TSAFF Advisory Panel

Welcoming Our First TSAFF Advisory Panel!

We are excited and honored to announce our first TSAFF Advisory Panel. TSAFF advisors are highly accomplished filmmakers and we are grateful for and humbled by their support and enthusiasm for the Tasveer South Asian Film Festival.

Vishal Bhardwaj

Director, India – (Pataakha, 2018 TSAFF Closing Night Feature)

Vishal Bhardwaj is one of India’s most prominent directors and music composers. He has directed ten feature films and composed music for more than forty. He is also an accomplished  writer, singer, and producer.

His directorial work includes the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Trilogy – Maqbool, Omkara and Haider (adapted from Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet, respectively), as well as feature films Makdee, The Blue Umbrella, Kaminey, 7 Khoon Maaf, Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola, Rangoon, Pataakha. He wrote and produced Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya and Talvar (based on the Noida double murder case).

He is a recipient of numerous awards, including seven National Awards; the People’s Choice award at the Rome Film Festival Haider (2014); Best Artistic Contribution in Cinema award at the Cairo International Film Festival for Omkara (2006); Best Film award at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival for Makdee (2002).

Vishal began his stage career by directing the opera A Flowering Tree by John Adams in the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris (2014). In 2017, he composed music for the musical Monsoon Wedding, based on the internationally acclaimed feature film by Mira Nair).

In January of 2018, Vishal published his first book of poems Nude.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy director
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Director, Pakistan – (2018 Tasveer Emerald Award Recipient; Girl in the River: A Price of Forgiveness, 2018 TSAFF Launch; Song of Lahore, 2016 TSAFF)

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is the only female director to have been awarded two Academy Awards by the age of 37.  Since 2001, she has made over two dozen multi award films in over 16 countries around the world. Her films include Student Athlete, Girl in the river, Song of Lahore, Saving Face, Peace Keepers and Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret.

In 2012, Time Magazine included Sharmeen in their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. That same year the Pakistan Government awarded her with highest civil honor “Hilal -e–Imtiaz ”.

In 2013, the Canadian government awarded her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in the field of documentary films and the World Economic Forum honored her with a Crystal Award at their annual summit in Davos. In 2017 the International Center for Journalists awarded her the Knight International Journalism Award for her work that led to legislative change.

In 2017, Sharmeen was the first artist to co-chair the “World Economic Forum” at Davos. Sharmeen holds a Bachelors degree from Smith college and two masters degrees from Stanford University. In 2018, Smith College awarded her an honorary degree in Fine Arts.

Mehreen Jabbar

Director, Pakistan/USA – (Lala Begum, 2018 TSAFF; Dobara Phir Se, 2017 TSAFF Closing Night Feature)

Mehreen Jabbar is a critically acclaimed Pakistani-American director and producer. Her two-decade-long career includes TV serials such as Daam, Doraha, Kahaniyaan, Mera Naam Yousuf Hai, and Jackson Heights, as well a number of made for TV feature and short films.

Mehreen’s first feature film, Ramchand Pakistani, premiered in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. It was awarded the FIPRISCI Prize by the International Federation of Film Critics, the Satyajit Ray Award at the London Film Festival and was screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for a week-long run and screened at SIFF in Seattle.

Mehreen has been a member of the National Board of Film Censors in Karachi, a founding member of the KaraFilm Festival in Karachi, Pakistan and a founder member of the NGO WAR (War Against Rape). In 2012 She was invited to the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda–a non-profit training lab founded by director Mira Nair–to be a directing mentor.

She is the recipient of several awards for her work and has served as a jury member in many local and international film festivals.

Mira Nair

Director, USA/India – (Reluctant Fundamentalist, 2016 TSAFF)

Mira is an Academy Award nominated director best known for her films Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala, The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding, Amelia, and Queen of Katwewhich won the Golden Lion and a BAFTA.

Born and raised in Rourkela, India, Nair went on to study at Delhi and Harvard universities. Her narrative feature debut, Salaam Bombay! (1988) won the Camera d’Or and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. A resourceful and determined independent filmmaker who casts unknowns alongside Hollywood stars, Nair has also directed The Perez Family (1995), Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996), Hysterical Blindness (2002), Vanity Fair (2004), Amelia (2009), and The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012). Her most recent film, Queen of Katwe, about a Ugandan girl with an aptitude for chess, stars Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo. Nair’s acclaimed film Monsoon Wedding (2001) was brought to the stage recently as a highly anticipated musical at Berkeley Repertory Theater where it closed an extended, sold-out run in 2017.

She is the director of BBC’s forthcoming adaptation of A Suitable Boy, to be released in 2020. An activist by nature, Nair founded Salaam Balak Trust for street children in 1989, and the Maisha Film Lab in East Africa in 2004, a free school to train film makers in the African continent. She was awarded the Padmabhushan in 2014 for her work in the arts.

Aditya Sood

Producer, Hollywood USA – (2018 Tasveer Gala Keynote Speaker)

Aditya Sood is the President of Simon Kinberg’s production company, Genre Films.  Most recently, Aditya was an Executive Producer of the hit film, Deadpool 2, which opened in June 2018.  He is also an Executive Producer on the Netflix political thriller Designated Survivor which is currently shooting its 3rd season. In 2017, he was an Executive Producer of the Murder on the Orient Express, and is an Executive Producer of its upcoming sequel Death on the Nile due out in 2020.

Previously, Aditya was a Producer of the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated 2015 film The Martian and an Executive Producer on the 2016 blockbuster Deadpool, based on the Marvel Comics character. Genre Films has a first look deal at 20th Century Fox.

Prior to working at Genre, Aditya ran Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald’s production company at DreamWorks and was Vice President, Production at Warner Bros. Pictures.  He started his career at New Line Cinema and DreamWorks, and later as a Story Editor for producer Mark Johnson.

Aditya graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Pomona College where he is currently serving as a trustee.

Subarna Thapa

Director, Nepal/France – (Soongava, 2015 TSAFF; Script to Screen Workshop, 2017 TSAFF)

Nepalese filmmaker Subarna Thapa was born in 1973 in Kathmandu and has lived in France since 1999. His award-winning short film, Funeral (2008) screened in international short film festivals and was broadcast on France 3.

Soongava (Dance of the Orchids) (2012) is his first feature length film and the first film in the 60 years of Nepal’s cinema history to tackle the theme of same-sex relationships.

Subarna is a graduate in dramatic arts from the Cours Florent, Paris. He has played many roles in both France and Nepal, honing his craft at the Comédie Française, and also with the Japan Foundation in Tokyo and the Asia Society in New York.

Prasanna Vithanage

Director, Sri Lanka – (3-Film Retrospective during 2015 TSAFF)

Prasanna Vithanage is one of Sri Lanka’s prominent directors. During his more than two and a half decades long film career, he has tackled socio-political issues of his homeland.

He has directed nine feature films, garnering international acclaim, as well as commercial and critical successful in Sri Lanka, and numerous awards. His films include Oba Nathuwa Oba Ekka (With You, Without Youa) (2012) adopted from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel A Gentle Creature; adapted from a novel; Ira Madiyama (August Sun) (2005), Singapore International Film Festival; and Purahanda Kaluwara (Death on a Full Moon Day) (1997).

Apart from filmmaking, Prasanna has been a regular mentor to generation of aspiring filmmakers and actors, both locally and overseas. Often his films have faced adversity of local censorship and regulatory bodies of governing regimes. Despite lengthy and strenuous legal battles, Vithanage’s films have always prevailed in preserving their creative artistic integrity. His global acclaim has made him a regular in many of the international film festivals across four continents.

He is currently working on post-production of his lifelong pet project, period drama named “Children of the Sun”, a co-production with India.