Indian-American filmmaker Smriti Mundhra wins DGA award

Creator of Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ series wins the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs

Indian-American filmmaker Smriti Mundhra has won the Directors Guild of America Award (DGA) for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs for the “Shelter” episode of ‘Through Our Eyes’, on HBO Max.

Mundhra was presented the 2021 award by Pamela Adlon, creator and star of the comedy drama series ‘Better Things,’ during the 74th Annual DGA Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on March 12.

“Last night I won a DGA Award and got to honor my dad in a room he worked his whole life to get into. His DGA card was so important to him because it meant he was ‘one of them.’ Nothing makes me more proud than keeping his legacy alive,” she tweeted.

Read: Executive producer of ‘Indian Matchmaking’ defends the Netflix hit (July 27, 2020)

‘Through Our Eyes’ is an inspiring journey into the lives of American families, from the perspective of children as they navigate formidable yet all-too-common challenges along with parents and siblings.

The four-part gritty docu- series captures the innocence of childhood and the strength of perseverance in the face of parental incarceration, climate displacement, the wounds of war, and homelessness. Homelessness was the subject of Mundhra’s award-winning episode ‘shelter’.

Mundhra’s production company, Meralta Films, specializes in documentary films and non-fiction content. She is also the Executive Producer and Creator of Netflix’s original documentary series, ‘Indian Matchmaking’ presented by Sima Taparia.

Los Angeles based filmmaker won the Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival for her first feature documentary film ‘A Suitable Girl’, along with her co-director Sarita Khurana.

In 2020, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject for her film ‘St. Louis Superman.’

Born in Los Angeles, Mundhra was raised between Los Angeles and Mumbai, India. Her father, Jag Mundhra was also a filmmaker. Before she was born, her parents rented a single screen in Culver City, Los Angeles and became the first exhibitors of Bollywood films in the United States.

Mundhra obtained a BA in English from California State University, Northridge and Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in film at the Columbia University School of the Arts in 2010.

Then, Mundhra moved to Mumbai to begin production on her documentary directorial debut film, ‘A Suitable Girl,’ which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017.

In 2005, she produced ‘Waterborne’ about three sets of residents who band together after a terrorist attack against LA’s water supply. It received the Special Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival.

Read: Indian American Filmmaker Smriti Mundhra Wins DAG Award for Best Children’s Program (March 14, 2022)

Mundhra also produced Tanuj Chopra’s ‘Punching At the Sun’ which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It was an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

In 2018, she directed an ad campaign for Bumble’s launch in India starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas called ‘Equal Not Loose’.

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