Mehta was born in Amritsar, India, and moved to Canada after completing a degree in philosophy at the University of Delhi. Her courage as a filmmaker and human rights advocate has occasionally exposed her to danger: cinemas in India were burned when her movie Fire was released in 1996, and production of Water was delayed for four years after mobs of fundamentalist extremists terrorized the film production, destroyed the sets, and issued death threats against Ms. Mehta and the actors. When finally completed, Water was nominated for nine Genies (winning three) and an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Award-winning director and screenwriter Deepa Mehta is one of Canada’s most influential and respected filmmakers. She has been described as a “transnational” artist, able to tell universally meaningful stories from a uniquely Canadian point of view. In a career spanning over 30 years she has consistently broken new ground, tackling such controversial issues as intolerance, cultural discrimination and domestic violence. Best known for her elemental trilogy (Fire, Earth, and Water), she is an artist of uncompromising integrity whose exceptional creative achievement is matched by her contribution to human rights, social issues, and diversity within Canada and around the world.