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section of GaramChai.com features versatile Indo-American
talent who have made a mark in the mainstream media in North
America and in the global entertainment industry.
section of GaramChai.com features artists of Indian origin
who have made a mark in the global scene. Mira Nair is one
such persona. Other features from our archieves include:
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: Born October 15, 1957 - Bhubaneswar,
Go to Complete Filmography
(Abstracted From New York
Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India
and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began
her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning
documentaries, including So Far From India and India
Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam Bombay!
was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language
Film in 1988; it won the Camera D'Or (for best first feature)
and the Prix du Publique (for most popular entry) at the Cannes
Film Festival and 25 other international awards. Her next
film, Mississippi Masala, an interracial love story
set in the American South and Uganda, starring Denzel Washington
and Sarita Choudhury, won three awards at the Venice Film
Festival including Best Screenplay and The Audience Choice
Award. Subsequent films include The Perez Family (with
Marisa Tomei, Anjelica Huston, Alfred Molina and Chazz Palminteri),
about an exiled Cuban family in Miami; and the sensuous Kama
Sutra: A Tale of Love, which she directed and co-wrote.
Nair by Martin Schoeller
Nair on the set of Monsoon Wedding
directed My Own Country based on Dr. Abraham Verghese's
best-selling memoir about a young immigrant doctor dealing
with the AIDS epidemic. Made in 1998, My Own Country
starred Naveen Andrews, Glenne Headly, Marisa Tomei, Swoosie
Kurtz, and Hal Holbrook, and was awarded the NAACP award for
best fiction feature.
returned to the documentary form in August 1999 with The
Laughing Club of India, which was awarded The Special
Jury Prize in the Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels
the summer of 2000, Nair shot Monsoon Wedding in 30
days, a story of a Punjabi wedding starring Naseeruddin Shah
and an ensemble of Indian actors. Winner of the Golden Lion
at the 2001 Venice Film Festival, Monsoon Wedding also
won a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film
and opened worldwide to tremendous critical and commercial
next feature was an HBO original film, Hysterical Blindness.
Set in working class New Jersey in 1987, the film stars Uma
Thurman, Juliette Lewis, Gena Rowlands. Thurman and Lewis
play single women looking for love in all the wrong places,
while Rowlands, who plays Thurmanís mother, adds to her daughterís
hysteria when she finds Mr. Right in Ben Gazarra. The film
received great critical acclaim and the highest ratings for
HBO, garnering an audience of 15 million, a Golden Globe for
Uma Thurman, and 3 Emmy Awards.
the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Nair joined a group
of 11 renowned filmmakers, each commissioned to direct a film
that was 11 minutes, 9 seconds and one frame long. Nairís
film is a retelling of real events in the life of the Hamdani
family in Queens, whose eldest son was missing after September
11, and was then accused by the media of being a terrorist.
11.09.01 is the true story of a mother's search for
her son who did not return home on that fateful day.
yielded the directorís seat in 2003 to produce a documentary
directed by Dinaz Stafford that explores the ancient rice
farming technique practiced by the Garos of Meghalaya.
May 2003, Nair helmed the Focus Features production of the
William Thackeray classic, Vanity Fair, a provocative
period tale set in post-colonial England, filmed entirely
on location in the UK and India. Reese Witherspoon stars as
Becky Sharp, a woman who defies her poverty-stricken background
to clamber up the social ladder; Jim Broadbent, Bob Hoskins,
Eileen Atkins, Gabriel Byrne, and Rhys Ifans round up the
stellar ensemble cast. Vanity Fair was released in
upcoming projects include Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake,
Tony Kushnerís Homebody/Kabul for HBO, and Hari Kunzruís
The Impressionist; there are also plans to take Monsoon
Wedding to Broadway. Mirabai Films is establishing an
annual filmmakerís laboratory, Maisha, which will be
dedicated to the support of visionary screenwriters and directors
in East Africa and South Asia. The first lab, which will focus
on screenwriting, will be launched in August 2005 in Kampala,