Director of Amelia, The Namesake, and The Reluctant Fundamentalist
From her debut film, the Oscar-nominated Salaam Bombay! to her Amelia Earhart biopic, Amelia, Mira Nair has established herself as one of the most formidable directors working today. Her latest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is a striking commentary on identity, immigration, and terrorism. Her next film, The Queen of Katwe, will star Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong'o. It is based on a book by Tim Crothers about Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi.
Nair makes films that are, according to Entertainment Weekly, "funny, rueful and sexy." Salaam Bombay!, won 25 international awards, including two at Cannes, for best first feature and most popular entry. Her other films include Mississippi Masala (with Denzel Washington), Vanity Fair (with Reese Witherspoon), The Namesake (with Kal Penn), and Monsoon Wedding, which Roger Ebert called "one of those joyous films that leaps over national boundaries and celebrates universal human nature."
Her film Amelia, starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere, sparked a fresh wave of interest in one of America's first (and most enduring) celebrities and proto-feminists, Amelia Earhart.
Away from the camera, Nair has mentored as part of the Rolex Protege Arts Initiative and her company, Mirabai films, established a non-profit, Maisha, in support of screenwriters and directors in East Africa and South Asia.
An Evening with Mira Nair
A skilled director, Mira Nair is equally adept talking to an audience; she began her career in front of the camera, not behind it. With sophistication, she discusses the craft of filmmaking as well as the issues she so passionately explores in her films: the tug of competing worlds felt by millions of immigrants, and ways to bridge the gap between cultures, races and genders. In the process, Nair shows you how film can challenge stereotypes and generational assumptions. A thoughtful, generous talk by one of Hollywood's brightest directors.
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