Indian American wins DGA Award for her docu-series ‘Through Our Eyes’


The 74th Annual Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards took place on Saturday, March 12, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

The ceremony was hosted by Judd Apatow before an audience of more than 800 guests. Jane Campion won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for The Power of the Dog.

In the award show, the Oscar-nominated Indian-American filmmaker Smriti Mundhra who was nominated for the best children’s program, for her ‘Through Our Eyes’, took home the first award.

‘Through Our Eyes’ is 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.

The four-part gritty docu-series 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 last being the subject of Mundhra’s award-winning episode).

Previously, Mundhra had created and executive produced the Netflix original series, which is nominated for an Emmy award for an outstanding unstructured reality program. “Indian Matchmaking” offered an inside look at the custom of matchmaking in Indian cultures through a contemporary lens.

In 2020, Mundhra’s film, “St. Louis Superman,” was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary short 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.

Mundhra’s directorial debut, the feature documentary “A Suitable Girl,” premiered in competition at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Albert Maysles Prize for best new documentary director. Mundhra was also an executive producer on “1232KMS,” a documentary film for Disney Plus Hotstar, and she currently serves as a consulting producer on the new HBO Max feature “Hallowed Ground.”

The filmmaker and producer is the 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. The company is currently developing projects with Apple TV Plus and HBO Max, among others.

Mundhra, incidentally, is the daughter of the late Indian American filmmaker Jag Mundhra, who is still remembered for ‘Kamla’ (1984), starring Deepti Naval, Shabana Azmi and Marc Zuber, which centered around a celebrated journalistic expose, and the ‘Kama Sutra’ movies — ‘The Perfumed Garden’ and ‘Monsoon’.