arts and pop culture | September 24, 2013

New Keynote: "Let The Heart Inform The Brain," Speaker Mira Nair

"Never treat what you are doing as a stepping stone to something else. Do it fully and completely." That's the advice acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair shared in her recent keynote at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She was chosen to deliver the school's prestigious annual Snider Lecture to a "packed room of students, staff, faculty, and community members" last week. The lecture is a forum for "distinguished speakers [to] give public talks that enrich intellectual and cultural life." The takeaways in Nair's speeches certainly fit that criteria.

Her keynote opened with a video highlight reel, showcasing some of Nair's work and presenting the powerful cultural themes she addresses in her films. It transitioned into a discussion of her creative life—and lessons learned throughout her career—and concluded with a dynamic question-and-answer session. Nair shared insight on the the craft of filmmaking as well as delving into the issues she tackles in her films. She encouraged the audience to be passionate in what they present to the world in their work because "we have to write and tell our own stories to do justice on screen." What other advice did she leave with the keynote attendees? "Work purely, without thinking of rewards. Be brave, and be prepared to be lonely. Let the heart inform the brain, and allow inspiration to come from any quarter, whether a carpenter, a street child or the light of the moon.”

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. To book one of Hollywood's brightest directors, Mira Nair, to give a keynote speech at your next event, contact The Lavin Agency.

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