Shilpa Mankikar is an award-winning American filmmaker based in New York and India. Her work combines commercial sensibility with provocative topics. Three of her feature films qualified for the Finalist round of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Her film script Ferguson Convenience Store was staged at Anna Deavere Smith's forum about Black Lives Matter, and her screenplay/teleplay Memoirs of a Rebellious Princess was showcased by the Writers Guild of America, the Independent Feature Project, and the South Asian Film Collective. She previously worked on film distribution, business development, and marketing at Universal Pictures. In 2001, she co-founded 3rd i, a distribution company providing South Asian diaspora entertainment in the US. She is a graduate of the MFA Film program at the Columbia University School of the Arts and an alumnus of Oberlin College.
Biljana Ilic is an NYC-based multimedia producer with almost 20 years of international experience. She was born in Belgrade, Serbia, where she earned a law degree from the University of Belgrade and a master's degree in Arts and Cultural Management from the Academy of Arts. While living in Serbia, she mainly worked in television, advertising, and theater. The first theater show she produced, Life on a Desert Island, ran for 12 years. Biljana later received a scholarship from Columbia University, where she earned a master's degree in Film. While studying, she got involved in the production of the film Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish, which received numerous awards and was featured at 30 film festivals all over the world. Many of her productions have garnered awards and worldwide recognition, such as Love Hunter, an official nomination of the Warsaw Film Festival and a New York Times Critics' Pick, and Palace Living, which earned her an award for Outstanding Achievement in Production at Tribeca VisionFest. She continues to create and produce content for narrative films, TV shows, commercials, music videos, documentaries, live performances, theater, and other media projects.
Ari Rothschild, also known as Aharon Rothschild, is a camera operator, colorist, and photographer who has worked on several feature films and TV shows. He was born in New York and has lived in Montreal, Paris, Jerusalem, and Calcutta. He began his career shooting news footage in Israel and went on to work as a photojournalist and photo editor in New York City. He later moved to India, where his photography was featured in a number of fine art exhibitions. His first work on a feature film was serving as director of photography for the romance-drama Khwaabb, which received a wide release in theaters across India and was praised for its underwater swimming scenes, realistic lighting, and kinetic camera movements. Whether shooting commercial or narrative work, Ari's approach is to put the story first. He collaborates closely with the director to build an image that fits their vision. His lighting style has been described as "beautiful" and "spare". As a working colorist with several feature credits including Match and Fort Tilden, Ari proudly takes responsibility for the construction of a shot all the way from the set to post-production.
Aitor Mendilibar is a New York-based filmmaker and cinematographer. He is originally from Basque Country, where he received degrees in computer science, telecommunications, and audiovisual production. While living in Basque Country, he worked on production and post-production for music videos, short films, and commercials. In 2012, he moved to New York City to study documentary filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. Since graduating, he has worked as a cinematographer for documentaries, narrative films, TV shows, music videos, and live performances. He has worked with Oscar-nominated director and producer Oren Jacoby and award-winning cinematographers Buddy Squires and Tom Hurwitz from the American Society of Cinematographers. He also creates his own content and collaborates with other artists across genres. He is also the co-founder and former bass player of the Basque punk rock band the Disorders, which played for 10 years and produced two studio albums. Since the Disorders split up in 2011, Aitor has performed with the two other bands, the Wilsons and Nevadah.
Owen Strock is a camera operator and cinematographer who has worked on several feature films and TV shows, including Impractical Jokers: The Movie, Inside Amy Schumer, Project Runway, Redrum, and The Diamond Collar. He is also a native New Yorker who loves all things Miyazaki.
Jillian MacKintosh is a producer and curator who is passionately committed to art, culture, and education. She is the co-founder and co-owner of the Brilliant Champions production company, which "[uses] a variety of methods and mediums to construct engaging and compelling ideas, content, and experiences". Jillian has worked on many different types of projects, including commercial production, music videos, narrative films, stop motion, and documentaries. Her creative process is influenced by her experience working as an artist, designer, and curator, and her hands-on approach to production helps her create original and impactful work.
Jay Chandran is an NYC-based editor with more than 14 years of experience in TV and commercial editing. He has won multiple Promax Awards, and he received the Best Editing award at Apulia Webfest in 2019 for his work on Diwal'Oween. He specializes in commercials, but is equally proficient in storytelling and montage sequences. In the past, he was an integral part of the editing teams of several popular TV channels, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and Colors Infinity. He loves using his editing skills to emphasize style and action. Jay's other interests include coffee, tea, and soccer.
Rina Shah & Aum Dance Creations
Rina Shah is a professional dancer trained in Bharatanatyam, ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. She has a strong passion for dancing and has been performing onstage since she was 5 years old. She had her arangetram performance at 14, under the guidance of Shrimati Lakshmi Anand of Natyalaya. Rina later went on to study Economics and Political Science at Boston University. While at BU, she co-founded Chankaar, Boston University's first Indian dance troupe. Rina has been sharing her considerable knowledge of and expertise in Indian dancing with all of New Jersey since 2004. Her love for dance is rivaled only by her love of teaching children, making her an excellent dance instructor. She strives to help all of her students achieve perfection, and is capable of certifying Aum students in both Bharatanatyam and Kathak. Her dance company, Aum Dance Creations Company, was founded on the belief that classical dancing is the foundation upon which all dance is based.
Nadia Junaid is a project manager and event planner based in Toronto. She has done work for the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. She served as a production coordinator for the Unforgettable Tour of Bollywood stage show (featuring Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, and Preity Zinta) when it toured in Toronto. She has also managed Youth Engagement programs for the International Development and Relief Foundation. She has a background in public health with specific focus on youths. She earned master's degrees in Adult Education and Community Development at the University of Toronto, and is an alumnus of Oberlin College.