|Alma mater||New York University|
Nisha Ganatra (born June 25, 1974) is a Canadian-American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actress of Indian descent. She wrote, directed, and produced the independent comedy-drama Chutney Popcorn (1999) and later directed the independent film Cosmopolitan (2003) and the romantic-comedy Cake (2005). Ganatra has directed for numerous television shows, including The Real World, Transparent , You Me Her, Better Things, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She also directed the comedy-dramas Late Night (2019) and The High Note (2020). Ganatra served as a consulting producer on the first season of Transparent, for which she was nominated for the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Early life and education
Ganatra explored her interest in film through acting and then decided to make the switch to pursue film-making as she wanted to effect cultural change.
Ganatra began her film-making journey by studying at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Though she wasn't studying film, she explored her interest by sneaking into screenwriting classes which eventually led her to creating short films.
She moved to New York City to pursue a film degree at New York University Film School (NYU). During her time there, she created a short film Junky Punky Girlz (1997) which won NYU's Tisch Fellowship and most outstanding short film from PBS. Ganatra graduated from the New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts.
While in film school, Ganatra directed several episodes of MTV's long-running television series The Real World in 2001. Prior to this she had written and directed two shorts and her critically acclaimed independent film Chutney Popcorn (1999).
Ganatra is part of a mentorship program with NBC which seeks to provide talented female directors with the same opportunities as their male counterparts. This program selects female directors to be given the opportunity to shadow up to three episodes of an NBC series. The participants will then be able to direct at least one episode of the series in which she has been shadowing.
When Ganatra was on the hunt for a cinematographer, she began to notice that the men's reels were far superior compared to the women's reels. As a female director herself, she was accustomed to being overlooked in the hiring process in favor of men. She realized that the men had better reels not because they were more talented, but instead, because they had been given bigger budgets, better equipment, larger crews, and elaborate productions. This motivated Ganatra to hire a female cinematographer and strive to hire female crews. In 2020, it was reported that ABC had put into development a single-camera matchmaking comedy written, directed, and produced by Ganatra.
|1996||Junky Punky Girlz||Yes||Yes||No||Short film|
|1997||Drown Soda||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film|
|2000||The Acting Class||No||No||No||Exotic Dancer|
|2003||Fast Food High||Yes||No||No|
|2005||Bam Bam and Celeste||No||No||No||Linda|
|2007||Don't Go||No||No||No||Shanti||TV movie|
|2008||The Cheetah Girls: One World||No||Yes||No||TV movie|
|2011||Small, Beautifully Moving Parts||No||No||No||Mother|
|2013||The Hunters||Yes||No||Yes||TV movie|
|2013||Pete's Christmas||Yes||No||Yes||TV movie|
|2014||Code Academy||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film|
|2016||Center Stage: On Pointe||No||Yes||No||TV movie|
|2020||The High Note||Yes||No||No|
- The Real World: Back to New York (2001) (4 episodes)
- The Real World/Road Rules: Battle of the Seasons (2002) (1 episode)
- Futurestates (2011) (1 episode)
- Haven (2012) (1 episode)
- Big Time Rush (2012) (1 episode)
- Transparent (2014) (3 episodes)
- The Mindy Project (2015) (1 episode)
- Mr. Robot (2015) (1 episode)
- Married (2015) (3 episodes)
- Red Oaks (2015) (2 episodes)
- Shameless (2016) (1 episode)
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2016) (1 episode)
- You Me Her (2016) (10 episodes)
- Better Things (2016) (3 episodes)
- Girls (2017) (1 episode)
- Dear White People (2017) (2 episodes)
- Fresh Off The Boat (2017) (1 episode)
- Future Man (2017)
- Black Monday (2019) (1 episode)
- Futurestates (2011) (TV series, 1 episode)
- Margaret Cho: Beautiful (2009), field producer
- Cho Dependent (2011), field producer
- Transparent (2014) (TV series, 10 episodes), consulting producer
- You Me Her (2016) (TV series, 10 episodes), co-executive producer
- Better Things (2016) (TV series, 9 episodes), co-executive producer
- List of female film and television directors
- List of lesbian filmmakers
- List of LGBT-related films directed by women
- Joanne Latimer, Dustin Dinoff, Marise Strauss, & Laura Bracken (2004). "Playback's 10 to Watch: Canada's Hottest Up-and-Coming Directors, Actors and Writers". Playback: Canada's Broadcast and Production Journal. 18 (21): 1.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (29 August 2014). "Can Jill Soloway Do Justice to the Trans Movement?". The New York Times.
- "Nisha Ganatra". Television Academy. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
- King, Loren. (9 June 2000). ""Ganatra Whips Up Light Chutney Popcorn"". Boston Globe.
- Steinhart, David (8 March 2003). "Learning at the feet of some of the best". National Post. 4: 1.
- Rathore, Reena (25 January 2018). "NBC Picks Indian American Nisha Ganatra to Mentor Next Generation of Female Directors". India West.
- Winkelman, Natalia (15 June 2018). "The War on Hollywood Sexism: Ava DuVernay, Miranda July, Karyn Kusama, and More Directors Speak Out". The Daily Beast.
- Andreeva, Nellie (2020-08-24). "Nisha Ganatra Matchmaking Comedy In The Works At ABC". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-08-25.
- Tucker, Karen Iris (June 6, 2000). "Popcorn Confidential". The Advocate.[dead link]
- Corson, Suzanne (June 27, 2007). "Nisha Ganatra's On-screen Comeback". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on September 28, 2015.