Honorary degree citation - Deepa Mehta
By: Rae Staseson, June 2013
Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Deepa Mehta, screenwriter, director, transnational storyteller.
An Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Deepa Mehta’s work both honors and challenges traditions with beauty and universality.
Her work crosses cultures, countries and class.
It is intergenerational, inspiring, provocative, and deeply humanist to the core.
Among her best known, and loved, work is her famous film trilogy (Fire, Earth, Water), each telling a different story about life in India, about traditions valued and challenged, and about change.
Despite opposition and controversy, Mehta has made films that tell tough stories, reflecting the harsh realities in Canadian and South Asian cultures – in each one she finds not so much a silver lining, but offers us a lesson about hope, love, and the power and poetry of human experience.
The mix of cultures and generational tension, whether told amidst the anguish of the Indian partition, or amid the flirtatious joy of a Bollywood dance number, are at the heart of Deepa Mehta’s work and she is a masterful visual storyteller.
Her latest film is an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, about the history of 20th century India.
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you, Deepa Mehta so that you may confer upon her the degrees of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.