Deepa Mehta will chair the International Jury of the 66th edition of SEMINCI

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  • Her latest feature film ‘Funny Boy’ will close the upcoming edition of the festival out of competition.

The Indian director, scriptwriter and producer Deepa Mehta will preside over the International Jury of the Valladolid International Film Festival, whose upcoming 66th edition wil run from October 23 to 30. Considered one of Canada’s most important contemporary filmmakers, she has been associated with SEMINCI since the early days of her career as a long feature director in the 1990s, when she presented in Valladolid her first feature film, ‘Sam & Me’, which was followed by other important titles in her filmography.

Deepa Mehta was born in Amritsar, India in 1950. She graduated with a degree in Philosophy from the University of New Delhi and began her film career writing children’s movie scripts and making documentaries before emigrating to Toronto, Canada, with her brother Dilip , a photographer and a documentary filmmaker. There they founded Sunrise Films, where they produced documentary films and other works for television. In 1974, she made her first Canadian documentary, “At 99: A Portrait of Louise Tandy Murch.”

In 1988 she directed, along with Norma Bailey and Daniéle J. Suissa, the feature film ‘Martha, Ruth & Edie’. With her first solo work, ‘Sam & Me’, she won a Special Mention from the Jury of the Camera d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival and participated in the Meeting Point section of the 36th edition of SEMINCI. In the early 90s she directed several episodes of the television series ‘The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones’, created and executive produced by George Lucas, and in 1994 she achieved great international repercussion thanks to ‘Freda and Camilla’, a feature film starring Jessica Tandy and Bridget Fonda, with which Mehta also participated in the 39th edition of the Valladolid Festival.

She founded Hamilton Mehta Productions with her husband, producer David Hamilton, in 1996. That same year she began her award-winning trilogy inspired by the elements of nature with ‘Fire’, which was followed in 1998 by ‘Earth’ and later by ‘Water’, nominated for an Oscar for Best International Film in 2007 and screened at the 50th edition of SEMINCI,where it won the Youth Award.

‘Funny Boy’ will close the forthcoming edition of the Valladolid Festival

In 2002 she wrote and directed the comedy ‘Bollywood / Hollywood’ which was a huge success with Canadian audiences. Mehta then made several films set in Canada, like ‘The Republic of Love’ (2003), the documentary ‘Let’s Talk about it’ (2006), about domestic violence in Toronto’s immigrant families, and ‘Heaven on Earth’ (2008) , on the subject of arranged marriages.

In 2012 she shot ‘Midnight’s Children’, the screen adaptation of the novel by Salman Rushdie with whom she collaborated in the writing of the script. The film was presented in the Official Section of SEMINCI, where it won the award for Best Cinematography. She also participated in the editions of 2015 and 2016, respectively with ‘Beeba Boys’ and ‘Anatomy of Violence’.

Her latest feature film, ‘Funny Boy’, has been chosen to close, out of competition, this year’s edition of SEMINCI. An adaptation of a novel by the same title by Canadian author Shyam Selvadurai set in Sri Lanka, the film tells the story of Arjie Chelvaratnam, a young Tamil who seeks his own identity and sexual orientation in the face of a family incapable of contravening social norms and against the backdrop of the conflict that took place in the country during the 1970s and 1980s between the Tamil minority and the Sinhalese majority.

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