Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta says she felt like being a part of the Indian film fraternity after receiving the award for the brightest Indian director abroad at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Yorkshire.
"This was my first award from home, the first bona fide Indian award. And I'm very happy. Sure beats burning my effigies," Mehta told IANS while referring to the way she was hounded out of Varanasi while shooting Water.
Mehta said her IIFA win made her lose her discomfort about Bollywood.
"I felt a part of the fraternity. I felt like an Indian director. And the theme at IIFA, including the carpet, was green to celebrate the environment. And since green is the theme for my new film Luna, I was thrilled to bits."
"My dear friend Shabana Azmi, who was supposed to be in Water but couldn't due to fundamentalist opposition, gave me the award," she told IANS on phone.
IIFA provided an opportunity to Karan Johar to clear misconceptions about him and Mehta.
The introduction to Mehta's award was read out by Karan, thereby putting an end to the speculation about the young director blatantly favouring Mira Nair over Mehta by promoting The Namesake.
"Karan and I have absolutely no problems. In fact, he very endearingly told me at Yorkshire not to believe all the bitchy talk. Frankly, this was the first occasion I felt I belonged to Bollywood. I had never met most of the stars.
"I got to meet such lovely people like Preity Zinta and Dino Morea. Bipasha, of course, I know through John. I really like that girl," said Mehta.