Devyani Saltzman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Devyani Saltzman
  • Writer
  • Film Director
Spouse(s)David Hamilton

Devyani Saltzman is a Canadian author, curator and journalist. She is the granddaughter of the late Canadian weatherman Percy Saltzman and the daughter of film directors Paul Saltzman and Deepa Mehta.[1]

Early life & education[edit]

Devyani Saltzman was born in the year 1980. The daughter of a Jewish Ukrainian father and a Hindu Indian mother (the noted writer, director, and filmmaker Deepa Mehta), Her parents were separated when she was 11 years old. Saltzman received her degree in Human Sciences from Hertford College at Oxford University in 2003. She specialized in sociology and anthropology. She grew up on film and television sets, and was the recipient of the Young Professionals International Internship grant to work on a feature-length documentary in India.[citation needed]


Devyani Saltzman was a crew member in her mother's third directed movie Water. She worked as a Unit still photographer. The movie was subjected to controversies surrounding its filming which took place at India and later shifted to Colombo. It took 5 years to complete the filming. Water debuted to rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival.[citation needed]

The film, a period drama about Hindu widows in Benares, India, caused considerable stir among the local Hindus, and Mehta and her crew experienced much conflict and many interruptions from the locals. Saltzman, meanwhile, acted as an untrained third assistant cameraman, trying to learn as much about filmmaking as possible from her accomplished mother. Romance with a fellow crew member sparked, even as Saltzman realized that the object of her affection would not be a good choice for her. The movie crew was eventually forced out of India, and Saltzman went on to academic studies at Oxford. Five years later, the production resumed in Sri Lanka, where Saltzman and Mehta worked ever more earnestly at repairing their relationship.[citation needed]

Writing career[edit]

Devyani Saltzman is the author of Shooting Water: A Memoir of Second Chances, Family, and Filmmaking, as well as articles for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Literary Review of Canada, the Atlantic, Tehelka, Marie Claire, Room literary journal and The Walrus Magazine.[citation needed]

Her freelance writing subjects include interviews with Pico Iyer, Sarah Polley, Floria Sigismondi and articles on India, long-term care facilities and immigrant domestic workers.[citation needed]

Devyani Saltzman’s debut book Shooting Water: A Memoir of Second Chances, Family, and Filmmaking details the making of her mother, Deepa Mehta’s, third film in her “Elements” trilogy, entitled Water. It was published in Canada (2005), the US and India and received "starred reviews" in both Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal and was called 'A poignant memoir' by The New York Times.[citation needed]

Current projects[edit]

Saltzman is the founding curator, literary programming, at Luminato, Toronto's Festival of Arts and Creativity and has been involved in a number of arts initiatives including Project Bookmark Canada, The Toronto Museum Project as well as being a juror for the National Magazine Awards, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and The Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. In 2014 she was appointed Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Canada's national arts hub, where she oversees year-round programming and public events.[citation needed]

Awards & recognition[edit]

Honor Notes
Young Professionals International internship grant Internship grant


  1. ^ Deepa MehtaBiography Notable Biographies