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Sooni Taraporevala was born and raised in Bombay, India. After studying at Queen Mary School, she received a scholarship to Harvard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Film and Photography. She earned a Masters of Arts from New York University in Film Theory and Criticism, and returned to India to work as a freelance still photographer.Her photographs have been exhibited in India, the United States, France, and Britain.

In 1986 she wrote her first screenplay, Salaam Bombay!, for director/producer Mira Nair. The film was nominated for an Oscar, won more than twenty-five awards worldwide, and earned Taraporevala the Lillian Gish Award from Women in Film. Her second screenplay, Mississippi Masala, also for Mira Nair,was made into a movie starring Denzel Washington and won the Osella award for Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival. Her other production credits include the film Such a Long Journey, based on the novel by

Rohinton Mistry and directed by Sturla Gunnarson, which earned Taraporevala a Genie nomination from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television; My Own Country, based on the book by Abraham Verghese and directed by Mira Nair for Showtime television; and the film Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar directed by Dr Jabbar Patel for the Government of India and the National Film Development Corporation of India.

She lives in Bombay with her husband Dr Firdaus Bativala, and their two children, Jahan and Iyanah.

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