Jitin Hingorani - Festival Director
Arts and entertainment reporter, Communications Director, Director of Development and Marketing, Senior Publicist, Event Manager are all titles Jitin Hingorani has successfully held in his career in journalism, non-profit management, and public relations. His first job was working in broadcast news at CNN’s sister station in Texas, News 8 Austin, a Time-Warner-owned, 24-hour news channel, where he covered arts, religion, and general assignment news and anchored the weekend newscasts.
Passionate to serve his community, Jitin joined the battered women’s movement and served as the Communications Director for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Texas Council on Family Violence. To garner international event management and PR experience, Jitin joined The Miracle Foundation, a non-profit that brings life-changing care to the world's orphans, as their Director of Development and Marketing. During that time, Jitin organized the grand opening of an “ideal village” of orphanages in one of the poorest states in India. His ties with the Bollywood community enabled him to invite a major celebrity to come on board as the “brand ambassador” for the event, which led to earned media coverage inTimes of India, BBC World, Associated Press, and many others. Jitin has also successfully pitched and secured coverage on the Oprah Winfrey Show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, Variety, New Yorker Magazine, Time Out, John Walsh Show, and several other major media outlets.
When he moved to New York, Jitin served as the Senior Publicist for Great Performances and SundayArts at WNET/Thirteen, New York’s PBS affiliate. He has also been freelancing as the Manhattan arts and entertainment reporter for Asian Variety Show (AVS), a South Asian Bollywood cable program. As a television personality, Jitin has emceed the TimesofMoney Group’s “Light of India Awards,” which was broadcast on Sony Television in 150 countries around the world, as well as several fashion shows, film festivals, and dance events in New York City.
Jitin started Jingo Media in June 2010, and since then, his boutique PR and events management firm has retained several South Asian and mainstream clients, including Wells Fargo Bank, The Times of Money Group, The UB Group, Pratham, the Lodha Group, Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, American Foreign Policy Council, Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival, the Erasing Borders Dance Festival, the I-View Film Festival, Exclusively.IN, Vikas Khanna’s “Holy Kitchens” series, The American University of Antigua, Kornhaber Brown, Amrita Singh Jewelry, and several others.
While handling the PR for the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) in New York, Jitin was inspired to create his own film festival, and he chose to partner with NYIFF to bring South Asian independent cinema to North Texas, as part of the first-ever DFW South Asian Film Festival. He will serve as the Festival Director and is committed to providing a platform for cinematic gems that are often overlooked.
Ambica Dev - Artistic Director
Ambica Dev is the Artistic Director for the DFW South Asian Film Festival. Hailing from the Midwest, she is a proud Boilermaker with extensive experience in coordinating events. She also travels to different film festivals worldwide with Festival Director, Jitin Hingorani, to curate films especially for the DFW South Asian Film Festival. Growing up, she has been an avid Bollywood/Independent Film water and is excited to help provide a much-needed platform in North Dallas for others to enjoy this genre of films.
Nisha Bhatt - Festival Coordinator
Nisha Bhatt is a Visual Artist and Event Coordinator. Growing up, she moved around the states a lot & all cinema was one of her & her family's bright threads of inspiration. She uses these influences to inspire her work & propel her within a large creative scope. Nisha has worked with companies such as MR Youth, BlackBerry, Victory Dog Design & The Austin Film Festival doing graphic design, marketing, event planning, and PR liaison. In addition to growing her own Design business, she is a founding member of Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival. As a lover of film and cultural awareness, Nisha is excited to be a part of the incredible SAFF team for the past 3 years and to continue celebrating South Asian Indie cinema.
Viveck Vaswani currently is a teacher, who works to counsel young people on their careers, and is also an actor, food blogger and a film producer. In the past, Viveck has launched a string of new directors in feature films including Ananth Mahadevan, Aziz Mizra, Rahul Bose, Anant Balani, Gyan Sahay and many others. Most of the films he has produced have been vehicles to launch fresh talent in every field of film making. He has also launched many actors, notably Shah Rukh Khan, Raveena Tandon, Koel Purie, Rehaan Engineer and Amaan F Khan.
A long time Dallas resident, Ritu Krishna is married with two daughters who live in New York City. Watching movies is Ritu's favorite leisure pastime. Her taste in movies is varied and she enjoys a wide variety of genres ranging from mainstream to eclectic indie choices. She and her husband have been regulars at the Sundance Film festival for several years. Ritu also enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking and is a wine enthusiast who loves to seek out wine growing regions as travel destinations. Ritu is a veteran, seasoned Information Technology executive and currently serves as Director of Professional Tax Software delivery at Intuit, Inc.
We Are American Author Illustrator Nikita Vyas Hattangady is a lover of cinema especially Foreign Independent films. She has worked as a Production team member in independent films produced in Texas and has done voice-over for an international documentary. Nikita is excited to be a part of an amazing team bringing an incredible array of South Asians films to the DFW
Aassia Haq founded Guidrr, Inc. to offer travel brands a new way to create and share destination experiences on mobile and social. An experienced, serial entrepreneur, Aassia launched her first startup – on-demand employment platform ALUMRISE, Inc. - in her 30’s. Prior to that, she was Chief Marketing Officer of business operating platform MBO Partners, headquartered in Herndon, VA, where she helped to spearhead and launch the first national study on independent work. Early in Aassia’s career, she spent nearly a decade at various divisions of PepsiCo, Inc. in roles of increasing responsibility in public affairs; communications and brand management. She serves on the board of the Dallas Forth Worth South Asian Film Festival (DFWSAFF) and on the board of micro-lending organization Lift Fund, Dallas. She also serves as part of the North American team for Ouishare, a global think tank focused on the international and fast-growing peer-to-peer economy, based in Paris, France. Aassia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H., with a degree in international relations and political science. She and her family proudly called Plano, Texas home.
Alec Jhangiani began his film career on Terrence Malick's Palme d'Or winning THE TREE OF LIFE and eventually became a consultant to the producers on Malick's follow up feature TO THE WONDER starring Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck. As a founding member of the Lone Star Film Festival in Fort Worth, TX, Jhangiani helped lead the festival and presenting organization, the Lone Star Film Society, Inc. to financial stability and national recognition. In his four years as Director of the film society, the organization grew to present an average of one event every three days throughout the year and the Lone Star Film Festival was twice recognized by The New York Times and placed on MovieMaker Magazine's annual list of "Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" for three consecutive years. Most recently, Jhangiani was an Executive Producer on the feature film A COUNTRY CALLED HOME starring Imogen Poots and Academy Award nominee June Squibb with music by Academy Award winner Ryan Bingham.
A film, book & travel enthusiast, Ami was born in Singapore and moved to Dallas in 2005. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) with a focus on Economic Development/Microfinance in India. She is a Donor Initiatives Officer at the Communities Foundation of Texas and is the founder of Opportunity Plus (formerly Milaap USA), whose mission is to elevate challenges faced by the working poor through financial empowerment and improved access to low cost capital. She worked with Milaap Social Ventures, a crowd-funded micro lending platform for India. Ami co-founded ProPoor, a portal that provides information, resources, and news about the development sector in South Asia. Prior to her work in social finance and development, Ami was a Fixed Income Analyst in Emerging Markets for UBS Warburg in the USA and Singapore. She serves as an advisor to the Academy of Global Studies at the Parish Episcopal School and was awarded the Immigrant Entrepreneur Award (2016) for her advocacy of the immigrant community in Dallas.
Ayesha is originally from Karachi, Pakistan. She has a Masters of Health Science degree from The Johns Hopkins University and has over 20 years of management experience. Since the last five years, Ayesha has been Director at Radio Azad, which is a highly regarded internet based South Asian radio station with a unique brand of news, talk, music and entertainment. She manages a team of over 25 programmers for the 24/7 station which has listeners in over 160 countries and 40 states. Programming is conducted in 10 different South Asian languages. Under Ayesha's leadership, Radio Azad has successfully organized and promoted many different events not only to bring together the diverse DFW community, but also to provide a platform for the discussion of though provoking issues that affect the South Asian diaspora. For more information on Radio Azad, please go to www.radioazad.us.
Dev Shapiro is the CEO for one of the oldest motion picture studios in the country, The Selig Polyscope Company. He was born in India, adopted and raised by a Jewish couple who instilled the values and rich traditions of both of the Indian and Jewish cultures. At a very young age Dev knew he did not want to take the traditional path in life and wanted to create his own dream. At the age of 11, he started his own web design and Apple consulting business. His first festival experience began at the age of 13 when he volunteered for the City of Garland’s award winning 4th of July festival. There he quickly worked his way up to become the personal assistant to the Volunteer Director. Here he learned logistics, event planning and execution, video production and crowd control. In 2007, Dev joined the AFI Dallas International Film Festival (now the Dallas International Film Festival) team as a volunteer coordinator but quickly rose through the ranks in operations and media Dev has worked with DIFF and other major film festivals in Dallas to provide them with services as such as logistics, security, the marketing of Israeli and Indian films, red carpet video production and volunteer training. These partnerships continue to this day though his Selig Polyscope Company.
Gowri has lived in Canada and India before finishing her high school in Dallas TX. After completing a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Architecture she worked for HKS Architects. She left in 1999 to pursue her nonprofit interests with an emphasis on issues concerning women and children. Her first volunteer experience was with AIDIndia. She also worked at the grassroots level with Communitiworks, a Dallas based NGO. In 2007 Gowri became a founding Board member of the UNICEF USA's Dallas Great Plains Regional Board to which she is still an active member. She currently sits on the Advisory Board of talkSTEM a Dallas based organization that promotes interdisciplinary opportunities between Science and our community. She is also on the Board of the DMA as well as a member of the DMA Acquisition Fund created by the Dallas Art Fair. After completing the Business Council of the Arts program Gowri recently joined the Grant Panel for the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. She is also a member of the Orchid Giving Circle which functions under the Dallas Woman's Foundation. She recently joined the executive committee of SAAVE - South Asian American for Voter Voter Education Engagement and Empowerment . Gowri currently works as a food advisor for the Seattle based company Top Pot Doughnuts, and architecture advisor for family business interests. She, her husband and daughter live in Dallas and Boston. Her love for movies stems from her childhood in Canada and India and she enjoys all genres and languages. Gowri is excited to be a part of this dynamic team bringing diversity to the Dallas Film scene.
Meeta Manglani is an New York City based fashion business owner. She runs Maccimize, a women's fashion jewelry business, and co-owns Forever Rakhi with Festival Director, Jitin Hingorani. Although a born and raised New Yorker, Meeta holds her South Asian roots near and dear with a particular interest in Indian film including Bollywood and Indie films. She has participated in New York South Asian Film Festival in the past and was involved with DFWSAFF's inaugural year. Meeta is now looking forward to bringing her unique perspective to DFWSAFF by serving on the programming board this year.
Partha has been a resident of north Fort Worth since 2007. Although born in Hoboken, New Jersey, he grew up up in Bay City, a small town near Houston, TX. He is a general dentist, a private practice owner, and a part time adjunct assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry here in Dallas. Partha has always had a passion for independent films and documentaries of any origin. He is a huge fan and supporter of the DFW South Asian Film Festival and has been a lifetime member since the festival's second year. When not practicing or watching movies he likes to spend time with his dog Biggy Smallz, exercising, and playing various hand drums.
Patrick is the owner of a high-end hair salon in Dallas. He has been featured in Glamour, Vogue, and Marie Claire for bringing creativity and individuality into his work. Patrick has long been interested in the Indian culture and has fed his curiosity through watching Bollywood movies and Indian independent films. After visiting India last year, he fell in love with everything India which has strengthened his passion for bringing the culture here to Dallas.
Reema Rasool is the founder of South Asian Young Women Entrepreneurs and the CMO of Green Card Capital. She has had the privilege and honor to work with and attend film festivals worldwide with Jitin Hingorani, who is the founder of DFW SAFF.
A passionate Indian classical and folk dancer since her childhood, and an avid film enthusiast, Sejal also serves on various board and advisory councils for the nonprofit community within Dallas including North Texas Food Bank's Philanthropy council, United Way's GroundFloor program, American India Foundation's DFW Leadership Council, a founding member of the Orchid Giving Circle. She is a graduate of Leadership Richardson, and a member and past-board member of The Dallas Assembly. Sejal holds a Masters in Liberal Studies from Southern Methodist University where she has taken courses on the cinematic technique, a Masters in Business Administration from University of Texas at Dallas and she is also a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Her day job includes being a Program Director for Entrepreneurs for North Texas, a program of Communities Foundation of Texas and Sejal is also the Found and CEO of SevaYatra, a social venture that coordinates social issue focused education trips and short-term service project opportunities at NGOs in India.