Female Filmmaker Friday: Nisha Ganatra, Director of Female-Driven "Late Night"
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"Let me just tell stories and create roles."
Nisha Ganatra is a Indian-Canadian actress, writer, and director who won a Golden Globe for her work in the Amazon show Transparent.
Ganatra began her career as an actress in Vancouver, but eventually switch gears into roles behind the camera, wanting instead to effect the culture around her. Her directorial feature debut came in the 1999 film Chutney Popcorn, which won Audience Awards at the Berlin Film Festival, Madrid Film Festival, and Newport Film Festival. Her talents behind the camera including directing episodes of The Mindy Project, Transparent, Red Oaks, Brooklyn 99, Mr. Robot, Dear White People, Girls, and Fresh Off the Boat. When asked about what it's like to come from indie filmmaking into episodic television, Ganatra admits it's nice. "Indie film; it's your heart and your soul...and everyone's doing it for the love of the project. TV is fun to do all these shows...if you get on a show that's been running for a while, there's a bit of complacency."
Ganatra's latest film, Late Night, released this Thursday. The film, starring Mindy Kaling (who also wrote the screenplay) and Emma Thompson, tells the story of a comedy writer (Kaling) who gets her first writing job at a late night show, hosted by Katherine Newbury (Thompson). The film is funny while also being relevant to bringing women to the forefront of storytelling and reflecting what's happening in the real world. This film is also coming out at time where representation for women and people of color is still trying to find its voice. Also, late night television is getting a female host in Lilly Singh.
This film has great messages for the times, but it can also just be fun. Late Night is in theaters now.