SATYA BHABHA, "Saleem Sinai"
- The hero of our movie.

British-born Satya Bhabha trained in Theatre Studies at Yale University, and after graduating with the top prize for Excellence in the Arts, pursued a career on stage in New York and London. He arrived in Hollywood in the 2010 cult hit Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, playing Pilgrim's first nemesis "Matthew Patel". Satya's next movie was Fair Game, co-starring Sean Penn, and he has worked in major US TV series, notably The Good Wife.

Satya comes from a truly international milieu. He was born in London, England, and grew up mainly in America. His Indian father is a Harvard professor; as is his mother, who grew up in Italy and coincidentally was born in Bombay. Satya has a background full of many cultures, very similar to his on-screen character "Saleem Sinai". Satya also has a family connection to Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children. His relative, Cyruz Guzder, is a real life character in the novel ("Cyrus the Great"). So, as it turns out, Satya's family ties to Midnight's Children began long before the movie and long before his deft, emotionally honest performance as "Saleem".

For Satya being cast as the main character in Midnight's Children was thrilling…and surprising. Even after many talks with Deepa, Satya was unaware that he had the role, until he went to a public screening of Heaven on Earth in New York. After the screening Deepa announced that the actor who was to star in Midnight's Children was in the theatre. A stunned Satya said, "I gracefully tried to hide under my seat during that magical moment".

Before the film's workshops and rehearsals began Satya moved into his ancestral home with his Bombay grandmother and immersed himself deep inside the great city for months, soaking up everything, so that he could become "Saleem, a boy of Bombay"

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SHABANA AZMI, "Naseem"
- Saleem's grandmother and Dr. Aadam Aziz's wife.

Shabana Azmi is an esteemed Indian film and theatre actor, public figure, and social activist. Born to renowned leftist Urdu poet, Kaifi Azmi, and famous stage actress, Shaukat Kaifi, Shabana is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, where she was awarded the Gold Medal for the Best Acting Student.

She made her debut in Shyam Benegal's Ankur in 1974 and came to be recognized as the face of "parallel cinema" in India; simultaneously she also earned commercial success in mainstream cinema. She has acted in more than 140 Indian films and several international films. Satyajit Ray has called Shabana "The finest dramatic actress in the country." She has won the National Award for Best Actress five times, with an unprecedented hat trick of three in a row.

In Deepa Mehta's 1996 Fire Shabana played a lonely woman in love with her sister-in-law. The role brought Shabana increased international recognition and a Best Actress Award at the Chicago Film Festival. Other international awards include prizes at Taormina for Patang, Phnom Penh for Libaas, and a Toronto Reel World Festival award for Morning Raga. She has had many retrospectives of her films; the most prestigious being at The New York Film Festival.

Shabana is also a very respected social activist and works for the rights of women, particularly girl children, for housing rights for slum dwellers, and is a vocal upholder of India's secular liberal values. She has received many honours celebrating her activism including the Gandhi International Peace Prize, the Martin Luther King Rosa Parks and Chavez Award, the International Human Rights Award (France), and the Davos World Economic Forum Crystal Award.

Shabana was nominated to the Upper House of the Parliament of India by the President of India and is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan (India's third highest civilian honour). She is presently working on Broken Images, Tumhari Amrita and Kaifi Aur Main in India.

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SEEMA BISWAS, "Mary Pereira"
- Saleem's nanny, and a nurse at the maternity hospital.

Seema Biswas is one of India's most respected actors and a personal favourite of Deepa's. From Bollywood hits to internationally award-winning performances Seema has created a rich body of work. She is the radiant "Shakuntula" at the heart of Water, and the star of Shekhar Kapur's Bandit Queen. Both of these movies were international successes. She is a graduate of the National School of Drama and is also a celebrated theatre actor, who tours with her own one-woman show, which she recently performed in Deepa's living room, extemporaneously. As well as acting in mainstream Bollywood movies, she has appeared in Malayalam, Marathi, and Tamil films, refusing to be typecast and keen to act in films made in languages outside of the Hindi industry.

In a deft comic performance, Seema plays the lead in Cooking with Stella, directed by Dilip Mehta. Other films include Khomoshi, Company, Hazar Saurasi Ki Maa, Samar, Ek Haseena Thi, Vivah, Shantam, City of Gold, Kal Ka Admi, The Sky is the Limit, Red Alert: The War Within, Yeh Mera India. In 2012 Seema garnered rave reviews, starring in an innovative first film from Indian-American director Prashant Bhargava, The Kite (Patang).

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RAHUL BOSE, "General Zulfikar"
- Saleem's uncle, Emerald's husband.

One of India's most respected actors, Rahul Bose's roles in, English, August, Split Wide Open (Best Actor – Singapore Film Festival), Mr and Mrs Iyer, Before the Rains, Kaalpurus' (National Award for Best Film, 2007), The Japanese Wife and I Am prompted Time magazine to dub him "the superstar of Indian art house cinema", and Maxim (Italy) to call him, "the Sean Penn of Oriental cinema". In recognition of his international appeal there have been two retrospectives held of his work: in Geneva in 2004, and at the Masala! Mehndi! Masti! Festival in Toronto in 2007. And in an unprecedented honour, five of his films were featured at the River to River Festival in Florence in 2010.

In 2001, Rahul wrote and directed his first feature film Everybody Says I'm Fine!, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie was a runner up for the John Schlesinger Award for Best Debut Feature Film, at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and won the Gold Award at Worldfest in Houston. Rahul's next directorial venture, shooting this fall, will be an English language film based on Mohsin Hamid's highly acclaimed first novel Moth Smoke.

He is one of India's best-known celebrity social activists, and his non-profit organization, The Foundation does seminal work in the areas of education and child sexual abuse. Rahul is also a Global Ambassador for Oxfam, and was named India's Youth Icon – Social Justice and Welfare in 2010. But for Rahul perhaps his proudest achievement is being a member of the Indian rugby team from 1998-2008, playing 17 internationals for the country against countries like Kazakhstan, Thailand, China and Japan.

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SAMRAT CHAKRABARTI, "Wee Willie Winkie"
- A street singer

Samrat Chakrabarti is a UK-born actor, from an Indian family, who now lives and works in America. He was the lead in Joseph Matthew's film Bombay Summer, which screened in 2009 at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, when Deepa was on the jury. That was when Deepa first met with Samrat and told him that, no matter what, she wanted him to be a part of Midnight's Children.

In Midnight's Children, Samrat's character "Willie" is a beggar and street entertainer, who sings and plays the accordion. In real life Samrat is a talented musician but only knows the piano, so he took hundreds of accordion lessons and learned the folk songs by heart. By the time he performs in the movie it is all second nature.

Samrat starred in Soham Mehta's Fatakra, which won a student Oscar in 2011. He was the lead in Claire McCarthy's The Waiting City (2009), nominated for eight categories at the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, including Best Picture. Samrat will be seen in legendary filmmaker Kamal Hasaan's upcoming film Vishwaroopam (2012), and has appeared in several American television series including NBC's 30 Rock, F/X's Damages, and HBO's In Treatment.

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SARITA CHOUDHURY, "The Prime Minister"

Sarita Choudhury is not on screen for very long in Midnight's Children, but the character she plays is pivotal. It was important to have a resourceful actor, with considerable acting weight, to take on the difficult role of "The Prime Minister". Sarita filled all the requirements – gracefully and convincingly. Sarita was born in the UK and, much of her career has been in Europe and North America, rarely appearing in Indian or Bollywood cinema. The movie that first brought her international attention is Mississippi Masala, where she plays Denzel Washington's love interest and she has recently appeared in Sona Jain's For Real and M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water.

Sarita's most well-known theatre performance, which garnered raves, was as Frida Kahlo in The Rise of Dorothy Hale. Other film credits include Spike Lee's She Hate Me and Rhythm of the Saints, Lee Davis' 3 A.M., Mira Nair's Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love, Fisher Stevens' Still A Kiss, David Atwood's Wild West, Lisa Cholodenko's High Art, Bille August's The House of the Spirits, Sidney Lumet's Gloria, and Griffin Dunne's The Accidental Husband. She has had recurring roles in the TV series Homicide, Kings, Deadline, and 100 Center Street, and is currently playing Mandy Patinkin's wife "Mira" on Showtime's Homeland.

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CHARLES DANCE, "William Methwold"
- The owner of Buckingham Villa.

The British actor Charles Dance plays William Methwold in the movie Midnight's Children. Methwold is a relict and leftover of the Raj, reluctant to give up a teaspoon of British control, and Charles plays him with lethal emotional precision.

In a long career Charles Dance has amassed an impressive body of work in theatre, film and television. He has played title roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Henry V and Coriolanus and done major work in London's commercial theatres. He was nominated for a Best Actor BAFTA for the acclaimed TV series The Jewel in the Crown, and won the London Critics' Circle Award for Best Actor for Shadowlands. His performance in Bleak House received an international Emmy nomination and won The Press Guild Award for Best Actor.

In a very different realm he is starring as "Tywin Lannister" in the HBO phenomenon Game of Thrones. Some of Charles' major films include: Plenty, White Mischief, Good Morning Babylon, The Golden Child, Alien 3, Last Action Hero, Hilary and Jackie, Michael Collins, Gosford Park, The Shooter, and Kabloonak for which he received the Best Actor award at the Paris Film Festival. He just completed The Awakening, the fourth film in the Underworld franchise.

His debut as a film director and writer is Ladies in Lavender, starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Coincidently Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen, who are the UK co producers on Midnight's Children, produced this film.

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SHAHANA GOSWAMI, "Mumtaz/Amina"
- Saleem and Jamila's mother.

Shahana Goswami was a top athlete in school and practiced classical dance for ten years before she moved to Mumbai and began to act in Bollywood movies. One of her first films was Naseeruddin Shah's directorial debut Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota. Her role as the memorable "Debbie" in Abhishek Kapoor's 2008 hit film Rock On!! secured her a prominent spot on the Bollywood map. She won many awards for this performance; the most prestigious of which is the Filmfare Best Actress (Critics) Award, which no actor in a supporting role had won before. Since then she has appeared in numerous Bollywood films. Shahana also starred in Nandita Das's directorial debut Firaq, winning several awards for her performance as "Muneera". She will also be seen this year in Rinpoche Khyentse Norbu's third film Vara (The Blessing), playing the lead role of "Lila" in a coming of age story about a youthful, childlike, village tomboy.

Her pivotal role as Saleem's mother in Midnight's Children is the heart of the story; her character's story covers many years and experiences great joy and much heartache. This will definitely be her breakout international movie, as she goes effortlessly from playing an innocent 18 year old to a remarkable woman in her mid 40s.

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RAJAT KAPOOR, "Aadam Aziz"
- Saleem's grandfather, and Mumtaz, Emerald and Alia's father.

Rajat Kapoor is primarily a filmmaker and theatre director and, as he says, "an actor by accident". He knew by the age of 15 that he wanted to make films and he studied directing at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. The first feature film that he directed was Private Detective: Two Plus Two Plus One (1997). In 2003, Rajat wrote and directed the independent film Raghu Romeo, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. Next he directed and starred in Mixed Doubles, a daring film about a promiscuous lifestyle ("swinging") in contemporary Mumbai. His other movies, as a director are: Mithya and Fatso.

He was nominated for Best Actor at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards for Siddharth: The Prisoner, and he received international attention for his role as the uncle in Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding. He has also acted in Dil Chahta Hai, Bheja Fry, Corporate, I am 24, Phans Gaye re Obama, and Raat Gayi Baat Gayi. Rajat is a three-time National Award winner for his work as director, and he also hosts the influential tri-weekly Indian talk show Lounge. The next film he is directing is Ankhon Dekhi.

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SOHA ALI KHAN, "Jamila"
- Saleem's sister.

After getting degrees from Oxford (Honour BA, History) and the London School of Economics (International Relations), Soha Ali Khan worked with the Ford Foundation and Citibank. She comes from one of India's most illustrious families and found that following her mother's (actress Sharmila Tagore) and her brother's (superstar Saif Ali Kahn) footsteps into the film world was quite a leap from her life as an investment banker in London.

Soha's earliest days in filmmaking were hard work in small roles, and then she became the nation's sweetheart for her convincingly anguished performance in 2006's landmark Rang De Basanti (Paint It Yellow) for which she won the IIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress. Soha was soon being cast by some of India's best directors, and appeared in The Interior, The Lost Moon, Mumbai My Life, 99, and Tum Mile – a huge hit.

In 2011 she worked for the first time with her mother, the legendary Bollywood star Sharmila Tagore, in the film Life Goes On. This was just before joining the ensemble cast of Midnight's Children, which is a very different kind of production, and Soha excels elegantly at both. With unusual choices and a vivid on screen intelligence and appeal, Soha continues to carve out a distinctive niche for herself in the Indian film industry. Her next role is as Irrfan's Khan's tormented wife in the highly anticipated sequel to Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster.

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KULBUSHAN KHARBANDA, "Picture Singh"
- A snake charmer, and Parvati's protector.

Kulbushan has a versatile, distinguished career in Indian cinema - in both Bollywood and art house movies. His early work was in the theatre in New Delhi; he was a founder of two theatre troupes with fellow actors and directors.

Kulbushan has appeared in some of the biggest Bollywood films of the past years including Nishaant, Junoon, and Lagaan (which was also an enormous critical success), and he was in Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding. Kulbhushan is famous in India for playing the bald-headed villain "Shakaal" in Shaan; this character was inspired by "Blofeld" from the James Bond movies.

Kulbushan has been in more of Deepa's films than any other actor; Midnight's Children is his sixth film with her. He is the only actor to appear in all of the movies in her Elemental Trilogy: Fire, Earth, Water, and is also in Sam and Me. He gives a finely tuned, comic performance in Bollywood/ Hollywood – Deepa's 2002 comedy box office hit.

For his extremely convincing performance in Midnight's Children as a snake charmer, Kulbushan had to learn a new skill: acting with cobras…many skittish, unpredictable cobras, who jump at the camera and are terrifying when they hiss, especially to someone as deeply afraid of snakes as Kulbushan. And yet his acting, particularly in the scene surrounded by upright, weaving cobras, appears fully at ease. His magnificent performance as Parvati's defender and the person who brings Saleem back to life, fills out the ending of Midnight's Children with a lovely resonance and humanity.

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ANUPAM KHER, "Ghani"
- Naseem's father.

Anupam Kher is an actor who, in our times, has played some of the most memorable roles in Indian cinema. His acting work has been honoured with one of the highest civilian awards from the Indian Government, the Padma Shri.

Born in Shimla, a hill station at the foothills of the Himalayas, Anupam studied theatre at the National School of Drama in Delhi; he later became the School's chairman. After a stint as an acting teacher in Lucknow, Kher moved to Mumbai in 1981 and debuted in Saaransh, a film where the 27 year-old actor was playing a 65 year-old man. It was this performance that won him critical acclaim and a national award.

As well as being known for his work with the best Indian directors in over 450 movies, Anupam is also recognized for his work in films helmed by international filmmakers like Ang Lee, David O. Russell, Gurinder Chadda, and Woody Allen.

Recently, he has become an increasingly sought-after life coach and motivational speaker, an interest, which grew from the success of his widely acclaimed and long-running autobiographical one-man play Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai, which has been staged across five continents. The kernel of his life philosophy (also a part of his stageplay) is about never fearing failure, and has been described in his book The Best Thing About You Is YOU - a bestseller that went into its 8th edition within six months of publication.

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ANITA MAJUMDAR, "Emerald"
- Mumtaz/Amina's sister and Saleem's aunt.

Majumdar is an acclaimed young actor who won the Best Actress award at the Festival of First Films (Singapore) for her debut film performance in Murder Unveiled. She has since performed in leading roles at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and other reputable theatres across the country. An acting graduate of the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada and a classically trained Indian dancer/choreographer, she is also Playwright-in-Residence at Nightswimming and has penned the popular one-woman show, Fish Eyes which continues to tour nationally.

In Midnights Children, her performance as the self-centred and ambitious Emerald is a skillfully controlled balance of wit, high spirits, and pure indulgence.

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RONIT ROY, "Ahmed Sinai"
- Saleem's father, and Mumtaz/Amina's second husband.

Ronit Roy is a huge TV star in India, and he makes a triumphant, beautifully nuanced return to the big screen in Midnight's Children. He is famous all over the subcontinent for television performances such as Rishabh Bajaj in Kasautii Zindagii Kay (Test of Life), Mihir Virani in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (the longest running serial on Indian television with 1830 episodes!) and Aparajit Deb in Kasamh Se. Ronit is also an entrepreneur in the film industry; he owns a security business for Bollywood stars and production houses.

In 2010 Ronit's breakthrough film role was in Udaan (Flight), which had its world premiere as an Official Selection at Cannes. This movie was exceptionally well reviewed and is regarded as a cult classic in Indian cinema. Ronit received the Screen Award for Best Villain, and a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his outstanding work in Udaan. Currently Ronit stars in the popular television series Adaalat as K.D. Pathak, a defense lawyer.

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SHRIYA SARAN, "Parvati"
- Parvati-the-Witch, a Midnight's Child, born 7 seconds after midnight.

A major star in South Indian film with a huge fan base, Shriya began her career in music videos, and as a dancer and model. Her first movie hit was Ishtam (2001), and she then starred in Sivaji: The Boss, her most famous film, which was the most expensive Indian film of its time. She also starred in The Other End Of the Line (2008), directed by David Dawson, which was a co production with MGM. She won the 2011 ITFA (International Tamil Film Award) for Best Actress in the box office hit Fury (Rowthiram).

Shriya's first role with Hamilton Mehta Productions was as "Tannu", the scheming nanny in Dilip Mehta's Cooking With Stella. To prepare for her complex, demanding role as Parvati-the-Witch in Midnight's Children Shriya learned many magician's secrets, stories, and "tricks".

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DARSHEEL SAFARY, 10-year-old-Saleem
Darsheel Safary gives a touching, human performance as the younger Saleem. His performance anchors the middle section of the film and he has some very demanding acting moments - all of which he accomplishes beautifully. He was a great favourite on set and was always a champion professional. Deepa has worked with many child actors in her films. In her view, Darsheel is one of the very best.

Darsheel made his acting debut in the 2007 film Taare Zameen Par. His heart wrenching performance as a dyslexic child in that film was unanimously praised, and he won many awards, among them: the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor; Filmfare Best Actor Award; The Star Screen Award for Best Child Artist and Special Jury Award; and Zee Cine Awards for Critics' Choice Best Actor and Most Promising Debut (Child Artist). He has also appeared in Zokkomon and Bumm Bumm Bole.

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ZAIB SHAIKH, "Nadir Khan"
- Mumtaz/Amina's first husband.

The multi talented Zaib Shaikh is a producer, writer, director, radio host, and actor, who also travels around the world (most recently to Harvard's 375th Anniversary) speaking about how the arts build bridges between Eastern and Western cultures. He is well known to Canadian audiences for his starring role in the CBC's hit comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie, which he also helped direct and produce, and he won a Leo award for his sympathetic performance as the small town imam in that groundbreaking, internationally successful TV series.

Zaib directed and co produced a 2010 Gemini winning television adaptation of Othello. He has guest starred in numerous TV shows, and appeared at major Canadian theatres, including: Stratford, The National Arts Centre, and Canadian Stage. Zaib's extremely sympathetic and ingenious portrayal of "Nadir", his complex character in Midnight's Children, shows great humour – and humanity.

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SIDDHARTH, "Shiva"
- Saleem's nemesis, a Midnight's Child, born right at midnight.

Known simply by his first name, Siddharth is an industry all on his own. He is an actor, singer, producer, and with success in both the South Indian and Hindi film industries, is a bona fide pan Indian artiste. After getting his MBA, Siddharth, who has worked as an assistant director, went on to star in many landmark films such Rang de Basanti (Hindi, 2006), Kaadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi (Tamil, 2012), Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (Teluga, 2005), Striker (Hindi, 2010), and Bommarillu (Teluga, 2006).

For Siddharth, playing Saleem's nemesis "Shiva" (named after the Hindu God of Destruction), as a member of an ensemble cast, has been a new experience. He had never played a non-leading role in a film before. Siddharth says that in all his other movies, "he always gets the girl". He is terrifyingly good and just plain terrifying in Midnight's Children as the evil "twin" of our hero Saleem.

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SHIKHA TALSANIA, "Alia"
- Mumtaz/Amina's sister.

Shikha Talsania is a multi-faceted actor with a range of interests and projects, and is the daughter of well-known film and theatre personalities Tiku and Dipti Talsania. Shikha made her big-screen debut with a key role in Wake Up Sid (2009), and as a newcomer won much critical acclaim for that performance. She has also played supporting roles in the recent movies Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji and My Friend Pinto.

Shikha has been a key part of several short film projects (Project 11, Between Friends), and also works in the theatre, most recently in the stageplay Four Square. She always takes on a challenging range of dramatic roles and is known for her wonderfully sharp-witted comedy. This range has brought her attention from reviewers and her industry peers, and made her an actor to watch out for in coming years.

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DEEPA MEHTA, Director

Deepa Mehta is a filmmaker who has been described as a "transnational artist". Her movies are known for telling universally meaningful stories and have played at every major film festival; receiving awards and recognition, and have been distributed around the world. Deepa was born in India and received a degree in philosophy from the University of New Delhi. Before immigrating to Canada, she began her career making documentaries in India.

In 1991, Deepa's first feature film Sam & Me, won an Honourable Mention in the Camera D'Or section of the Cannes Film Festival. In 1992, she directed two episodes of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, produced by George Lucas for ABC, followed by her second feature, Camilla, a Canada-UK co-production starring Jessica Tandy and Bridget Fonda.

Fire is the first film in her Elemental Trilogy; it opened Perspective Canada at the 1996 Toronto International Film Festival; played at the New York Film Festival and won awards at other international festivals. Fire is a love story between two women; its subject matter made its release in India highly controversial, causing theatre closings, censorship problems and outrage from Hindu fundamentalists. In 1998 Deepa directed and wrote Earth, an adaptation of Cracking India, Bapsi Sidhwa's acclaimed novel about Partition. Earth is the second film in the Elemental Trilogy: Fire, Earth, Water.

Her 2002 movie Bollywood/ Hollywood a subversive comedy about two mis-matched lovers, was a box office hit and remains one of the top 10 grossing English Canadian movies.

Water is a hauntingly tragic story about an eight-year-old child widow who is forced to enter a house of widows – for the rest of her life. This film was to shoot in India, but Hindu fundamentalists incited riots, burnt sets and issued death threats against the director and actors, forcing the film to stop production. Four years later the movie was successfully remounted and shot in Sri Lanka. Water is an audience favourite and it was the Opening Night film at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival. In 2006 Water received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Foreign Film category.

In 2007 Deepa made a documentary about domestic violence in immigrant families called Let's Talk About It. She followed the documentary with a feature film, Heaven On Earth that explores isolation, arranged marriages, and the power of imagination.

Deepa is the recent recipient of the 2012 Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Film. She has received numerous honorary degrees and many awards and honours, among them: The Life of Distinction Award from the Canadian Centre of Diversity, The Excellence in the Arts Award from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and the Woman of Distinction, President's Award from the YMCA.

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SALMAN RUSHDIE, Author, Film Screenwriter, Executive Producer

Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay, and is from a family background similar to “Saleem Sinai” - his lead character in Midnight’s Children. Salman was educated in England and lived for many years in London; he now lives in New York. He is a critically acclaimed, enormously popular author, a famously generous mentor and teacher, and an energetic, fearless advocate for civil liberties and free speech.

His eleven novels: Grimus, Midnight’s Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Fury, Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florence, and Luka and the Fire of Life have reinvented and rejuvenated fiction writing worldwide.

Salman’s avidly anticipated memoir Joseph Anton is being published on September 18, 2012. “Joseph Anton” is the alias he used when living in hiding (1989-98) during the Iranian backed fatwa that sentenced him to death. This alias comes from the names of two of his favourite writers: Anton Chekhov and Joseph Conrad.

He is a former president of American PEN and continues to work as chairman of the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival, and is a Fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature. In 2007 he received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In 2008 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Salman has received, among many honours, the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel (twice), the Writers Guild Award, the James Tait Black Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature, Author of the Year Prizes in both Britain and Germany, the Crossword Book Award in India, and the London International Writers’ Award. He is an Honorary Professor in the Humanities at M.I.T., and Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University.

Midnight’s Children is an international best seller, with a remarkable history, especially its three Bookers. It won the (regular, annual) Booker Prize in 1981. It went on to win the “Booker of Booker” prize in 1993 – in celebration of the Booker’s 25th Anniversary, and then in 2008 as part of the Booker’s 40th anniversary Midnight’s Children won, in a public poll, the “Best of the Bookers”. Midnight’s Children is also on Time magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels of the past century.

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DAVID HAMILTON, Producer

Before embarking on the grand adventure of filmmaking, David Hamilton received his Masters at Harvard and wrote a book about “Decision Theory” that was published by MIT Press. He traveled extensively in India, Iran and the Middle East on a Harvard Sheldon Traveling Fellowship. David’s entrepreneurial ventures span film and concert production, mergers and acquisitions, and international trade.

For the past 16 years, his company Hamilton Mehta Productions has produced Deepa Mehta’s very successful films: the Elemental Trilogy, Fire, Earth, Water (this includes the four years spent putting Water back together after it was shut down), Bollywood/Hollywood and Heaven on Earth. He was the executive producer on the first ever Hong Kong – Canada co production Lunch With Charles, directed by Michael Parker.

David was the producer of Dilip Mehta’s internationally acclaimed documentary The Forgotten Woman, about widows in contemporary India; he also produced a comedy about intrigue at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi Cooking with Stella, directed by Dilip Mehta. David was once a tightrope performer in a children’s circus (an activity remarkably akin to feature film production).

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COLIN MONIE, Editor

Colin Monie was the editor on Deepa’s last two films Water and Heaven on Earth. He has also cut three films Asylum, Hallam Foe, Young Adam, which were shot by his DOP friend Giles Nuttgens. Colin has often worked with award winning UK director Peter Mullan, and has cut his films: The Magdalene Sisters, Orphans, and Neds. He has edited BAFTA winning short films, numerous British television series and movies; other feature film credits include The Unloved, Vinyan, Wild Country, and Afterlife.

The work on Midnight’s Children was immensely challenging and was the longest time Colin has spent on a single film. He was with the production all through the Sri Lankan shoot. The footage was shipped every two days from Sri Lanka to the lab in the UK, processed, and then returned on a hard drive to Colin’s hotel cutting room where he downloaded the movie onto his editing system. The now-empty hard drives were then sent back to the UK with another film shipment. There were three hard drives in constant rotation around the world. Astonishingly and luckily nothing was ever lost.

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DILIP MEHTA, Creative Producer, Production Designer

Dilip Mehta divides his life between India and Canada; living and working in both New Delhi and Toronto. He is a filmmaker with a long and distinguished career as a photojournalist. His provocative five-year photographic coverage of the Bhopal tragedy won him numerous prizes including the World Press and Overseas Press Awards. His photographs have been published in The New York Times, Le Figaro, Newsweek, National Geographic, Geo, Stern, and The London Sunday Times. His photographic portraits of Indian prime ministers (including Indira Gandhi) have been covers of Time and Newsweek.

Dilip’s first feature film, Cooking With Stella, a cross-cultural comedy, premiered as a Gala at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009. Cooking With Stella has had many festival successes and won the 2009 Film Circuit’s Most Popular Film Award—the Canadian audience prize. Dilip’s eloquent 2008 feature documentary about widows in contemporary India The Forgotten Woman has played at numerous festivals and won accolades around the world. He was a creative producer on Earth, an associate producer and production designer on Water, and the production designer on Heaven on Earth.

Dilip and Deepa have a long, fruitful history of working together and his contributions to her films (and vice versa) cannot be underestimated. His work on Midnight’s Children is perhaps their deepest and most intricate collaboration to date. The visual splendours and the detailed period landscape of Midnight’s Children, covering 60 years, are very much his creations. Dilip’s rigorous, impassioned oversight of “the look” and of the vitally important authenticity, and so much more, of this film is a splendid achievement.

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DOLLY AHLUWALIA, Costume designer

Dolly Ahluwalia is a renowned Indian costume designer, actor, and teacher. She is also a longtime friend of Deepa’s. They worked together on Earth and Water, both of which were demanding historical shoots, but nowhere near as difficult as Midnight’s Children with its 80+ speaking parts, hundreds of extras, five distinct time periods, and culturally/historically extremely specific backgrounds – the details of which are all vital to the storytelling. Dolly began her work on the film well over a year before shooting began and worked with an ever expanding team of dressers, buyers, seamstresses and wardrobe assistants, as they amassed thousands of costumes.

Dolly has won the most prestigious national awards in India and is considered the country’s preeminent wardrobe designer. In addition to her work with Deepa, Dolly has another link to Canadian movies. She did wardrobe for Vic Sarin’s Partition and Harvey Crossland’s The Burning Season; two highly respected Canadian films that are set in India.

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STEPHEN WOOLLEY AND ELIZABETH KARLSEN, Co-Producers

Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen, partners in work and in life, have run Number 9 Films, a major UK production company, for the past 10 years. Their shared producing track record goes far back into UK filmmaking, well before setting up this company, and includes many of the most highly respected and commercially successful movies made in England.

They have been skilful and supportive producers on Midnight’s Children. They became producing partners essentially on a handshake deal with David Hamilton (plus some champagne) at Cannes in May of 2010. Elizabeth and Stephen have been involved in the production ever since; it has been an ideal partnership and a flourishing friendship.

Elizabeth and Stephen’s producing credits make for a long and impressive list. Some highlights are: Absolute Beginners, Shag, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Scandal, Made in Dagenham. Stephen has a long, close working relationship with Neil Jordan, producing his films - The Company of Wolves, The End of the Affair, Michael Collins, Mona Lisa and co producing, with Elizabeth, the Oscar winning The Crying Game. Stephen has also directed a feature film Stoned. Other titles, produced by Elizabeth, include Ladies in Lavender and Mrs. Harris. Their films have been nominated for, and (often) won, every possible UK and international film and TV award: Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTAs , Oscars, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and many film festival prizes.

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GILES NUTTGENS, Director Of Photography

British-born Giles Nuttgens has a long professional history with filmmaking in India. He met Deepa in Benares 20 years ago when they made The Young Indiana Jones for Lucasfilm. Giles shot all of the Elemental Trilogy with Deepa. He won the Cinematographer Award at Sundance in 2001 for The Deep End, and he has closely collaborated with director David Mackenzie, shooting Young Adam, Asylum, Hallam Foe and Perfect Sense with him. Other credits include: Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, The Goodnight, St. John of Las Vegas, and most recently What Maisie Knew (2012).

The cinematography in Midnight’s Children adds storytelling intensity and a richness and elegant depth to every scene… which is extraordinary since Giles shot most of the film handheld, using an Arricam LT camera with Master Prime lenses. Giles is a keen proponent of shooting on film and says, “There was not one problem during the 300,000 feet of film shot, and it would have been hell shooting on a digital camera. Film cameras are so comfortable to use handheld because they are correctly balanced.” and he went straight on to another handheld film using exactly the same equipment. The up-close, elegant precision and energy of his work in Midnight’s Children is a vital element in this very visual epic film.

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NITIN SAWHNEY, Composer

British Indian Nitin Sawhney is considered one of the most distinctive and versatile musical voices – in the world. He is a phenomenon and an industry of his own making: an internationally known (and breathlessly busy) producer, songwriter, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, orchestral composer, and actor. He has scored TV series in the UK, and many films, including Mira Nair’s The Namesake, and he has also acted in television dramas. He has scored and performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras. The list of his collaborators includes A.R. Rahman, Brian Eno, Sinead O’Connor, Anoushka Shankar, Jeff Beck, Paul McCartney, Cirque de Soleil. Nitin has released nine studio albums, which have received 17 major UK awards; his 2011 album Last Days of Meaning was staged at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2011, with John Hurt starring. Nitin composes for cutting edge videogames and has DJ’d around the world. And, as well…. is an acclaimed flamenco guitarist and classical/jazz pianist.

For Midnight’s Children, Deepa and Nitin did the main orchestral work in London – creating an intricate and full score that evocatively underlines the core moments in the film, but is restrained and sparing in its emotion, meticulous in its execution and in its re- creation of different time periods. It is a glorious score - full of sadness and joy and life.

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STEPHEN WOOLLEY AND ELIZABETH KARLSEN, Co-Producers

Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen, partners in work and in life, have run Number 9 Films, a major UK production company, for the past 10 years. Their shared producing track record goes far back into UK filmmaking, well before setting up this company, and includes many of the most highly respected and commercially successful movies made in England.

They have been skilful and supportive producers on Midnight’s Children. They became producing partners essentially on a handshake deal with David Hamilton (plus some champagne) at Cannes in May of 2010. Elizabeth and Stephen have been involved in the production ever since; it has been an ideal partnership and a flourishing friendship.

Elizabeth and Stephen’s producing credits make for a long and impressive list. Some highlights are: Absolute Beginners, Shag, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Scandal, Made in Dagenham. Stephen has a long, close working relationship with Neil Jordan, producing his films - The Company of Wolves, The End of the Affair, Michael Collins, Mona Lisa and co producing, with Elizabeth, the Oscar winning The Crying Game. Stephen has also directed a feature film Stoned. Other titles, produced by Elizabeth, include Ladies in Lavender and Mrs. Harris. Their films have been nominated for, and (often) won, every possible UK and international film and TV award: Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTAs , Oscars, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and many film festival prizes.

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Midnight's Children

New US opening dates!
Check below to find out where you can see Midnight's Children!

August 9

Cleveland, OHCleveland Cinematheque ▸

August 18

Beaufort, SCCenter for the Arts ▸

September 13

Wilmington, DETheater N ▸
Synopsis
Poster

"Born in the hour of India's freedom. Handcuffed to history."
Midnight's Children is an epic film from Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta, based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie. At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India's whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters.

From the unlikely romance of Saleem's grandparents to the birth of his own son, Midnight's Children is a journey at once sweeping in scope and yet intimate in tone. Hopeful, comic and magical – the film conjures images and characters as rich and unforgettable as India herself.

Cast
  • Saleem Sinai

    Saleem Sinai
    The hero of our movie.

    SATYA BHABHA

    Bio
  • Naseem

    Naseem
    Saleem's grandmother and Dr. Aadam Aziz's wife.

    SHABANA AZMI

    Bio
  • Mary Pereira

    Mary Pereira
    Saleem's nanny, and a nurse at the maternity hospital.

    SEEMA BISWAS

    Bio
  • General Zulfikar

    General Zulfikar
    Saleem's uncle, Emerald's husband.

    RAHUL BOSE

    Bio
  • Wee Willie Winkie

    Wee Willie Winkie
    A street singer.

    SAMRAT CHAKRABARTI

    Bio
  • The Prime Minister

    The Prime Minister

    SARITA CHOUDHURY

    Bio
  • William Methwold

    William Methwold
    The owner of Buckingham Villa.

    CHARLES DANCE

    Bio
  • Mumtaz/Amina

    Mumtaz/Amina
    Saleem and Jamila's mother

    SHAHANA GOSWAMI

    Bio
  • Aadam Aziz

    Aadam Aziz
    Saleem's grandfather, and Mumtaz, Emerald and Alia's father.

    RAJAT KAPOOR

    Bio
  • Jamila

    Jamila
    Saleem's sister.

    SOHA ALI KHAN

    Bio
  • Picture Singh

    Picture Singh
    A snake charmer, and Parvati's protector.

    KULBUSHAN KHARBANDA

    Bio
  • Ghani

    Ghani
    Naseem's father.

    ANUPAM KHER

    Bio
  • Emerald

    Emerald
    Mumtaz/Amina's sister and Saleem's aunt.

    ANITA MAJUMDAR

    Bio
  • Ahmed Sinai

    Ahmed Sinai
    Saleem's father, and Mumtaz/Amina's second husband.

    RONIT ROY

    Bio
  • Parvati

    Parvati
    Parvati-the-Witch, a Midnight's Child, born 7 seconds after midnight.

    SHRIYA SARAN

    Bio
  • 10-year-old Saleem

    10-year-old Saleem

    DARSHEEL SAFARY

    Bio
  • Nadir Khan

    Nadir Khan
    Mumtaz/Amina's first husband.

    ZAIB SHAIKH

    Bio
  • Shiva

    Shiva
    Saleem's nemesis, a Midnight's Child, born right at midnight.

    SIDDHARTH

    Bio
  • Alia

    Alia
    Mumtaz/Amina's sister.

    SHIKHA TALSANIA

    Bio
  • Deepa Mehta

    Director

    DEEPA MEHTA

    Bio
  • Salman Rushdie

    Author, Film Screenwriter

    SALMAN RUSHDIE

    Bio
  • David Hamilton

    Producer

    DAVID HAMILTON

    Bio
  • Colin Monie

    Editor

    COLIN MONIE

    Bio
  • Parvati

    Creative Producer, Production Designer

    DILIP MEHTA

    Bio
  • Dolly

    Costume designer

    DOLLY AHLUWALIA

    Bio
  • Elizabeth Karlsen

    Co-Producer

    ELIZABETH KARLSEN

    Bio
  • Giles

    Director Of Photography

    GILES NUTTGENS

    Bio
  • Nitin

    Composer

    NITIN SAWHNEY

    Bio
  • S Woolley

    Co-Producer

    STEPHEN WOOLLEY

    Bio
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Press

Download Press Notes and Clips for Midnight's Children:

“Like the book, it’s fascinating on its own terms, and it’s a visual feast.” –Karen Durbin, ELLE Magazine (print)


“An epic movie spectacular.” –David Wallace-Wells, NY Mag / Vulture Read More


"A rare screen adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s literary work." –Daniel D'Addario, Salon.com Read More


"Both dreamy and dramatic, a fascinating view of Indian history seen through the prism of a personal – and occasionally twinned – story.” –Marshall Fine, Huffington Post Read More


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Interview with Salman Rushdie) Read More


“Salman Rushdie on bringing Midnight’s Children to the big screen”, –Lily Rothman, TIME.com Read More


“Q&A: Salman Rushdie talks Midnight’s Children, other projects”, –Katie Van Syckle, RollingStone.com Read More


“The Aesthete, Salman Rushdie, and Deepa Mehta celebrate the New York premiere of Midnight’s Children” –Royal Young, InterviewMagazine.com Read More


"A visually enchanting tale of love, magical realism, and politics." –Heather Newgen, Artinfo.com Read More


“A visually striking and emotionally rich film of which Mehta and Rushdie are understandably proud.” –Kevin Canfield, FilmmakerMagazine.com Read More


“…Slumdog Millionaire with a Ph.D. in History from Cambridge” –Amitava Kumar, TheAerogram.com Read More


"A thematically rich viewing experience." –Dan Loughry, Frontiers LA Read More


"This epic motion picture is an instant classic." –Todd David Schwartz, CurveWire.com Read More


"Tactfully scripted (and narrated) by Salman Rushdie from his own novel, Midnight's Children... [embodies] the book's mix of humour, magic, history, anger and affection. **** (four stars)" –Kim Newman, Empire Online Read More