Mira Nair Tag

Inspiring Artist – Mira Nair


Yo, if you’re new: This is where I share artists that have been inspiring to me in my work sometimes directly and other times. Case in point. Mira Nair, an amazing filmmaker from India who spends her time back and forth between India, Uganda, and the US. I’m not sure which film I saw first but I have loved so many of her films. Her style, her eye, but also her activism, and her convictions. 

She once said 
“If we don’t tell our stories, no one will” -Mira Nair

In reference to the talk of diversity which is really a talk of a century of exclusion from funding, resources, and access to filmmaking (but applies to other forms of storytelling) and she backs it up. Don’t believe me? Go check out The Namesake, Salaam Bombay, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Queen of Katwe, and so many others. If I were a big studio executive, I’d give her the maximum budget and all the resources she needs to run with it.

She’s worked with so many great actors such as Tabu, Denzel Washington, Kal Penn, Irrfan Khan, Tanya Maniktala, Lupita Nyongo, Liev Schrieber, Kiefer Sutherland, Riz Ahmed, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Sarita Choudhury, Richard Gere, soo many.

If you haven’t seen any of her films, check them out! I should add that one of the amazing things about her is her independent hustle to get projects made! Also, check out her company Maisha Film Labs in Kampala Uganda. Did you catch the last artist I mentioned?
The last inspiring artist was James Van Der Zee

Inktober 4-Mira Nair

“My sort of mantra in life and in films is if we don’t tell our own stories, no one else will tell them
Mira Nair

Mira Nair is one of my biggest inspirations for storytelling. She has been working as a film director since the late 80s and has made countless narrative films from the perspective of a person of color. Why is that important? Because very often when films about people of color are made they are often made by white directors who either leave things out of the story, misinterpret, or completely ignore the poc story and put themselves at the heart of the narrative. Ever heard of “Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, The story of Steve Biko, even hip hop films like Electric Boogaloo? These films are often set in a community inhabited by Black and Brown folks but their story is not told.

Films like Mississippi Masala, The Namesake, Salaam Bombay, and The Reluctant Fundamentalist made by Mira tell stories from inside the lives of people of color that we as movie lovers rarely see, by a person of color.

One of the other reasons I am inspired by her is her work to share knowledge, her refusal to compromise her art, and her ability to move within and outside of Hollywood. Not only has she worked on films that focus on POC but she’s also worked with Hollywood to tell stories like Amelia Earnhart, which to me shows an openness to try all angles. And since the time of Salaam Bombay she has dedicated time, expertise, and money to teaching the craft of film making to people of color or helping to fund their education in someway. A good example is her film company Maisha Film Labs based in Uganda. If you havent seen her work, go check her out!

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