Deepa Mehta is an Indo-Canadian filmmaker who is known widely known for her Elements trilogy- Fire, Earth, and Water. She is recognized worldwide for her brave and critical choice of issues with her work despite several attempts of people to disrupt her. The Director of ‘The Elemental’ is gorgeous and is still in the profession. This trilogy was the first to enter in the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. She is a co-founder of Hamilton-Mehta Productions which she started in the year 1996.
Deepa Mehta was born on 15th September 1950 to her parents in Amritsar, Punjab. She spent her childhood in her home town, but later immigrated to New Delhi from Punjab. Her father was a movie film distributor; thus her fascination with filmmaking was rooted into her since her childhood.
She attended Welham Girls High School for her early education courses in Dehradun. She later graduated from the Lady Shri Ram College for Women, and the University of Delhi with a philosophy degree.
The documenting and filmmaking started as soon as she graduated. Making short movies, she then met her first husband Paul Saltzman, a Canadian documentarian. They later married and shifted to Canada. After reaching Canada, she jumpstarted her career writing screenplays for movies for small children along with a few documentaries. On the year 1991, she made a directorial as well as movie feature debut with the movie- Sam & Me. The movie starred Om Puri and based on the relationship of an old Jewish gentleman and a young Indian boy.
Career As a Director
After starring and direction of her first movie Sam & Me, she then went on to make several other movies. Some of them include- Camilla, Bollywood/Hollywood, The republic of love, The forgotten Woman, Heaven on Earth, Midnights Children, Exclusion etc. Most of her movies and documentary also envision the true issues on all political and cultural issues. Her most famous work, The Elemental Trilogy includes the three movies Fire(1996), Earth(1998), and Water(2005). These three movies is a collaborative work with the author Bapsi Sikhwada.
All of these stories deal with controversial topics. Earth is on the story of partition and cracking India. “Water” the last trilogy is based on a story about an eight-year-old widow. She is forcefully living in the widow house for life. The filming caused an uproar among the Hindu people forcing them to shut down the production of the movie by burning sets and sending death threats. However four years later, the film was open on the 2005 Toronto Film festival. Thus her works are realistic and breathtakingly courageous. Many religious and conservative people still see her as a threat to Indian culture. Because of her bold storyline that encases the critical issues of the Hindu culture and society.
Deepa Mehta’s Personal Life
She met her first husband Paul Saltzman in the process of filmmaking. They married and had a daughter together named Devyani Saltzman. Her daughter is an author and also a cultural critic. She is the writer of “The memoirs” and “Shooting Water”. The loving duo, Paul and Deepa later divorced in the year 1983. After their divorce, she then remarried with the Canadian producer David Hamilton who then helped her produce some of her movies.
From the starting of her filmmaking career, she has also contributed a lot to the industry. Her major contribution can be mentioned as- “Sam & Me”, “Camilla”, “Fire”, “Earth”, “Bollywood/Hollywood”, “The republic of Love”, “Water”, “The forgotten Woman”, “Heaven on Earth”, “Midnight’s Children”, “Exclusion”, “Beeba boys” and “Anatomy of Violence”.
Being a film director, Deepa grabbed various awards and accomplished much titles. The stellar ones include- “Documentary Under 3o minutes; Canadian Film Awards (1975)”, “Most popular Canadian Film; Vancouver International Film Festival (1996)”, “Audience Award (1996)”, “Special Jury Prize”, “Manheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival (1996)”, “Best Original Screenplay; Genie awards (2003)”, “Youth Jury Awards (2005)”, “Best Film; Bangkok international Film Festival (2005)”, “Humanitarian Award; new York Film Critics Online (2006)”, “EDA Film Focus Award; Alliance of Women Film Journalist (2006)”, “Outstanding Achievement in International Cinema (2007)”, “Best Feature Script (2008)”, “Honorary Doctors of Laws (2009)”; and “Lifetime Achievement (2012)”.
Deepa Mehta Net Worth
Deepa Mehta never disclosed her net worth. As of 2016, her net worth counts $1 million.