NEWS: Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta heads up jury at Dubai International Film Festival

Director Deepa Mehta. Courtesy of Mongrel Media © V. Tony Hauser
Director Deepa Mehta. Courtesy of Mongrel Media © V. Tony Hauser

Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta heads up jury at Dubai International Film Festival!

Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta will head up the prestigious Muhr Feature Competition Jury at the 12th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), which runs December 9 to 16.  Joining her on the jury will be Australian independent documentary filmmaker Tom Zubrycki, Egyptian actor Khaled El Nabawy, Iraqi filmmaker Maysoon Alpachachi and Emirati poet/filmmaker Nujoom Al-Ghanem.

The Muhr Awards juries recognize the best talent from the Arab and wider world – with four categories making up this year’s Awards: Muhr Features, Muhr Emirati, Muhr Shorts and Muhr Gulf Shorts.

Mehta’s most recent film, the crime thriller Beeba Boys, will play in DIFF’s Cinema of the World program.  The film debuted as a Gala at TIFF 2015 – and will be available in Canada on VOD December 22 and DVD January 12.  The film is inspired by the Indo-Sikh gangster scene in  Vancouver.  Bollywood’s Randeep Hooda plays a charismatic gang leader.

It’s been a busy fall for Deepa Mehta, who has received much recognition for her contribution to cinema, including:

  • On December 5, Mehta was presented with keys to the city of Florence by the Deputy Mayor of Florence, Cristina Giachi.
  • On November 30, it was announced that Mehta had won the 2015 Clyde Gilmour Award, the prize voted annually by members of the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) to an individual whose work has enriched Canadian cinema and culture.  The prize is sponsored by Technicolor, which will award $50,000 in post-production services to a filmmaker of Mehta’s choosing.
  • On November 20, Mehta was the only Canadian to speak at the Women in the World India Summit in New Delhi, whose stellar lineup included Oscar-winning actress/humanitarian Cate Blanchett, Mehta, along with Indian actresses Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi, engaged in a conversation about Mehta’s 1996 Firethat tells of the love affair between two unhappily married women (Das and Azmi).   The film was one of the first to address homosexuality in the Indian community.

Through her films, Deepa Mehta has always brought tough subjects to the world’s attention, whether it be the treatment of Hindu widows in India (Oscar-nominated Water, which along with Fire and Earth, is part of her elements trilogy) or the reality of Indo-Sikh gangs in Vancouver (Beeba Boys).

Source: Mongrel Media

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