Chapter 10 of 17 from Mira Nair

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.

Topics include: 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.

Topics include: Scene Workshop, Part 3: Final Take

Mira Nair

Mira Nair Teaches Independent Filmmaking

The Oscar-nominated director teaches her methods for directing powerful performances, maximizing budgets, and bringing authentic stories to life.

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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 on 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, evoke the best from actors and non-actors, and protect your creative vision so you tell the story that can only come from you.

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.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Mira will also critique select student work.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

As an aspiring Independent Film Maker, this course delivered brilliantly by Mira Nair helps me be grounded and prepared for what awaits me on my film making journey. Embracing the opportunities and working with the challenges to tell 'Your Story'.

It was nice learning from an Asian filmmaker which I could relate to.

Thank you for this class! I love and admire Mira Nair's films but never thought, I can get close to her and her thoughts through a medium like masterclass. The gleam in her eyes talks a lot about her passion for making films and inspires to me to do so too! Her thoughts and pep-talk in concluding video was the best! Thank you once again!!

How some directors had magically pulled out great performances from child actors had been a mystery to me. Mira Nair is really illuminating.


Ify M.

Wow...Madina finally let go. This shows me that: 1) Directing needs a lot of patience. 2) You love your actors to getting results by tapping into the truth of the emotion being demonstrated. Thank you Mira...these practical lessons are wrh more than a thousand words.

Constance A.

Awesome! The way Mira was able to bring that emotion out of the actor..It was great! kudos' to the actress as well!

Karmen B.

Wonderful directing, Mira. Thank you for this opportunity to witness your work first hand.

Andrew Kyle B.

What Ron Howard's class did for blocking and shooting, Mira Nair's class has done for working with actors and direction. Truly incredible.


That was great to see how Mira got her to get to the point where she needed to be.

Arun V.

That SCREAMING exercise...!! I think she can make anyone act or may be I should say BE the character...

Maros M.

I really liked to see the relentless persistence of Mira, showing that director should lead the way, not be shy about what they want and push through until it is reached at same time being sensitive about it with actors. Thank you for this lesson. I also like the screaming exercise which clearly shows how to unlock the emotions, get Adrenalin and heartbeat up and kick off the real emotions into the scene.

Jennifer W.

That was an amazing performance and I love the care & gentleness of Nair's directing style.


This is truly a masters lesson. I got already frustrated with the actors until i realized that the lesson is not about the actors but the ability of a director to push and push and push until it works. And she knew that she will get it right at the end.


Very cool - I loved the screaming exercise. It's amazing the difference between her run thru performances and when she actually turns it on for the final take! Wonderful!


So now, I want you to go into that kind of place where you have lost something that is precious to you. You are a very determined young person. And you're also a very competitive person, you know. You've lost the competition. But you feel ashamed that you have done that in the presence of the whole world, you know, where you forced yourself to come. Everyone said you're too young, but you have not listened. - Yeah. - You have not listened, not because you are wanting only to win and have glory. You have actually come here because you hoped you could be a champion and win a stipend, win the prize money that would help your family, you know? But now you're in this place where, in front of everyone, this much older, 25-year-old Canadian champion has basically systematically, over three hours, not let you move anything in your game. And when you decide to leave, it's like, you just don't want to obey anyone. You just want to go away from the lights, go away from people, just run away. You don't even think. You're in a foreign place and you don't know where to go. OK? So you've run through the snow now. You've run through it. You actually crying. And you come to this. And you just find a place to hide, OK? You're not thinking. You're not thinking at all clearly, you know? It's hard to do that. You know, it's hard to do that. But I just want you to remember when you felt like this, you know? When you wanted something, and you worked for it really hard, and it was taken away from you. Not just taken away from you quietly, but taken away from you in front of everyone. So you want to hide. Yeah? Don't run into it. Don't rush into it. There's no one way, you know? But I want you to really be in that space. And I can come with you, and we can-- just to get you into what that might feel like. And then we'll shoot it, and we have time. There's no problem, OK? And there's no one way, you know? As long as you are remembering, you know, what it is like to feel. So come. Let's walk there and we'll see. - OK. - But this is tough. Tough times. Now you are older. You can understand. But then-- I mean, when you're a child, it's very difficult, you know? And a brilliant child. Somebody who has a gift, you know, to win. And she's lost. You know? So, Miles, when she stands up, we'll know she's ready. - OK. - OK? Medina? Action, whenever you're ready. - OK. [EMOTIONAL BREATHING] - Ah, please. Fiona, I told you never to leave the team. - I will never be a master. I'll never be good enough. - I will tell you from experience, Fiona. Some of us always start on the outside. But it does not mean that is where we are meant to stay. - I sell maize, Coach. I sell maize. My job was to get 1,000 shillings a day. And I knew how to do that. Me, I've never cried before. Not even the day my sister died. But look at me now. Look at me now. How is it that chess has destroyed my life now? How? How is it that it can ma...