Tag Archives: Deepa Mehta

‘Water’ early release in India

MUMBAI, India (AP) _ The Oscar-nominated Canadian movie "Water" will be shown in cinemas across India later this month, seven years after angry Hindu nationalists stormed the sets and forced its Indian-born director to stop filming. This time, distributors say, they don’t foresee any trouble.

"We plan to release the film on Feb. 23 in theatres across the country," Sanjay Bhutiani, the film’s distributor, said Wednesday. He had earlier said it would be released in March.

The film’s Indian-born director, Deepa Mehta, had to abandon shooting of the film in 2000 after Hindu nationalists, who alleged it was anti-Hindu, destroyed sets in the holy city of Varanasi.

The Toronto-based Mehta resumed shooting the film in Sri Lanka four years later.

"We are trying to get Deepa Mehta to visit India for the film’s release," Bhutiani said. "We don’t expect any trouble."

"Water" has been nominated for an Academy Award in the best foreign language film category. The film, shot mainly in the Hindi language, centres on a home where widows were sent by their families to live in social exile. It depicts their desire to live a life free of stigma.

Under ancient Hindu tradition, widows were considered bad luck and sometimes even blamed for their husband’s death. Remarriage of widows was frowned upon _ although there were no such social barriers for widowers.

The Oscars will be presented Feb. 25 in Los Angeles.

Oscar nomination for ‘Water’

TORONTO (CP) _ There were tears, champagne and jumps for joy when Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta learned she had snagged an Oscar nomination for her film "Water" on Tuesday.

The Toronto-based director and screenwriter said she was a bundle of nerves as she watched the early morning announcement on television with daughter Devyani Saltzman, publicist Bonne Smith, producer David Hamilton and distributor Hussain Amarshi at her side.

She agonized as the Hindi-language film was the last to be mentioned in the five-film list, read out alphabetically at a live television broadcast Beverly Hills, Calif.

"And then they said from Canada…. I just felt thrilled," Mehta said moments after getting the news.

"My daughter was jumping up and down and David started crying and Hussain opened a bottle of champagne and we were just jumping, we were like kids."

Mehta said she’s in a state of shock over the honour, just the latest in a string of accolades for the critical smash.

"Water" is set in 1938 India, against Mahatma Gandhi’s rise to power, and tells the story of the appalling treatment of Hindu widows, including an eight-year-old girl.

It came after a difficult shoot in Sri Lanka and India that spanned several years due to opposition from Hindu fundamentalists.

Mehta said she was especially thrilled that "Water" is the first non-French film from Canada to be up for a best foreign language film. Although it contains some English, it was allowed for consideration because of recent changes to Academy rules which allow films to contain up to 30 per cent English. Previously, no English was allowed.

"For me, what is really important is that it really shows that Canada is a multilingual country. That is very important for me," she said.

"Usually, it’s a French film that we submit. It’s the first time that a film in another language (has been nominated), and that means a lot."

The 2001 Inuktitut film, "Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner," was submitted for Oscar consideration but failed to get a nomination.

Mehta said she was looking forward to walking the red carpet when the gold statuettes are handed out Feb. 25. She said she’s already considering a special outfit _ a very old tissue sari that was part of her mother’s trousseau.

"It’s plain gold and it’s very elegant," she said. "I think it’s right to wear mom’s sari."

Canada last took an Oscar for best foreign-language film in 2004, with Denys Arcand’s "The Barbarian Invasions."

Deepa Mehta at 2006 Innoversity

TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW Telbec/ – Astral Media and Innoversity announced today the attendance of esteemed filmmaker Deepa Mehta at the 2006 Innoversity Summit. Astral Media Presents Hussain Amarshi In Conversation with Deepa Mehta will take place on Monday, October 23 at 10:45 a.m. at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre and will feature a one-on-one dialogue between Mehta and film visionary Hussain Amarshi. In this candid and interactive one-hour session, the two long-time friends and business associates will provide an overview of their careers and insight into the Canadian film industry.

Mehta is an internationally renowned Canadian filmmaker who began her film career as a screenwriter for children’s films. The award-winning filmmaker made her feature-film directorial debut in 1991 with Sam & Me and is best known for her film trilogy, Earth, Fire and most recently Water, all of which are based in India.

Amarshi is President of film distribution company, Mongrel Media. Amarshi has been instrumental in the production and distribution of some of Canada’s

most critically-acclaimed films over the past decade including Water, Bollywood/Hollywood, Marion Bridge, The Corporation, Eve & the Firehorse, Sabah and Manufactured Landscapes.

Astral Media Presents Hussain Amarshi In Conversation with Deepa Mehta is open to all registered delegates of the 2006 Innoversity Summit from October 23 to October 24 in Toronto.