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College of Arts & Sciences
Film and Media Studies Program

Seminar with Film Director Mira Nair at the Nickelodeon Theater

On November 15, 2013 Film and Media Studies, Media Arts, Theater students and Columbia film enthusiasts had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with Mira Nair, Director of Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake and many more.

View photos of the Mira Nair talk at on our Flickr site.

Students and faculty at the seminar share their experience meeting Mira Nair:

It was fascinating to hear about the challenges of a career as an independent film maker…the learning process, finding inspiration, and etc.”

“As a student wanting to get into the world of filmmaking, there is a lot I have to learn about the industry. It was great hearing first-hand experiences from a woman who is incredibly successful in the business, and who has been a part of the film community for thirty years.”

“I was especially interested in her discussion of her background, her approach to walking that tightrope between independent and commercial cinema. As one of only a handful of really successful women directors, Nair is a vital exemplar.”

I appreciated that she is a filmmaker who enjoys working on independent projects (rather than studio-run) so that she can incorporate aspects of herself into her films.  What struck a chord with me was that she turned down the offer to direct a Harry Potter film so she could continue to work on The Namesake.  Personally, I find that extremely commendable because she (upon listening to advice from her son) stayed true to herself, and her style.  It was also great to hear of a successful transition from documentary to fiction film.”

“Attending this seminar shows that there are options after graduation.  Mrs. Nair was involved in documentary filmmaking for seven years after graduating from college, until she realized she wanted to address a different audience. Her story is inspirational for a film student. Personally, I loved this experience and am glad I was able to talk to her (a one time experience)!”