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She was born in Amritsar, India, and received a degree in Philosophy from the University of New Delhi. In 1991, Mehta produced and directed her first feature film Sam & Me, the poignant story of an unlikely friendship between two outcasts, winning the very first Honorable Mention by the Critics in the prestigious Camera d’Or category at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. In 1992, she directed a one-hour episode of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles produced by George Lucas for ABC television, followed by another episode two years later. In 1993, Mehta directed her second feature film, Camilla , a Canadian / UK co-production starring (the late) Jessica Tandy and Bridget Fonda. Travels with Father was shot on location in Prague and Greece. Fire , Mehta’s third feature film, based on an original screenplay, was written, directed and produced by her: it won the Federal Express Award for Best Canadian Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival, two Silver Hugo Awards for Best Direction and Best Actress at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Jury Award in Mannheim, and it was voted Favourite Foreign Film in Paris. Earth , based on Bapsi Sidhwa’s critically acclaimed novel, Cracking India , is the second film in Mehta’s trilogy of the elements, Fire , Earth and Water , an insight on an unknown India. Earth won the Prix Premiere du Public at the Festival du film Asiatique de Deauville (France) in March 1999 and the Critics’ Award at the Schermi d’Amore International Film Festival (Italy) in April of the same year. Her film Bollywood/Hollywood opened the Perspective Canada Program at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. In 2003, Mehta co-wrote and directed The Republic of Love, starring Bruce Greenwood and Amelia Fox, based on the novel of the same title by Carol Shields. In the same year, Mehta won the prestigious CineAsia Best Director Award – an acclaim awarded to Steven Spielberg a year earlier. Water, the third film in the elements trilogy, was to be shot in India, but Hindu fundamentalist created riots, burned the sets and issued death threats to the director and actors, forcing the film to stop production in early 2000. The film was remounted and completed shooting in Sri Lanka in June 2004.

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