Board Of Directors
Born in India and educated at both Delhi University and Harvard, prolific filmmaker and activist Mira Nair divides her energies between filmmaking and her two successful non-profit organizations, Maisha and the Salaam Baalak Trust. In 1988, using the profits of her successful debut feature Salaam Bombay!, Nair established the Salaam Baalak Trust. Twenty years after its inception, the Salaam Baalak Trust has helped to provide a safe and nurturing environment for 5000 street children annually, and has directly impacted government policy on street children in India.
In 2005, Nair went on to found Maisha, a filmmakers’ training program based in East Africa. In its five years of operation, Maisha has trained hundreds of students from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania in screenwriting, directing, producing, acting, sound design, editing, and cinematography.
Nair lives in New York City and Kampala, Uganda with her husband and son, and is currently working on her forthcoming feature, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s bestselling novel, and the Broadway musical adaptation of Monsoon Wedding.
Sabrina Dhawan is the England-born Indian screenwriter who first gained mainstream attention as a writer for the 2001 critically-acclaimed film, Monsoon Wedding (dir: Mira Nair), and the 2003 cross-cultural romance film, Cosmpolitan (dir: Nisha Ganatra).
Dhawan was awarded the Audience Award at the Angelus Awards in 2001 and “Best of the Festival” at the 2000 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films for her film, “Saanjh”.
Dhawan is currently a professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Department of Dramatic Writing, and resides in New York with her husband, Steve Cohen, and their son, Kabir.
Lydia Dean Pilcher
After receiving a MFA at NYU Film School in 1983, Pilcher began her career making documentaries and working in the production department of feature films including: After Hours (dir: Martin Scorsese); F/X (dir: Robert Mandel); Round Midnight (dir: Bertrand Tavernier); Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (dir: John Hughes); Mississippi Burning (dir: Alan Parker); and Quiz Show (dir: Robert Redford). In 2002, Pilcher founded Cine Mosaic, a New York-based production company committed to producing entertaining and culturally diverse feature films for theatrical release and for television.
Pilcher recently produced Amelia, starring Hilary Swank as the famous aviatrix, Amelia Earhart (dir: Mira Nair); The Darjeeling Limited (dir: by Wes Anderson); and The Namesake (dir: Mira Nair), based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri.
In addition to her producing credits, Pilcher has served two terms as Vice Chair of the Producers Guild of America East and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The New York Production Alliance. She was named one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s eNews for 2005.
Ami Boghani is an independent screenwriter and producer based in New York City. She has been involved with Maisha since its inception in 2004. Alongside Mira Nair and Musarait Kashmiri, Ami developed and executed the first Maisha training programs. More recently, she has served as a screenwriting mentor herself at the 2010 Filmmakers’ Lab in Kampala, Uganda.
Ami graduated from Wesleyan University’s prestigious Film Studies Program in 2003. In addition to her work with Maisha, she was an executive at Mira Nair’s award-winning independent film company, Mirabai Films, for eight years. During her tenure at Mirabai, Ami helped to develop and produce AIDS JAAGO, a collection of four short films about AIDS in India directed by Nair and three prominent Bollywood directors. The series, financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was seen by millions of people at film festivals and on multiple Indian television channels. Ami also produced Nair’s short films How Can It Be, starring Bollywood stars Konkona Sensharma and Ranbir Shorey and God’s Room, which is part of a series of films on religion commissioned by screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams). Ami was also involved in the development of the screenplays for Nair’s feature films The Namesake and Amelia.
Ami co-wrote the screen story for and co-produced Nair’s latest film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, starring Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, and Kiefer Sutherland. The film, shot in Atlanta, New York, New Delhi, Lahore, and Istanbul, opened the Venice Film Festival and the Doha Tribeca Film Festivals and was a gala presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Reluctant Fundamentalist will open worldwide in 2013.