Aparna Sen is a critically acclaimed Indian filmmaker, script writer, and actress. She is the winner of three prestigious National Film Awards and eight international film festival awards.
Her first film appearance happened in Satyajit Ray’s Teen Kanya when she was sixteen. In 1981, Aparna, made her debut as a film director with 36 Chowringhee Lane which won national and international accolade. Since then she has gone on to direct films on a wide variety of subjects that have brought her worldwide fame and recognition.
Shabana Azmi is regarded as one of the finest actresses in India. She has appeared in over 120 Hindi films in both mainstream and independent cinema, and has to her credit as an actor several international projects. Azmi’s performances in films across genres have earned her praise and awards, which include a record of five wins of the National Film Award for Best Actress and four Filmfare Awards.
In addition to acting, Azmi is a social and women’s rights activist, a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), and a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament.
Bhawana Somaaya commenced her career in the late 70s as Chief Reporter with Free Press Journal’s film weekly titled Cinema Journal. In 81 she joined Movie as Assistant Editor and went on to become the Joint Editor. In 2000, she joined as Editor Chief, Screen, a film weekly of The Indian Express Group.She is the recipient of several prestigious awards and has contributed columns to prominent publications like The Observer and The Hindustan Times. She has to her credit nine books in a span of 10 years which include Amitabh Bachchan – The Legend and Cinema – Images & Issues.
Somaaya does a weekly film review and a Sunday show on 92.7 Big Fm. She is a multifaceted individual who juggles multiple responsibilities including being creative consultant to Enlighten Films and their website Dear Cinema, a guest lecturer at MET college, and serving her second term on the Advisory Panel of Central Board of Film Certification.
Lillete Dubey has appeared in numerous Indian movies, most notably in the Mira Nair directed: Monsoon Wedding, Baghban alongside the legend, Amitabh Bachchan, Bow Barracks Forever alongside her daughter Neha Dubey, and Housefull alongside Bollywood A – listers Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone.
Lillete Dubey, in addition to acting, is an acclaimed theatre director, television and film artist, and founder of the Theatre Action Group in Delhi. She has directed a number of plays including Mahesh Dattani’s Dance like a Man, which is the longest running play in English that completed 425 shows across the world and a two week run on Broadway.
Deepti D’Cunha is a Film Programmer, based in Mumbai, India, specializing in Contemporary Indian Cinema. Deepti sources and curates films for the Viewing Room section, Work-in-progress lab and Film Bazaar Recommends section, for NFDC Film Bazaar.
Her deep commitment towards independent Indian cinema always keeps her on the lookout for new films and fresh talent from all over India as well as new platforms for exhibition and distribution of Indian cinema across the world. She has been a programmer for the 17th and 18th International Children’s Film Festival of India by the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and well as for Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival. Deepti sources Indian films for International Film Festivals and is currently the India Consultant to Marco Mueller, Artistic director, of Rome Film Festival.