1986), Martha, Ruth and Edie (1988), Sam & Me (1991). He has also produced two of the three films in his acclaimed Elements trilogy, Fire (1996) and Earth (1998).

Controversies

  • After the making of her controversial film Fire, Deepa angered some sectors of society, which is why she was labeled as anti-national and her effigy was burned. Even the stars of his upcoming movies were threatened.
  • The production of her film Agua was delayed for four years because the extremists destroyed the sets, threatened to kill her and the actors, took to the streets and caused riots, forced the closure of the production of this film in India because they believed that their traditional values ​​were hurt. Eventually the movie was shot in Sri Lanka.

Awards, Honors, Achievements

For Anatomy of Violence

  • Outstanding Achievement in International Cinema by the 2016 Washington DC South Asian Film Festival.

For Beeba Boys

  • Clyde Gilmour Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards in 2015.

For the children of midnight

  • DGC Team Award – Directors Guild of Canada Feature Film 2013.

For heaven on earth

  • Muhr AsiaAfrica Award: Best Screenwriter – Feature Film at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2008.

For water

  • Outstanding Achievement in International Film by the India International Film Academy Awards in 2007.
  • Silver Mirror Award – Best Feature Film by Oslo Films at the South Festival in 2006.
  • New York Film Critics Humanitarian Award in 2006.
  • Audience Award – Best Narrative Feature Film at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival in 2006.
  • Art Award from the Taormina International Film Festival in 2006.
  • Best Director – Canadian Film by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle in 2006.
  • Best foreign film by or about women by the Women Film Critics Circle Awards in 2006.
  • Honorary Director Award from the Toronto Female Eye Film Festival in 2005.
  • Young Jury Prize at the Valladolid International Film Festival in 2005.

For Bollywood / Hollywood

  • DGC Team Award – Directors Guild of Canada Feature Film in 2003.
  • Best Screenplay, Original from the 2003 Genie Awards.
  • Student Jury Award from the Newport International Film Festival in 2003.
  • Audience Award – Best Comedy at the Sarasota Film Festival in 2003.

for fire

  • Best Feature Film at the Paris Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival in 1997.
  • Outstanding Narrative Feature by LA Outfest in 1997.
  • Best Film for the Verona Love Screens Film Festival in 1997.
  • Special Jury Prize for the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival in 1996.
  • Most popular Canadian film by the 1996 Vancouver International Film Festival.

Various awards and honors

  • Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film (2007 Academy Awards).
  • Honorary doctorates from five Canadian universities.
  • Named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women (Women’s Executive Network, 2011)
  • Winner of the award for the 25 best Canadian immigrants (2009).
  • Global Leadership Award from India International Film Awards in 2011.
Deepa Mehta receiving the award at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on Sunday, March 31, 2019

Deepa Mehta receiving an award at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on Sunday, March 31, 2019

Facts / Curiosities

  • Deepa grew up in Punjab, along the border with Pakistan. She has had a great interest in Partition Tales. Speaking of the same he says,

Even as a child in Amritsar, we used to go to Lahore every weekend, so I grew up surrounded by people who talked about it incessantly and felt that it was one of the most horrible sectarian wars they knew. “

  • In addition to being a filmmaker and producer, Deepa Mehta has also tried her hand at acting. She can be seen as Ranjeet Singh in the Reasonable Force episode of the television series For The Record (1983).
  • He has made cameos in films such as Jurm (1990) and Aashiqui (1990).
  • A little known fact about Deepa Mehta is that she made a guest appearance in her most talked about film, Water (2005).
  • When asked about his favorite character in the movie Water, Mehta said:

    In the film? Shakuntala ”.

  • He is a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Toronto International Film Festival, and of the Advisory Council of the Minister for the Arts and Culture (Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports).
  • Deepa Mehta loves to enjoy alcoholic beverages on various occasions.