Distinguished Hollywood Filmmaker Mira Nair to Speak at Northeastern University

March 17, 2008

March 17, 2008 – Academy Award Nominee Mira Nair will discuss the art of filmmaking as part of the International Student & Scholar Institute’s (ISSI) Distinguished Artist Series on Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m. in Northeastern University’s Blackman Theater. Nair, whose feature film debut was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, is one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed filmmakers, having worked with acclaimed actors like Reese Witherspoon and Denzel Washington. Her visit is part of ISSI’s Carnevale! 2008, a two-month festival that celebrates cultural diversity at Northeastern through the arts.

Nair, who was born and raised in India, moved to the United States when she was 19 to attend Harvard University, where she graduated with a degree in sociology. While she was initially drawn to acting, she soon found something else that drew her in – filmmaking.  Beginning as a documentary filmmaker, Nair was recognized for some of her first films, including India Cabaret, which won for Best Documentary at the American Film Festival.   

In addition to being nominated for an Oscar, Salaam Bombay!, Nair’s first feature film, won the Golden Camera Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988, as well as other international awards.  One of Nair’s most popular movies, Monsoon Wedding, illustrates the cultural and generational differences that exist in India today through the plot of an arranged marriage. The film also won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, further establishing Nair as a remarkable filmmaker.

“Mira Nair has beautifully captured contrasting cultural realities that evoke universal themes of humanity," said Scott Quint, Associate Dean for ISSI and Intercultural Programs. “We are honored to host such an accomplished filmmaker as we bring together and celebrate the cultural diversity that is at Northeastern.”

Throughout her career, Nair has taken on different roles in the process of making a film, including writing, producing, acting and directing. As an expert in her craft, Nair continues to create films for both television and movie screens. Hysterical Blindness, a project directed for HBO, earned one of HBO’s highest original film ratings in three years and also earned Uma Thurman, the starring actor, a Golden Globe for her performance.

Nair has many exciting projects lined up for 2008 and 2009. She has been hired to direct Shantaram, a film based on a novel about a convict and drug addict who escapes from prison and is set to star Johnny Depp.  She also plans on working with Hilary Swank on a film about the life and last flight of famed female pilot Amelia Earhart.

For more information about Mira Nair’s visit to Northeastern, please contact Jenny Eriksen at (617) 373-2802 or via email at j.eriksen@neu.edu.

About the International Student & Scholar Institute

The International Student & Scholar Institute, founded in 1976, embodies the University’s global vision and its commitment to meaningful cross-cultural understanding for all members of the University community, from Boston to Beijing. Northeastern is among the more culturally diverse educational institutions in the United States, and ISSI draws upon this richness to offer programs and services that foster intercultural awareness, enhance all facets of the Northeastern experience, and support immigration/regulatory compliance. Each year, ISSI serves 2,500 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, providing orientation, training and cultural exercises to promote the dialogue between domestic and foreign nationals. 

About Northeastern

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston.  Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit www.northeastern.edu.

For more information, please contact Jenny Catherine Eriksen at 617-373-2802 or at j.eriksen@neu.edu.

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