Internationally acclaimed director Mira Nair discusses the differences between her more India-centric films ("The Namesake," "Monsoon Wedding," and "Salaam Bombay") and those aimed at American audiences like her recent film, "Amelia."
Nair says those Indian films "are made with complete freedom...they are pure efforts and movies are very rarely pure."
Vishakha N. Desai
Vishakha Desai is president and CEO of Asia Society, a leading global organization committed to strengthening partnerships among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the US. Desai sets the direction for the society’s diverse sets of programs, ranging from major US–Asia policy initiatives and national educational partnerships for global learning to groundbreaking art exhibitions and innovative Asian American performances. She has an international reputation for introducing contemporary Asian art in the US through critically acclaimed exhibitions and scholarly catalogues. Under her leadership, Asia Society has expanded the scope and scale of its activities, including opening new offices in India and Korea, the inauguration of a new center on US-China relations, and the development of new initiatives focusing on the environment, on Asian women leaders, and on partnerships among the next generation of exceptional leaders in Asia and the US.
Mira Nair is an Indian film director and producer based in New York. Her production company is Mirabai Films.
She was educated at Delhi University and Harvard University. Her debut feature film, Salaam Bombay! (1988), won the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival and also earned the nomination for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. She used the proceeds of the film to establish an organization for street children called the Salaam Baalak Trust in India. She often works with her longtime creative collaborator, screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala, whom she met at Harvard.
She has won a number of awards, including a National Film Award and various international film festival awards, and was a nominee at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards and Filmfare Awards. She was also awarded the India Abroad Person of the Year-2007, which was presented by Indra Nooyi, Chairperson and CEO, PepsiCo, Inc, and India Abroad Person of the Year-2006.
Her most recent films included Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon, The Namesake, and Amelia.