Joyce Chopra is an American director and writer of feature films and television, known for Smooth Talk (1985), An American Girl on the Home Front (2006) and Blonde (2001). She has received American Film Festival Blue Ribbon and Cine Golden Eagle Awards for her numerous documentaries, including That Our Children Will Not Die, about primary health care in Nigeria, and the autobiographical Joyce at 34, which is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Joyce Chopra was born on October 27, 1936 in New York City to Judge Abraham and Tillie Kalina. Chopra graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She was previously married to Tom Cole.
Chopra was considered by many critics to be a new director in 1985 when she made Smooth Talk, despite more than ten years of filmmaking experience; yet, the film marked a breakthrough in her career. It focuses on the emergent sexuality of an adolescent young woman who radiates a palpable sensuality, but seems unaware of its power.
In addition to directing her own films, Chopra is part of BYKids, a non-profit organization pairing master filmmakers with youth (ages 8–21) from around the world to create short documentaries that educate Americans about globally relevant issues. Her most recent mentee, 16-year-old Jayshree Janu Kharpade of India has created the film Fire in Our Hearts (2012) which has just been selected for the 2012 India International Film Festival of Tampa Bay