Award Name : Padma Bhushan
Year of Award : 2012
Award for : Arts
Location : Raurkela, Orissa, India
Mira Nair is an Indian filmmaker based in New York. Her production company, Mirabai Films, specializes in films for international audiences on Indian society, whether in the economic, social or cultural spheres. Among her best known films are Mississippi Masala, The Namesake, the Golden Lion-winning Monsoon Wedding and Salaam Bombay!, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. She was born on October 15, 1957 in Rourkela. Mira Nair studied at the University of New Delhi before earning a degree in Sociology from Harvard in 1976. Based in New York City, she worked on her own independent short films, eventually winning the Best Documentary prize at the American Film Festival for India Cabaret, an investigation of Bombay's stripper subculture.
In 1991, she teamed up with writing partner Taraporevala again for the romantic drama Mississippi Masala, about an Indian family moving from Uganda to the Southern U.S. to run a motel. Following the theme of immigration with her next film, The Perez Family featured a Cuban family moving to the States. In 1997, she took a brief turn toward historical epics with Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, set in 16th century India. Following the Showtime special My Own Country and the documentary short The Laughing Club of India, she made the international hit Monsoon Wedding. Focusing on an arranged marriage in New Delhi, the comedy drama won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and established Nair as an accomplished filmmaker. In 2002, she made a surprising turn to a New Jersey setting for the gritty HBO drama Hysterical Blindness, starring Uma Thurman, Juliette Lewis, Gena Rowlands. The same year she directed a segment of the French-produced anthology film 11'09"01, featuring short films from 11 international filmmakers in response to September 11. Along with teaching at Columbia University, Nair would next direct the film Vanity Fair, based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray and starring Reese Witherspoon. She has won a number of awards, including a National Film Award and various international film festival awards, and was a nominee at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards and Filmfare Awards. She was also awarded the India Abroad Person of the Year-2007. In 2012 she was awarded India's third highest civilian award the Padma Bhushan by President of India, Pratibha Patil.