- The “Indian Matchmaker” creator was feted for directing an episode for HBO Max’s series “Through Our Eyes.”
Indian American filmmaker Smriti Mundhra has won a Directors Guild of America (DAG) Awards for best children’s program for an episode of HBO Max’s series “Through Our Eyes,” at its 74th edition on March 12. Mundhra directed an episode titled “Shelter,” for the four-part docu-series that captures the innocence of childhood and the strength of perseverance in the face of parental incarceration, climate displacement, the wounds of war, and homelessness. The series is described as “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.”
Mundhra most recently created Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking,” which was nominated for an Emmy award for an outstanding unstructured reality program. The series follows matchmaker Sima Taparia and offers an inside look at the custom of matchmaking in Indian cultures through a contemporary lens.
Founder of Meralta Films, a Los Angeles and Mumbai-based production company focused on creating premium fiction and non-fiction content from culturally specific points of view, Mundhra was recently signed by talent company CAA (Creative Artists Agency). She currently serves as a consulting producer on the new HBO Max feature “Hallowed Ground.”
Mundhra’s film, “St. Louis Superman,” was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary short in 2020 and won the Critics Choice Award for best short documentary. The project, co-directed with Sami Khan, followed Bruce Franks Jr. as the former battle rapper, Ferguson activist and Missouri state representative tried to pass a critical bill for his community.
Her directorial debut, “A Suitable Girl,” premiered in competition at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Albert Maysles Prize for the best new documentary director. She was also an executive producer on “1232KMS,” a documentary film for Disney Plus Hotstar.
The Los Angeles and Mumbai-raised Mundhra Mundhra started working in film in her teenage years as a production secretary on the Coen Brothers’ “The Man Who Wasn’t There” and “O Brother Where Art Thou?,” as well as Spike Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich,” and as the production assistant on Neil LaBute’s “Nurse Betty.”
She then went on to produce “Bomb the System,” starring Mark Webber. It was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for the Best First Feature award. In 2005, she produced “Waterborne,” about three sets of residents who band together after a terrorist attack against Los Angeles’ water supply. The film received the Special Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival that year.
The next film she produced was 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. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.
Her directing projects include the HBO Max documentary series “Through Our Eyes,” centered on the Los Angeles housing crisis; a four-part docuseries centered on the history of Bollywood; and a six-part docu-series about civil rights in the modern-day.
She is married to Emmy-nominated screenwriter, Christian Magalhaes and they live in Los Angeles, California with their two children.