Mira Nair is an internationally acclaimed Indian director, screenwriter and producer who is known for her visually dense films that pulsate with life.
Nair 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 onto the world stage with her debut feature film Salaam Bombay! (1988). Now hailed as a classic, the film has received more than 25 international awards
Nair is an avid maker of short films, and has contributed to 11.09.01 (2002) in which 11 renowned film-makers reacted to the events of September 11. Other titles include How Can It Be? (2008), Migration (2008), New York, I Love you (2009), and her collaboration with Emir Kusturica and Guillermo Ariaga on a compilation feature Words With God.
Her latest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was a thriller based on the best-selling novel by Mohsin Hamid. It opened the 2012 Venice Film Festival to critical acclaim, and was released worldwide in early 2013.
A long time activist, Nair set up an annual film-makers’ laboratory, Maisha in Kampala, Uganda. Since 2005, young directors in East Africa have been trained at this non-profit facility with the belief that “If we don’t tell our stories, no one else will”. Maisha is currently building a school with Architect Raul Pantaleo, winner of Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and his company Studio Tamassociati.
In 1988 she used the profits from Salaam Bombay! to create Salaam Balak Trust which works with street children in India.
In 2012, Mira Nair was awarded the Padma Bhushan – India’s second highest civilian honor – by the President of India.
Sabrina Dhawan graduated from Columbia University’s graduate film program in 2001 with her debut feature as screenwriter, Monsoon Wedding. Amongst other awards, it won the ‘Leon D’Oro’ at the Venice Film Festival and received a Golden Globe nomination. At Columbia, her student short Saanjh – As Night Falls won ‘Best of the Festival’ at the Palm Springs Film Festival; ‘Most Original Film’ from New Line Cinema, ‘Audience Impact’ Award at Angelus Awards, and was nominated for a Student Academy Award.
Lydia Dean Pilcher
Lydia Dean Pilcher (Producer) has produced numerous award-winning independent feature films, including the recent Sony Pictures Classics release of the international co-production, The Lunchbox, directed by Ritesh Batra, and she was nominated for an Oscar for the Sundance award-winning documentary, Cutie And the Boxer. Lydia has produced over 30 feature films including ten movies in a long-standing collaboration with director Mira Nair, as well as films including The Darjeeling Limited directed by Wes AndersonRead more…
and You Don’t Know Jack, directed by Barry Levinson. She is the founder and president of Cine Mosaic, one of New York’s leading independent production companies and has forged relationships with a wide range of talent and business partners in the US, Europe, India, Turkey, Africa and the Middle East. She is currently in production with director Brian De Palma on “Happy Valley” and is headed to production later this year with “Queen of Katwe” a Disney feature film, to be shot on location in Uganda with director Mira Nair. Pilcher is also producing a South African-German co-production: Fela – Music is the Weapon, a feature based on the life of Nigerian musician and political activist, Fela Kuti. Pilcher is Vice President of Motion Pictures of the Producers Guild of America. She is a Founder and Chair of PGA Women’s Impact Network, and is a Founder and Chair of PGA Green, an active committee since 2006 dedicated to supporting sustainability in the entertainment industry, and winner of the 2011 EMA Green Production Award. In 2005, Women’s eNews, named Pilcher one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century.