Sarita Khurana is a Director, Producer, and Educator based in Brooklyn, New York.
Her feature-film documentary debut, A Suitable Girl, premiered at the 2017 TriBeCa Film Festival, and won the Best New Documentary Director prize. Khurana’s critically acclaimed work in narrative, documentary and experimental film has been screened and exhibited internationally. Her work often focuses on South Asian stories, and explores female subjectivities. Migration, memory, marginality, community, territory, and sexuality are common themes in her work.
Sarita Khurana was born in London, immigrating with her family to New York City six years later. She has lived and worked in NY since then, in addition to frequently working in India and the U.K.
Her prior work includes the experimental narrative short What Remains, which screened at festivals internationally, as well as the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Goteborgs Konsthall in Sweden. Khurana’s 2004 ground-breaking documentary Bangla East Side, on 9-11 and Muslim youth in New York City, won a New York Times production grant, and was later distributed by Third World Newsreel.
Khurana holds a B.A. from Oberlin College, an Ed.M from Harvard University, and an M.F.A. in Film – Directing, from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. In 2009, she was named as one of NY Women in Film & Television’s “Emerging Female Directors.” Her work has been supported by the Tribeca Film Institute, the New York Foundation for the Arts, NALIP-Diverse Women in Film, Art in General, the National Film Development Corporation of India, Women in Film, the International Documentary Association, and Film Independent. Khurana is also the co-founder of Cine Qua Non Lab, an international development lab for narrative feature films, based in Mexico and the U.S.
Smriti Mundhra is an award-winning filmmaker who has been working in the film and television industry for over fifteen years. Her latest film, the documentary A Suitable Girl, world premiered in the documentary competition section of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Magazine and was awarded the Albert Maysles Best Documentary Director prize at the festival.
Prior to A Suitable Girl, Smriti produced Bomb the System, a 2004 Independent Spirit Award nominee for Best First Feature, and the SXSW Audience Award winning feature film Waterborne. She also co-produced Punching at the Sun, an official selection of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, as well as over one dozen award-winning short films, including the 2010 Sundance Film Festival official selection and Women In Film award-winner New Media. Her work has been supported by the Tribeca Film Institute, Film Independent, Women In Film, ITVS, and the International Documentary Association among other esteemed organizations.
Smriti’s writing has appeared in Filmmaker Magazine, Latina, the New York Daily News, Esquire and Vogue India. She is a regular culture contributor to BET.com and Cassius, writing about the intersection of race, feminism, social justice and pop culture.
Smriti holds an MFA in Film from Columbia University. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, screenwriter Christian Magalhães, and their daughter Isabel.
Jennifer Tiexiera is a Los Angeles based film editor and producer. She most recently edited and produced the documentaries A Suitable Girl and Waiting for Hassana, official selections of the 2017 TriBeCa Film Festival and 2017 Sundance Film Festival, respectively. Her previous editorial work includes the documentary Salam Neighbor, the narrative film Road to Paloma and the 2011 SXSW Documentary Grand Jury Prize Winner, Dragonslayer.
Her television credits include the Emmy-nominated ESPN film, The Marinovich Project, and short film Woinshet, directed by Marisa Tomei and Lisa Leone.
Tiexiera’s docu-series work has appeared on CNN, A&E, VH1, History, NatGeo, Travel Channel, OWN, and SundanceTV, and her films have been official selections at numerous film festivals, including TIFF, LAFF, AFI, HotDocs, CPH:DOX, and BFI.
Raised primarily in Thibodaux, LA, André Lyon graduated from Stanford in 2006, where he studied creative writing and photography. In 2011 he completed an MFA in Film at Columbia’s School of the Arts, where he first collaborated with Smriti and Sarita. In 2014 two of his photography collections, Akrotiri and Sunseekers, were published by Santozeum, a museum and residency in Firá, Santorini. A Suitable Girl is his first feature as cinematographer. He’s currently directing his own feature documentary, Split Tide, set in south Louisiana.
Naiti Gámez is a NYC-based filmmaker from Miami/Cuba. She has worked as a cinematographer & director on award-winning films and television series. Film highlights include Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart (Sundance 2015), Kiki (Sundance Selects), and Newtown (Sundance 2016). Her directorial debut, Love, Sadie, screened at the Festival de Cannes Short FilmCorner. TV credits include work for HBO, Showtime, PBS, ESPN, MTV/MTV2, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, & NOVA.
As a youth-media educator, Naiti has also collaborated with young people to produce videos about social, cultural, and political issues that affect them. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Smith College, and an M.F.A. in Film Production (Cinematography concentration) from the University of Texas at Austin.
Gingger Shankar is a singer, violinist and composer, and was born into one of the world’s most acclaimed and influential musical families. Her accomplishments include working with top producers and film composers including Mel Gibson, The Smashing Pumpkins, Trent Reznor, Mike Nichols, Mike Myers, and James Newton Howard. An accomplished artist and performer, Gingger is the only female in the world that has mastered the 10- string Double Violin, an instrument that covers the entire range of the orchestra’s double bass, cello, viola and violin, and of which there are currently only two in existence. She debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a soprano in Osvaldo Golijov’s opera “Ainadamar” and later performed it at Carnegie Hall. Gingger then toured with the Smashing Pumpkins as a special guest on their 20th Anniversary tour.
Gingger’s music can be heard in Mel Gibson’s blockbuster “Passion of the Christ” and Mike Nichol’s “Charlie Wilson’s War”. Her multimedia project ‘Himalaya Song’ premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was named one of the ’10 Best Music Films at Sundance 2012′ by Rolling Stone. Her film ‘Monsoon Shootout’ premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Saul Simon MacWilliams is a Los Angeles based film composer, music producer, songwriter and music sound designer from York, Maine.
He has produced and written music with numerous indie and major label artists such as Chris Garneau, Joy Ike, Jenny Owen Youngs, Greg Holden, A Great Big World, Sawyer Fredricks and Ingrid Michaelson, whom he also tours with as her multi-instrumentalist and music director.
As a film composer and music sound designer, Saul has worked closely and extensively with composer and producer Dan Romer on recent films including his Oscar nominated feature ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’, ‘Digging for Fire’, ‘Finders Keepers’, ‘Mediterrania’ and as the music sound designer for the Netflix original ‘Beasts of No Nation’. Saul co-scored and music sound designed two documentaries, ‘Gleason’ and ‘Jim : the James Folly Story’ which premiered at 2016’s Sundance Film Festival, as well as scored the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winning documentary ‘Chasing Coral.’
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