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Stream began May 9, 2020 12:00 AM UTC
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These films are available for viewing from Monday, May 4th at 7pm PT to Friday, May 8th at 5pm PT. Livestreams are also available to watch on the Visual Communications Youtube Channel and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Facebook page!

Join us for hum saath hain - we gather acclaimed women storytellers who are significant in shaping the South Asian narratives of today. In this special conversation, they talk about their experiences as South Asian American writers/filmmakers, what drives them to tell groundbreaking stories, and more.


Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed

Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed is a political activist, storyteller, poet, and artist based in Los Angeles. She creates at the intersection of counternarratives and culture-shifting as a South Asian American Muslim 2nd-gen woman. She’s turned out over 500,000 Asian American voters, recorded her #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast at the White House and makes #MuslimVDay cards annually. Her essays are published in the anthologies Pretty Bitches, Shades of Prejudice, Good Girls Marry Doctors, Love Inshallah, and numerous online publications.

Leena Pendharkar

Leena Pendharkar is an award-winning writer and director. She premiered her sophomore feature film, 20 WEEKS, at the Los Angeles Film Festival. It was also selected as one of the best indie films of 2017 by Film Threat, and was described as an “intimate, compassionate take on abortion” by The Los Angeles Times. Leena has also directed several short films, including SCRAP, which won the Best Director award at the First Glance Film Festival, and DANDEKAR MAKES A SANDWICH, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of LA. Leena is currently in the CBS Diverse Directors program, and was recently in the NBC Emerging Directors and the Sony Television Directors programs. She is represented by Michael Kolody at the Kaplan Stahler Agency, and Jen Au at Jen Au Management.

Fawzia Mirza

Fawzia Mirza is a writer/creator/director who was named a White House “Champion of Change” in Asian American Art & Storytelling and listed as one of Independent Magazine’s “10 Filmmakers to Watch” and Indiewire’s “Top 10 Creatives.” She is also a Djerassi Program Writing Resident and an alum of Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access Program. Her one-woman-play-turned-screenplay ME, MY MOM & SHARMILA was named an SFFILM Society Rainin Fellow and invited to the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival Writer's Studio. Her first feature, SIGNATURE MOVE, which she co-wrote, produced, and stars in, world premiered at SXSW, screened 150+ film festivals globally, won 14 awards (Outfest Grand Jury Prize, Best US Narrative), and is now available on Amazon/iTunes. She wrote on the CBS series THE RED LINE, executive produced by Greg Berlanti and Ava Duvernay. She's currently working on several TV and film projects. 

Shilpi Roy

Shilpi Roy is a filmmaker who comes from a traditional Indian family and grew up watching only the song-and-dance numbers from Bollywood movies. She began her career writing and directing the award-winning comedy web series HIPSTERHOOD, which won multiple awards across two seasons. An MFA graduate from USC School of Cinematic Arts, she has also participated in the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, as well as Universal Studio’s Directors Initiative. Shilpi sold her first television show, BROWN GIRLS, to Freeform TV, for which she co-wrote and co-executive-produced the pilot. She was also the showrunner of MATCHELORETTE, a CMT pilot for SoulPancake (a division of Participant Media). She currently writes on the Netflix Original Series TEAM KAYLIE and is developing a show for The Disney Channel with Lilly Singh’s (A LITTLE LATE WITH LILLY) company Unicorn Island.

Pia Shah

Pia Shah is an American actress, writer, and producer of Indian descent. She most recently starred opposite Alfred Molina in Florian Zeller’s Tony award winning play THE FATHER. She played Jinky in the indie feature film GRASS, currently streaming on Netflix, and Tanya in the episode “FOMO” of the Duplass brother HBO anthology series, ROOM 104. She originated the role of Leela, a young woman on the spectrum, in the world premiere of ORANGE at South Coast Repertory. She has appeared on shows such as GREY’S ANATOMY, GOOD TROUBLE, and FUTURESTATES, and workshopped dozens of new plays at theaters around the country including the Geffen, Pacific Playwrights Festival, and Ojai Playwrights Conference. She is currently writing a feature screenplay. 


Media Partner:

The Asian Highway was co-founded by journalist Parimal M. Rohit and public health advocate Debesh Das in 2017 as a media outlet and news organization. Included within the media outlet are podcasts, web news reporting and videos. The Asian Highway is a top source for in-depth news and feature stories on the Asian American experience. The Asian Highway’s exclusive coverage includes the latest issues, breaking news, upcoming events of interest and new legislation.