Mira NairTeaches Independent Filmmaking

Mira NairTeaches Independent Filmmaking

Harness the power of your roots

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mira Nair approaches directing with the “heart of a poet and the skin of an elephant,” spurred by rejection and fighting to bring uncompromising stories to film. In the Golden Lion-winning director’s MasterClass, learn to make a big impact on a small budget in film production, evoke the best from actors and nonactors, and protect your creative vision so you tell the story that can only come from you.

17 Lessons

In her first-ever online class, Mira Nair teaches you to find the strength in your unique story and draw the best from your budget and creative vision.


A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.


Learn on your own terms, at your own pace on mobile, desktop, or Apple TV.

Lesson Plan

  • 01


    Meet your new instructor: award-winning filmmaker Mira Nair. In your first lesson, Mira shares with you the two qualities every filmmaker needs to have—and why it's important for you to go out and make your own films.

  • 02

    Discovering Your Unique Voice

    Mira’s philosophy for filmmaking is rooted in individuality and creating films only you can make. Learn how to forge your own path, hone your craft, and use your distinctiveness to your advantage.

  • 03

    Finding the Story

    Mira teaches the importance of tapping into culture and politics to inspire your story. Learn how tenacity, collaboration, and feedback are key elements in developing a story into a script.

  • Show all 17 Lessons

    • 04

      Stretching Your Budget

      Never reveal your struggle. Mira teaches you how to maximize your resources as an independent filmmaker—however limited they may be.

    • 05


      The relationship between director and actor is built on trust. Learn what it takes to cast the right actor and get them to reveal their true spirit on camera.

    • 06

      Directing Actors

      Learn how to direct both child and adult actors, develop natural and honest chemistry with actors, and incorporate background action.

    • 07

      Directing Gestures

      Mira shares her methods for incorporating unique and humanizing gestures into the actors’ performances in order to add life to the frame.

    • 08

      Scene Workshop, Part 1: Read-Through and Blocking

      In Part 1 of Mira’s scene workshop, Mira works with two actors—Madina Nalwanga and Philip Luswata—from Queen of Katwe to teach you how to direct intensely emotional scenes.

    • 09

      Scene Workshop, Part 2: Rehearsing the Scene

      In Part 2 of Mira’s scene workshop, Mira works with Madina Nalwanga to demonstrate how to support an actor an work with them to emotionally prepare for a scene.

    • 10

      Scene Workshop, Part 3: Final Take

      In Part 3 of Mira’s scene workshop, Mira breaks down how actors Philip Luswata and Madina Nalwanga work with Mira’s direction to enhance their performances.

    • 11

      Telling the Story: Monsoon Wedding

      For Mira, Monsoon Wedding was a chance to experiment with telling a story inspired by her upbringing. Learn how to balance emotions in a story to bring out the universal truths and connect your story with a larger audience.

    • 12

      Developing a Visual Palette

      Mira discusses what a visual point of view is, how to manifest your point of view through a lookbook, and how to collaborate with your team to elevate the aesthetic of your film.

    • 13

      On-Set Directing

      Bravery and humility are crucial to Mira’s process as a director. Learn Mira’s advice for preparing for life on set, including how to create harmony with the crew and actors and conserve your creative energy.

    • 14

      Working With Your Cinematographer

      Mira says that the best cinematographers she has worked with are “poets of light.” Learn how to find the right cinematographer for your film and work together to design a cinematic style.

    • 15


      Learn the benefits of working closely with an editor throughout shooting, and how to use rhythm and juxtaposition of scenes in the edit to alter the mood of your film.

    • 16

      Sound and Music

      Mira teaches her philosophy on directing the viewer’s eye and heart with sound, advice for working with a composer, and how to use silence in an impactful way.

  • 17

    Go Tell Your Story

    Mira shares her closing thoughts and encourages you to slowly but surely realize your stories and tell them from a personal perspective.

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Mira Nair

Teaches Independent Filmmaking

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