Our Advisors

Prakash Jha

He is an eminent Indian film producer, actor, director and screenwriter, mostly known for his gripping and hard-hitting political and socio-political dramas such as Damul (1984), Mrityudand (1997), Gangaajal (2003), Apaharan (2005), Raajneeti (2010), Aarakshan (2011), Chakravyuh (2012), and Satyagraha (2013), most of them produced by his own company, Prakash Jha Productions. He is also the maker of National Film Award winning documentaries like Faces After The Storm (1984) and Sonal (2002). Besides being a seasoned filmmaker, Jha is also a very successful entrepreneur. He owns the P&M Mall in Patna, which has been honoured as the best mall in the east of India. He has also been seriously involved with development initiatives in his home state, Bihar, through his NGO Anubhooti

Nagesh Kukunoor

He is an Indian film director, producer, screenwriter and actor known for his highly original award-winning films. A chemical engineer-turned filmmaker, he pioneered the new Indie wave in Bollywood with his low-budget comedy, Hyderabad Blues (1998). He followed it up with a series of successful films, such as Rockford (1999), Iqbal (2005), Dor (2006), Aashayein (2010), Lakshmi (2014), and Dhanak (2016). Kukunoor has received seven International Awards, and the National Film Award for his works. He has received the Filmfare Award for Best Story, the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues, for Iqbal, the Mercedes Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative at the Palm Springs International Film Festival for Lakshmi. For Dhanak, he won the Crystal Bear Grand Prix for Best Children's Film, and Special Mention for the Best Feature Film by The Children's Jury for Generation Kplus at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.

Ashish Vidyarthi

He is a versatile Indian film and theatre actor who works in multiple language films, predominantly in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu cinema. In 1995, he received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for Drohkaal. He attended Hindu College and earned a BA in History.

Sandeep Marwah

Sandeep Marwah is a well known International media person with five World records to his credit. He is the founder of Noida Film City, which is the fastest growing film city in the World. He is the founder director of Marwah Studios and Asian Academy of Film and Television now one of the ten best film schools of the World.

Marwah is associated with 4500 television programs, 125 feature films and 5000 training films. He is the producer of largest number of short films in the World around 2300. He has trained more than 12000 media professionals haling from 120 countries of the World. He is recipient of more than 400 awards from all over the World for his contribution to films, television and media.

He has been heading more than 100 national and international media and social organizations. Indian film, television & media industry is proud of Sandeep Marwah. Recently he has been titled as Global Cultural Minister, Man of Asia & Icon of the decade, World Peace Ambassador and Global Green Ambassador. He is also the President of International Chamber of Media & Entertainment Industry, and nominated Managing Director of National Federation of Tourism by Govt. of India.

Asad Hussain

He studied mass communication at the AJK MCRC, New Delhi. He is a screenwriter and has worked with both mainstream and award winning directors like Kabir Khan, Murali Nair and Siddiq Barmak, besides working on feature film scripts in Mumbai. One of his most well-known films is the blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijan (2015) which he co-wrote. Since 2006 he has been traveling to Afghanistan, working closely with television and film professionals in Kabul to hold workshops and trainings in different aspects of radio & video production and screenwriting. Asad is the author and translator of several plays into Hindustani that have been performed by prestigious theatre groups in Delhi and Mumbai. He is part of the I G Khan Memorial Trust in Aligarh, India, which works with cycle rickshaw pullers in the city, besides hosting a series of annual lectures on social justice (www.igkhan.org).

Saeed Akhtar

He is Senior Vice President, Head Programming - SAB TV (part of Sony TV), in charge of new content development and sustenance of on-air shows. He has developed some of the iconic TV shows in India such as Tarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma, Lapataganj, FIR (more than 1000 episodes), Chidiya Ghar, Baalveer, R.K. Laxman ki duniya, Gutur Gun (longest running Silent Comedy—it has made it to the Limca book of Records). He was a jury member for ‘Indian Telly Awards’ (2010 and 2013) and he 
represented SAB TV at the ‘MIPCOM Festival’ held at Cannes in 2010. 
He was honoured with the CEC UGC National Award for documentary on the life & work of Urdu poet “Faiz Ahmad Faiz” in 1999. 

Sreyashi Sen

She is the Founding Director DARPAN Singapore Pte Ltd, a Singapore film distribution, events and entertainment company which promotes, produces and distributes independent and meaningful cinema. DARPAN also organises the only Indian International Film Festival Singapore a first of its kind festival in SE Asia that has as its backbone integration through the arts and media as a change maker. She holds advisory and Committee Member positions for various Non Profits and Non Government Organisations in Singapore and the region together with being a member on the Publications Consultative Panel (2009-2014) for the Media Development Authority (MDA) Singapore. She is also the honorary secretary of the South East Asia Audio Visual Association (SAAVA) which is key partner for Screen Singapore and Broadcast Asia. Sreyashi spent her growing up years in the city of Kolkata amidst thriving arts and culture and a family closely associated with media and entertainment. Sreyashi is an associate trainer with the Civil Service College, Singapore and a consultant with the High Commission of India in Singapore. Sreyashi holds a Masters in Social Work (MSW) form the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India together with a Masters in English Literature with specialization in Gender Studies from India.

Sreyashi is also Head, distribution and publicity for M! Capital Ventures Singapore Pte Ltd, a production, distribution and investment company.

Arun Sundar

Arun Sundar is one of the eminent thinkers and opinion leaders in the technology and business philosophy space in Asia Pacific. Arun has built, led and advised businesses across the globe. Arun is a staunch believer that while the social evolution has created multiple sub-cultures around the world; the neural evolution of man has unified the driver for both individuals and businesses alike to building what he believes is a new form of Capital called Social Capital. He is the founder of the Social Capital Institute (a not for profit). Alongside various initiatives, Arun is one of the key management team members who established the category of ‘Relationship Analytics’ globally as part of the venture ‘TrustSphere’ where he is their Chief Strategy Officer. Arun also leads various industry think tanks including as the Chairman of Asia Analytics Alliance, Special Interest Group Asia Cloud Computing Association, Charter member at TiE, Singapore IT Federation etc.

Arun’s passion in the role technology can play in democratizing opportunities is what interests him in extending his wisdom for FilmWallas.

Trisha Pathak

Having studied Neuropsychology and Theatre at McGill University and Higher Calculus at Harvard, Trisha firmly believes in combining the insights of the Arts with the hard-nosed realism of Science. More specifically, she wants her passion for the Fine Arts to be supplemented by the kind of strategic thinking that is essential to her job as a management consultant. That is why she sees Filmwallas as a perfect vehicle where the team can tap into talent and make filmmaking democratic and viable.

Our Mentors

Shishir Sharma

Shishir Sharma is an Indian film, stage and television actor. Sharma has acted in more than 40 films and TV serials including Swabhimaan, Satya, Bombay Boys, Sarkar Raj, Talwar and Dangal.

He started his acting career in 1975 when Pandit Satyadev Dubey was writing his play titled Sambhog Se Sanyas ... During the course of his working on stage, he got an offer to do a TV show on DD1 titled Swabhimaan. Once that show was aired, there was no looking back for Sharma. However, TV, despite being a strong medium, could not satiate Sharma’s hunger for good work. Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya was his first foray into feature films.

Virendra Saxena

He is popularly known as Veeru, is an accomplished actor who hails from the holy city Mathura in north India. Initially trained in theatre from the prestigious institute the National School of Drama, New Delhi, India (1982), a happy go lucky and truly professional Veeru is currently based in Mumbai. In theatre, he has worked with some of the most internationally renowned directors like Fritz Benewitz, Leon Augusta, Bary John, M.K.Raina, B.V.Karanth, Kanhiaylal, Ratan Thiyam, Devendra Raj Ankur, Bhanu Bharti, Robin Das, Kirti Jain, Anil Chaudhary, Sai Pranjpe, and Ranjit Kapoor, to name a few. In films, he has essayed many different roles with directors like Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Ismail Merchant, Mira Nair, Ram Gopal Varma, Mahesh Bhatt, Lekh Tandon, Guddu Dhanoa, Kundan Shah, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Saeed Mirza, Pankaj Advani, Neeraj Pandey, N.Chandra, Sanjay Khanduri, Shaad Ali, Sagar Ballary, Satish Kaushik, E.Niwas, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, Paresh Kamdar, Pradeep Kishen, Shashilal Nair and Basu Chatterjee. Virendra has won Best Director and Best Play award from the Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi. For four years he was also the member of Censor Board of India. Virendra has also published a number of translations and adaptations of plays. He has also exhibited his paintings and sketches on various occasions in New Delhi.

Sadiya Siddiqui

She is an Indian film, television and theatre actress who started off her acting career in 1993 with the TV serial Humrahi in which she played as a child bride. Over the years, she has worked in a variety of films, most notably Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa with superstar Shahrukh Khan, Uff! Yeh Mohabbat and CityLights. Her television credits include Byomkesh Bakshi, Banegi Apni Baat, Star Bestsellers, Sasural Genda Phool and Chashme Baddoor, to name a few.

Elahe Hiptoola

She is a Bollywood film actress, producer, and costume designer, known for her collaborative projects with India’s original indie director, Nagesh Kukunoor. Her credits include executive producer of Hyderabad Blues, 3 Deewarein, Hyderabad Blues 2, Iqbal, Dor, and Dhanak, juts to name a few films. Elahe was born in Mumbai but she grew up in Hyderabad. She studied Law but did not practice. She set up the first fashion store in Hyderabad,"Elahe" which housed collections of designers like Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla, Tarun Tahiliani, Vinita Pittie, Anamika Khanna, among others. In 2010, she founded a cultural center called Lamakaan in Hyderabad that promotes and presents arts, literature, theatre, debate and dialogue with a commitment to being open and accessible. Lamakaan is a non-profit entity and is run by a trust and on donations.

Amit Virmani

An award-winning documentary filmmaker and APSA-nominee, Amit's films have been covered by leading international media including CNN, BBC, NPR and Bloomberg Businessweek. His most recent film, Menstrual Man, was voted an audience favourite at both Hot Docs and IDFA. The film entered mainstream consciousness after a BBC article on it received 1.5 million hits in a single day. As a result of the film’s popularity, its protagonist was lauded as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and is now widely referred to as “India’s Menstrual Man”.

Ravi Vedant

He has a list of film credits that exemplifies his ability to transcend genre. A well-recognised name in the audio industry, his versatile talent can be heard in animated films, comedies, action films and drama, scoring for numerous TV channels, short films and feature films. In the past few years, he has made Singapore his home, and lends his expertise as the Chairman of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) of Singapore.

Ranjan Palit

He is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, producer and director. His mainstream film credits include '7 Khoon Maaf' as a cinematographer.

Virag Mishra

He is a veteran radio man, and has now devoted his time and attention to penning lyrics for Hindi films. Some of the new films to have features his lyrics include Citylights, Azhar, Sarbjit, Sanam Re, and Hamari Adhoori Kahani.

Mrinal Bahukhandi

Mrinal has been making films for almost 15 years. His work spans from TV & Web Commercials, Music Videos, TV Shows, Documentaries and Art Films. Having started 2 companies in succession and having directed and produced most of his work, Mrinal believes in the DIY spirit of film-making. Currently focusing on projects close to his heart that include fictional short films, TV series, feature length films and documentaries, his core focus is to create a brand of films that are able to impact peoples opinions and emotions. His documentary ideas emerge from his thirst for anthropologic and ethnographic curiosities, while in fiction, capturing real fleeting moments and eternalizing them through cinema is what excites him as a filmmaker.

Mrinal is also an avid photographer who loves to shoot both, digital and analog formats.

Dr. Rachel Singh (New Zealand)

Highly respected professional with over a decade of film and television writing and production experiences. She’s an ardent storyteller & writer and believes bringing the reality in her compelling and artistic stories inspired by everyday true events. Dr. Rachel is well known, respected leader of creative teams and expert in the financial, technical, conceptual, story development requirements for feature films and popular television content. She is a very organised and sought after Producer with an eye for detail and market trends. A thorough professional accustomed to extreme multi-tasking with extensive filming experience on various formats managing small and large teams. She has great film distribution knowledge and network of key distribution links worldwide (including vibrant Bollywood). Dr. Rachel is passionate and dedicated to the craft and has a great portfolio of up coming feature films.

Devesh Pratap Singh (New Zealand)

A very passionate, talented and motivated Director thrives with his creative side. Devesh enjoys exploring his actor’s boundaries while digging deeper into their talent bringing out the best a character demands. In two words he’s an “Actor’s Director” ever seeking to create truly memorable characters with emotional arcs taking the audience on an unforgettable filmic journey. Good technical knowledge, fun team leader with immense patience creating productive working environments. Devesh has worked on multiple feature films, and currently working on a Romantic Thriller Hindi Bollywood Film: One Night (Romantic Thriller). With many years experience and visually transforming exciting stories from page into a dynamic visual language, Devesh was also the Head of Department (HOD) and created the Film & TV (Production) intensive course at “Film & TV Institute New Zealand (FTI)” in Auckland New Zealand while teaching Direction to students who wish to pursue filmmaking as their career. Devesh undertakes regular “Acting for Screen” workshops around the globe preparing next generation actors for the big silver .