Filmmaker’s Bio: Nandita Das is an Indian film actress and director. She has acted in over 30 feature films in ten different languages. As an actress, she is known for her performances in Fire, Earth, Bawandar, Kannathil Muthamittal, Azhagi and Before The Rains
Shirley Abraham – (Director, Producer, Sound Recordist, Editor) is interested in how cinema can give form to the many faces of the human imagination. She has previously explored this through the story of an acid attack survivor who dreams of one day wearing a red dress again, and a young boy who imagines himself a hip hop star but must keep it a secret from disapproving parents. Shirley has directed documentaries for the Guardian, Al Jazeera English and Doordarshan India.
Amit Madheshiya – (Director, Producer, Director of Photography, Editor) studied English Literature from Hindu College, New Delhi. He is a photographer and filmmaker based in Mumbai. His photographs have won awards from World Press Photo (2011), World Photography Awards (2011 and 2009), Commonwealth Photographic Awards (2011) and Humanity Photo Award (2009). Amit values the rigour of academia and enjoys taking his work to universities.
Pallavi Somusetty is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and video journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned a Master of Journalism from UC Berkeley’s J-School and her thesis film Escaping Agra has been screened in multiple festivals around the world. Pallavi is currently producing a documentary about doulas working within communities of color.
With a background in photography, Montreal based filmmaker Marjara has written and directed several award winning films, including critically acclaimed NFB docudrama Desperately Seeking Helen, witty and satirical The Incredible Shrinking Woman, the German-Canadian The Tourist (2006) and House for Sale. She has recently completed the feature dramatic comedy Venus. Marjara’s debut novel Faerie (Arsenal Pulp Press) came out to rave reviews and received a star review in US Publisher’s Weekly. Faerie is about a South Asian teenager struggling with Anorexia. She is currently developing the feature film Calorie. www.eishamarjara.com
Arshad Khan is a gay Pakistani-Canadian. Like most struggling filmmakers he wears several hats. He is a director, writer, producer, production designer, film curator and film educator with several short and long form film credits in fiction and documentary. He has worked on Deepa Mehta’s film Midnights Children (2012), designed productions such as the Canadian-Punjabi feature SARDARJI (2015) and the short CASE CLAUS’D (2015) and directed VALERY’S SUITCASE (2016). Khan is the director of award-winning documentaries such as ZEN (2012) and THREADBARE (2008). He is currently developing his first fiction feature. ABU (2017), a film about a gay son’s struggle with his devout Muslim father, is his first feature documentary. In his spare time, Khan is the director of Canada’s Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF).
Ameesha Joshi is a Toronto native, who graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Waterloo University in Ontario. She went on to work in the software industry for seven years before discovering her interest in filmmaking. Ameesha completed her bachelor’s and master’s of fine arts in Film Production at Concordia University in Montreal and enjoys working in both documentary and fiction. In 2016 she completed her first feature film, With This Ring, a documentary about champion women boxers from India, which has screened in several countries around the world.
Karan is a Montreal based writer/filmmaker and his short films have screened in multiple community film festivals around the world. His work aims to explore the tenacity and fragility of the human condition and he is currently working on his first feature film project – Mon frère Mikail.
Ali Kazimi is an award-winning filmmaker, whose work engages race, social justice, migration, history and memory. Born and raised in India, Kazimi came to York University in 1983 as a student, and has gone on to become one of Canada’s foremost documentary filmmakers, receiving a Gemini Award for Best Social and Political Documentary in 2005. Highlights of his international critical acclaim include Golden Gate Award, San Fran. International Film Fest; Golden Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival; Best Director & Best Political Documentary, Hot Docs; CAAMFest Best Documentary; and audience awards for Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and Los Angeles Indian Film Festival.
Kazimi is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Cinema & Media Arts, York University, where he has been teaching since 2006.
Salima Stanley-Bhanji is a lawyer, filmmaker and yoga teacher. She has worked for almost 10 years in leadership in the not-for-profit sector and is currently the CEO of Calgary Centre for Global Community and its production house, Humainologie. Salima has created about 20 short films on location across Canada and in Jordan and Bangladesh including the innovative ‘under an umbrella we met’ series, where viewers who watch films on individual tablets can step into the actual shoes of the person they are watching in the film.
After 15 years of work experience in the field of finance, an inner creative urge pushed Ramanathan to pursue a course in filmmaking. This move gave him a new meaning in life and broadened his horizons. Since then he has worked on half a dozen films, which has written and directed. One of his documentary works was the exploration of MNREGA, which critically explored the government program and its impact on agriculture, creation of rural assets and employment.
From The Land of Gandhi is Prakash Wadhwa’s debut feature length documentary film. His own life experience through US immigration system over a decade inspired the film. The vision with the film is to help build awareness towards modernizing the US high-skilled immigration, and to help raise a voice for an issue that impacts lives of a million Indian skilled immigrants in the US.
Mobeen Ansari is a photographer and artist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. A graduate of National College of Arts in Pakistan, his mission is to promote an often unseen side of his country through his work. Challenged with hearing loss at an early age, Mobeen has always been observant of his surroundings.
N. Padmakumar (Paddy) Paddy quit a career in the uppermost echelons of Indian Advertising, as National Creative Director of Rediffusion Y&R in 2012, to pursue an adventure in Fiction and Film, promising himself that the next phase of his creative journey would be meaningful in the human context. Padma is a poet, writer and photographer, and considers himself a “Momenteer” and an Interpreter.
Meera Darji is an ambitious filmmaker, with a passion for storytelling. As a passionate documentary filmmaker, Meera enjoys telling real stories of voiceless communities and people living on the margins of society.
Min Bahadur Bham, a young emerging director, graduated in Nepali Literature and Filmmaking with a post-graduate degree in Buddhist Philosophy and Political Science. His first short film was THE LAST BEGINNING (2009), followed by THE FLUTE (2012) which was a historical first for Nepali film as it was selected for the Venice IFF and won a Jury Award at the Toronto Nepali Film Festival. THE BLACK HEN, his debut film was the first Nepali long-feature film presented in Venice IFF, where it won the Best Film Award in the Critics’ Week section.
Manasi Deodhar is 20-year-old young woman who resides in a small village called Akeri in Sindhudurga, Maharashtra. She is planning to learn film making. This is her debut attempt at direction.
Tushar Madhav and Sarvnik Kaur are independent filmmakers based out of Mumbai. They are post-graduates of mass communication from AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi. Tushar has edited several feature and short documentary films besides teaching film production at universities and colleges. Sarvnik is also a writer in the Hindi film industry and her first book ‘Where Arrows Meet’ was published in 2012.
Vikrant Dhote is a performer, writer and director based in Bombay. He has studied at the London International School of Performing Arts and hopes to create more work around gender and queerness in the Indian context.
Alankrita Shrivastava is a feature film director and screenwriter from Mumbai, India with a penchant for telling women’s stories. She likes to explore the complex interior world of women through her films. Alankrita has written and directed two feature films – TURNING 30!!! (2011) and LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA. She has worked on several Indian feature films including Raajneeti as an Associate Director, and Khoya Khoya Chand as an Executive Producer.
With an MA in Animation from the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, UK-2000, Ashutosh Pathak was the Creative Head at Tata Interactive Systems, Mumbai – 2007 (an e-learning company) and the Design Head at Design Nicotine, Mumbai – 2010 (Animation and Design firm). Since 2011 he has been a freelance illustrator, animator and film-maker. He is now looking to direct a live-action narrative feature, which he is scripting. His clients for animation range from Godrej to Smirnoff, Canon, Reliance, Plan etc.
Ammar Aziz, born in 1989 in Lahore, is a filmmaker living in Pakistan. Driven to cinema by his passion for literature and music, he graduated in cinematographic studies from the National College of Arts in Lahore. He has directed several documentary short films on workers’ struggles in Pakistan.
Dheeraj Jindal, at a very young age got attached to questions. Questions about the measures of good and bad, the society and its inequalities. Questions that hit the prism of curiosity but got lost in its colors. Not too enthusiastic in academics, he soon got introduced to his favorite quote “travelling is the best way to get educated.” He travelled, observed and looked for his answers, and soon a sheer coincidence introduced him to the art of telling stories, filmmaking.
Shubhashish Bhutiani is an Indian film director, actor, screenwriter and script writer. He made his directorial debut in Bollywood with the film Mukti Bhawan based on relationships and family.