MUMBAI: By her own admission celebrated NRI filmmaker Deepa Mehta is a full-fledged Delhi girl. But Canada has been her second home for nearly 30 years now. That’s the country all her acclaimed films from Sam & Me in 1991 to the unreleased Midnight’s Children have been conceived. Some of her works have also beeen funded by the Canadian government.
Yet it comes as a huge surprise to know that Deepa is the recipient of 2012’s Canadian Governer-General Performing Artrs Award (GGPAA) for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
Deepa is the first Indian to be given what would be considered the Canadian equivalent of the Padma Vibhushan. She shares the honour for 2012 with some of the most renowned global artistic icons: Concert pianist Janina Fialkowska, Dancer-choreographer Paul-Andre Fortier, Theatre director Denis Marleu, the rock band Rush and writer-comedian Mary Walsh.
Citing the reasons for Deepa being included among these luminaries of Canada the awards committee said, “In a career spanning 30 years she has consistently broken new ground, tackling such controversial issues as intolerance, cultural discrimination and domestic violence. She’s an artiste of uncompromising integrity whose exceptional creative achievement is matched by human rights and social issues.”