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Zarqa Nawaz, of Pakistani ancestry, was born in Liverpool, and raised in Toronto. She currently lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.  A freelance writer, broadcaster and filmmaker, Zarqa wrote and produced short films that riffed on terrorism, burqas, and fatwas. Zarqa is  practicing Muslim and mother of four small children.   She practices the rule of "writing what you know best" by drawing on her first hand experiences living in a small town in Saskatchewan and living the  Muslim faith. That experience became the inspiration for Little Mosque on the Prairie a series that explores the dynamics of Muslim and non-Muslim relationships with a comedic twist.  With the production of Little Mosque on the Prairie, Zarqa Nawaz caught the attention of the international community.

Deepa Mehta was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India in 1950.  She received a bachelors and masters degree in philosophy from the University of New Delhi, where she met her husband, Canadian filmmaker and producer Paul Saltzman.  Shortly after getting married, she immigrated to Canada in 1973. She has since divorced, and is now based in Toronto and New Delhi.  Mehta's films are controversial, as she challenged the blind Hindu traditions.  She is best known for her ELEMENTS trilogy, EARTH, WATER and FIRE, all set in India.  While filming the movie WATER, over 2000 protestors rioted and burned the film sets.  This caused Mehta to move the production set to Sri Lanka.  She tackles issues of injustices, hypocrisy, intolerance, colonialism.... She is a modern-day humanist with a truly international outlook.  It was said that "East meets West in Deepa Mehta's film". (Liam Lacey of Globe and Mail)





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