MIRA NAIR (Director) is the rare, prolific filmmaker who fluidly moves between Hollywood
and independent cinema. After several years of making documentary films, Mira Nair made a
stunning entry on to the world stage with her first feature, SALAAM BOMBAY! (1988). The
film received more than 25 international awards, including an Academy Award Nomination for
Best Foreign Film, BAFTA, and the Camera D'Or (for best first feature) and Prix du Publique
(for most popular entry) at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988.
In the following decade, Nair directed four features: MISSISSIPPI MASALA (1991),
THE PEREZ FAMILY (1995), KAMA SUTRA: A TALE of LOVE (1996), and MY OWN
COUNTRY (1998). In 2001, Nair's MONSOON WEDDING won the Golden Lion at the Venice
Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA, becoming one of the highest
grossing foreign films of all time.
In 2002, Nair directed "Hysterical Blindnessâ€ť for HBO which gave the channel its
highest original film ratings ever, winning the Golden Globe for star Uma Thurman, and 3 Emmy
Awards for Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara and design. In 2004, Nair directed Reese Witherspoon
as Becky Sharp in Focus Features stunning adaptation of Thackeray's VANITY FAIR. A year
later, Nair's adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's bestselling novel THE NAMESAKE became another
critical and commercial success for the director.
A long time activist, Nair divides her energies between filmmaking and her two
successful non-profit organizations. In 1988 she used the profits of SALAAM BOMBAY! to
create the Salaam Baalak Trust which has directly impacted government policy on street children
in India. 20 years later, the trust's 25 centers provide a safe and nurturing environment for 5000
street children annually. In 2005 Nair founded Maisha, a filmmakers' training program based in
East Africa. In its 5 years of operation, Maisha has trained hundreds of students from Uganda,
Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania in screenwriting, directing, producing, acting, sound design,
editing, and cinematography.
Equally committed to the short film form, Nair has directed six films, all of which are
included on the Criterion Collection's forthcoming compilation of her work. Following the tragic
events of September 11, 2001, Mira joined a group of eleven renowned filmmakers; her film is a
retelling of a true story of a mother's search for her son who did not return home on that fateful
day. In 2007 Nair's New York based production company, Mirabai Films, produced AIDS
JAAGO, a series of 4 short films made by India's cutting-edge directors and stars. The series,
designed to help de-stigmatize AIDS in India, has been seen by over 2 million viewers
worldwide. Nair's own short film for the series, called MIGRATION, deals with AIDS as the
class leveler in society by following its transmission through interweaving stories linking rural
and urban India. Nair also directed a segment of the feature film '8' as one of eight directors each
creating a short film to address a different Millennium Development Goal. Her film, "How Can It
Be" deals with gender equality. "Kosher Vegetarian", Mira's segment of the upcoming feature
film NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU, stars Natalie Portman and Irrfan Khan.
After the release of AMELIA, Ms. Nair will return to the theatre from where she started,
directing a spectacular musical on Broadway based on her beloved film, MONSOON
WEDDING. Her forthcoming feature will be an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's bestselling novel,
THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, to be filmed in New York, Pakistan and Chile in
Mira Nair was born in India and educated at both Delhi University and Harvard. She
currently lives in New York City and Kampala, Uganda with her husband and son.
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