writer / director
Shalini Kantayya is a filmmaker, educator, and activist who uses film and video to educate, inspire, and empower audiences. She launched 7th Empire Media, an independent production company with the mission of offering a voice to the unheard through media. Her films have received recognition from the Jerome Foundation, the Public Fund for Media, the IFP, Third Wave, and the NY Women in Film and Television. A William D. Fulbright Scholar and American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Performing Arts Fellow, Shalini has lectured at colleges and universities across the U.S. and India. She is currently working on a trilogy of science fiction feature films about the environment.
Shalini Kantayya's website
NANDITA DAS is an internationally-renowned actress revered for her selection of roles that bring social and political issues to the forefront. Nandita entered the spotlight after her critically acclaimed performances in Deepa Mehta’s Fire (1996) and Earth (1998), and Mani Ratnam’s Kannathil Muthamittal (2002). She won the Best Actress award for her performance in the film Bawander at the Santa Monica Film Festival (2001), and for Amar Bhuvan at the Cairo Film Festival (2002). Nandita has starred in over twenty-five feature films in Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, and English. She is one of India’s most progressive and activist-oriented actresses who consistently demonstrates her commitment to films that address critical social issues.
LIZA JESSIE PETERSONis a Philadelphia born / New York actor / writer / performance artist. Featured in the Sundance award-winning film Slam and Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, she also co-starred in Love the Hard Way with Adrienne Brody. TV credits include HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and PBS’s popular children’s show Between the Lions. Her poetry is published in the Vibe History of Hip Hop, SLAM the book, BumRush The Page, and The Longshot Anthology. Her two solo shows include: Chiron’s Homegirl Healer Howls: a One Woman Funk Opera, and The Peculiar Patriot, a multimedia production that toured prisons across the country.
Rahul Haria is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business with a concentration in Entertainment and Finance. He is currently an associate for Outlaw Productions and is at work raising a multi-million dollar fund for a slate of twelve feature films. Having roots in Kutch, India, Rahul was drawn to this project by his keen interest in water and drought issues in the region.
director of photography
An acclaimed cinematographer in Bollywood and the South Indian film industry, Chennai-based Viraj Singh has shot over fifteen documentaries, twenty commercial films, and three feature length Tamil films. Credits include the BBC, Prakriti Foundation, Kalakshethra, and Priyadarshan.
director of photography
Massimo Zeri, born in Rome, Italy, started shooting short films at the age of 12 with his father's 8mm camera. Massimo's credits include Tempest starring John Cassavetes and Susan Sarandon, King David with Richard Gere, New York Stories with Giancarlo Giannini, The Good Bad Guy, Ancient Warriors and L’Iguana. Zeri’s memberships encompass the prestigious AIC, the Italian Association of Cinematographers, and IMAGO, the European Federation of Cinematographers.
QASIM ALI NAQVI
A multi-instrumental performer of new and improvised music, Qasim has composed and arranged music for the BBC and has collaborated with artists such as Reggie Workman, Don Byron, Lawrence D. Butch Morris, Vernon Reid, Carl Hancock Rux, Roswell Rudd, PBS, and the HBO Undercover Series. Qasim completed a residency at the Studio for Electro Instrumental Music in Amsterdam, and Harvest Works Digital Media Labs in New York.
Designer Rama Chorpashfocuses on how divergent cultures can celebrate existence through design. Rama’s work has been shown in Central Park in collaboration with ‘assume vivid astro focus’ for the 2004 New York Public Art Fund and Whitney Biennial. Projects have been featured in numerous publications including: The New York Times, The San Fransico Chronicle, Metropolis, Vogue, Surface, Architectual Record, Time Out, The International Design Yearbook, ABC's Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show and Discovery Channel's Tech TV's Invent This.
Indian-American clothing designer and entrepreneur Swati Argade's mission is to create inspired, distinctive, high-quality clothing that enhances the beauty of women, and nurtures and supports the people who make them. Her work has been profiled in Rave SQ, Little India, Style, and in Elle Magazine’s designer spotlight. Her clothing appeals to a wide range of personal styles, blending ethnic and bohemian aesthetics with an urban refinement and sophistication.