The Filmmakers

Mehta Masterclass: Deepa opens up about her work and shares the best advice she ever received

From controversy to colour palettes to comfortable shoes, watch the full interview with the acclaimed director from this past weekend's episode of The Filmmakers.

Watch the full interview from this past weekend's episode of The Filmmakers

Watch the full interview with director Deepa Mehta from The Filmmakers 10:57

In 2005, filmmaker Deepa Mehta broke new ground when her film Water became the first Canadian film that wasn't in French and wasn't set in Canada to be nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film. However, the journey to making Water was not an easy one: their original set in Varanasi, India was shut down due to violent protests by religious fundamentalists, and Mehta had to film it secretly years later in Sri Lanka.

But looking back on Water, Mehta sees the early controversy surrounding the film as a positive, saying, "I owe a lot to Water being shut down because when we did it like eight years later or something, it was the right time to do it." By being forced to make the film in 2005 instead, Mehta was able to bring together a host of talents to collaborate with — including composers Mychael Danna and A.R. Rahman (who would go on to win an Oscar for his work on Slumdog Millionaire) and actresses Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas and the incredibly talented Sarala Kariyawasam, who was only eight years old  at the time.

In the above interview from The Filmmakers, Mehta takes us inside Water for a masterclass in filmmaking — touching on everything from controversy to colour palettes to the importance of wearing comfortable shoes.

Watch The Filmmakers this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (9:00 NT) on CBC Television, or stream it at After the episode, stick around to see this week's feature presentation, Zacharias Kunuk's Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner).