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Writer-in-Residence Shyam Selvadurai in conversation with filmmaker Deepa Mehta at York U event

Writer-in-Residence Shyam Selvadurai in conversation with filmmaker Deepa Mehta at York U event

Home » Category Listing » Writer-in-Residence Shyam Selvadurai in conversation with filmmaker Deepa Mehta at York U event

Writer-in-Residence Shyam Selvadurai in conversation with filmmaker Deepa Mehta at York U event

The two prominent South Asian Canadian arts personalities will share the stage to discuss Mehta’s latest documentary film that follows a transwoman’s dual life in India

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2023 – York University’s Writer-in-Residence program presents this year’s final event, I Am Sirat + a Conversation with Deepa Mehta and Shyam Selvadurai, at the Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre, starting with a reception at 6:30pm, Thursday, Dec. 7.

Open to the public, the event will include the screening of Mehta’s acclaimed I Am Sirat – a documentary that follows Sirat Taneja, a transwoman in India as she navigates living a dual life. A Q&A session will follow the screening. 

Sri Lankan born Canadian writer Shyam Selvadurai gazing away
Writer Shyam Selvadurai

This year’s writer-in-resident, Sri Lankan-born Canadian author Selvadurai and Indo-Canadian filmmaker are expected to offer an interesting discussion about the documentary film that made headlines in Canada with screening at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. The documentary was also well-received at other festivals around the world.

In 2020, Mehta collaborated with Selvadurai, adapting his best-selling book Funny Boy into a feature film. The duo won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta smiling at the camera
Filmmaker Deepa Mehta

Oscar-nominated Mehta, who holds an honorary degree from York University is widely recognized for her daring films that push industry and cultural boundaries. She has directed and produced several television series, critically acclaimed documentaries and feature films like her celebrated Elements trilogy: Fire, Earth, and Water 2005. In 2012, she received Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

Selvadurai is the author of Funny BoyCinnamon GardensSwimming in the Monsoon Sea and The Hungry Ghosts. His work has won the WH Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Lambda Literary Award and the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award and has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. He is also the editor of Story-Wallah: A Celebration of South Asian Fiction and a comprehensive anthology of Sri Lankan literature called Many Roads Through Paradise.

The Writer-in-Residence program is run annually by the Department of English in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies to supplement existing creative writing courses by providing students with access to a professional writer for feedback and support. Additionally, the program engages the broader community through public-facing events including readings, workshops and classroom visits.


York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future.

Media Contact:
Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 647-463-4354,