Birthplace: Bhubaneswar, India
Now based in New York City, India-born Nair first made her mark directing documentary films such as India Cabaret (1985), a study of female strippers in Bombay that won Best Documentary at the American Film Festival. Her feature film Salaam Bombay! (1987) was nominated for an Oscar and won other awards. Her recent work includes Mississippi Masala (1991), The Perez Family (1995), Kama Sutra (1997), Monsoon Wedding (2001), and Vanity Fair (2004). She directed the film of Jhumpa Lahiri's novel The Namesake (2006).