CUE Board Member Isheeta Ganguly (Mailman School of Public Health) will host a Zoom conversation with special guest, international award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker Sooni Taraporevala (The Namesake, Mississippi Masala, Salaam Bombay!). They will discuss the craft of screenwriting, the art of collaboration, and the business of filmmaking. The conversation will also include an audience Q&A.
Sooni Taraporevala was born and schooled in Bombay, India. Her first screenplay Salaam Bombay! began her long creative association with Mira Nair and was nominated for an Academy award, won more than twenty-five awards worldwide, and earned Taraporevala the Lillian Gish Award for Excellence in Film from Women in Film.
Her second produced script, Mississippi Masala also for Mira Nair, starred Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury for which Taraporevala won the Osella award for Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival. In 2021 a restored 4K print of Mississippi Masala was screened at the New York Film Festival and is streaming on The Criterion Channel.
Her other screenplays include The Namesake starring Kal Penn; Such A Long Journey, for which she received a Genie nomination for Best Screenplay from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television; My Own Country; and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar based on historical research. More recently, she wrote and directed, Little Zizou, as well as Yeh Ballet, which was picked up by Netflix.
Isheeta Ganguly is an acclaimed fusion singer and playwright/director. Her three musical theatre productions ("Three Women", "Sundays with Chitra & Chaitali" and "Shakuntala Awaits") have garnered international recognition for blending contemporary feminism, history, mythology and pop culture with 19th century classic heroines from India in a modern day, dram-com format. Her productions have been featured at prestigious venues in North America, India, and Southeast Asia with "Shakuntala Awaits'' having had an Off-Broadway run with the HERE Theatre in NYC. With her BA in bio-medical ethics from Brown University and her Masters in Public Health from Columbia, Isheeta is also a Bellagio Fellow from the Rockefeller Foundation. Prior to making her full-time transition into the performing arts, Isheeta helmed leadership roles in both the U.S and India as a management consultant and as the Country Director for Sesame Street India. She currently serves on the CUE Board and is an Ambassador for the IPA (India Philanthropic Alliance). Isheeta lives in Mumbai with her husband and two sons.