Mira Nair (b. 1957)
Filmmaker Mira Nair studied sociology at Delhi University and graduated from Harvard University with a degree in visual and environmental studies in 1979. Nair's films frequently address issues of gender, race, cultural, and familial relations and conflict, including the experiences of immigrants. Nair has made several short documentaries exploring Indian cultural traditions, including So Far from India (1982), India Cabaret (1984), and Children of a Desired Sex (1987). Nair's first feature film, Salaam Bombay! (1988), set in the slums of Bombay (now Mumbai) and featuring a cast that included children living on the street, was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award, making it the second Indian film to be so nominated. Her next film, Mississippi Masala (1991), starred Sarita Choudhury and Denzel Washington; their relationship exposes the prejudices in their respective communities. Other feature films included The Perez Family (1995), Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996), Monsoon Wedding (2001), Vanity Fair (2004), and Queen of Katwe (2016), among others. She has also directed several short films, two made-for television movies, and developed and directed a musical version of Monsoon Wedding. Nair also compiled three books: Vanity Fair: Bringing Thackeray's Times Novel to the Screen (2004), The Namesake: A Portrait of the Film (2006), and The Reluctant Fundamentalist: From Book to Film (2013). An activist and philanthropist, Nair is the founder of Salaam Baalak Trust in Delhi and the Maisha Film Lab in Kampala, Uganda.