Deepa Mehta to mentor South Asian screenwriters at Hollywood Inclusion Lab

Deepa Mehta (Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

By: Mohnish Singh

Filmmaker and screenwriter Deepa Mehta, best known for her trilogy of the elements, Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and The water (2005), joined another class of under-represented South Asian screenwriters for the second edition of 1497 Writers Lab.

Joining her as mentors is The high note (2020) director Nisha Ganatra and writer-director Minhal Baig. The trio will help script feature films at Hollywood Talent Incubator. The inaugural laboratory had play it like Beckham (2002) director Gurinder Chadha, Aneesh Chaganty and Iranian-American director Maryam Keshavarz as mentors.

Founded by Adeel Ahmed, Kamran Khan and Lipica Shah, 1497 Writers Lab aims to support and nurture talent of South Asian descent in order to reduce their under-representation in the American film and television industry.

“The US film and television industry must include our voices, not just the stories we are allowed to tell. We are extremely happy to bring this program back with such an amazing group of mentors and advisors to help pave the way for new voices from the South Asian community, ”the founding trio of 1497 Writers Lab said in a statement.

Mehta’s movie The water, which starred Lisa Ray and John Abraham in the lead roles, won an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Drama in 2007. Her latest film, Funny boy, is currently available for streaming on Netflix.

Ganatra won a Golden Globe for her work on the TV show Transparent and also directed The high note. Baig profits from the success of his Sundance hit Hala which was produced by Jada Pinkett-Smith and published by Apple TV +.

Applications for the 1497 Writers Lab are open until October 31.

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