Bitchitra Collective is proud to announce the winners of our Fellowship 2024 and are specially honored to announce the recipient of our inaugural Sriyanka Ray Grant in partnership with Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM). This is in memory of Sriyanka Ray, a beloved community-based artist of many diverse groups in New York and Kolkata who was one of our founding members and a member of BGDM. Under our Documentary Film & Media Fellowship, 6 filmmakers based in India and US and of Indian heritage will receive a grant of $2000 each to progress their ongoing short or long form documentary projects. Besides, one filmmaker will receive $4,000 under the Sriyanka Ray Grant. Each filmmaker is paired with a mentor, receiving mentorship support for the period of one year.

This has been a unique opportunity for members of the collective to work together and elevate untold stories from our community.

Jurors, Sunita Prasad, Bishakha Datta and Ambarein Alqadar issued the following statement, “This was an extremely difficult choice to make given the high number of very strong proposals covering a wide range of interesting subjects and approaches. We were privileged to view proposals from a mix of emerging and established filmmakers. Ultimately, we selected a cohort of grantees based on their relevant, contemporary themes, attentiveness to documentary ethics, and creative approaches that ranged from deeply committed vérité to the sublime.”



Sriyanka Ray Grant in partnership with Brown Girls Doc Mafia (BGDM) is awarded to the project that embidies Sriyanka’s passion for telling social justice stories of her local community, whether in her adopted land or homeland (USA), alongside her commitment to support artists on the margins. 




Moupia Mukherjee, Murshida

Moupia Mukherjee is an independent filmmaker, producer and writer. She is a PhD and M.Phil in Women’s Studies and M.A. in Comparative Literature. ‘Dui Dhuranir Golpo’ (‘In-between Days’), a documentary produced by her production house Moromiya Pictures won significant critical acclaim and got widely screened in festivals nationally and internationally. ‘The Day I Became a Woman’ was her debut film as director. Her second documentary ‘Murshida’ is under production.

Logline: Situated in a village in West Bengal, Principal Murshida Khatun takes orthodoxy and religious bigotry head-on to impart life lessons to the girls of her Madrasah, motivating them to have their own identity and simultaneously deals with her personal ups and downs.








Rajani Mani, Before The Feast

Rajani Mani is a documentary filmmaker and editor who focuses on visually compelling stories on conservation, human and wildlife conflict and mitigation, and indigenous wisdom. She studied filmmaking at the Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and is a co-founder of  Elephant Corridor Films.

Logline: BEFORE THE FEAST captures a year of tumultuous transitions, as Vincent and Vincy confront changing climate, family, and the uncertain destiny of their beloved Pokkali – a saline resistant rice – leading up to an Easter day family feast where a difficult decision awaits.






Farida Pacha

Farida Pacha is a multiple award-winning independent filmmaker making feature documentaries and short non-fiction films since 2000. She studied anthropology and sociology in Mumbai before doing an MFA in filmmaking from the US. Interested in understanding the human condition, Farida approaches reality in an exploratory way to tell intimate stories that slowly unfold over time. Her films have been screened and awarded at numerous international film festivals. Her debut documentary feature My Name is Salt won 35 international awards and screened at more than 80 film festivals. She has taught film courses, served on festival juries, conducted film workshops and mentored young documentary filmmakers.








Nazia Khan, Oh Believers 

Nazia Khan is a Photographer based in Mumbai,. She has worked as cinematographer on several award winning films. She has a keen eye in detailing when it comes to documenting real lives. Nazia is working on her directorial debut at the moment.

Logline: Oh Believers is a film about understanding religion and religious practices through the eyes of women’s spiritual and leadership lens. The film tells stories of women who are breaking age-old barriers and beliefs by claiming their place in organized religion as priests, spiritual leaders, educators and more and raising their voices for change.






Miriam is the Founder Director of Filament Pictures, dedicated to creating a brand of social documentaries that have won acclaim in India and internationally. She has been chosen as BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Breakthrough Talent from India 2023-2024. She is one of 18 fellows selected in the first cohort of the Global Media Makers Fellowship by Film Independent and US State Department of Education and Cultural Affairs. Her award-winning films are about everyday heroes, From the Shadows (2022), The Leopard’s Tribe (2022), Lyari Notes (2015), The Rat Race (2011), Robot Jockey (2007), Stuntmen of Bollywood (2005) and a 7 part series Back to the Floor (Indian CEOs) on BBC World. Her films have premiered at International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam IDFA, the biggest documentary festival in the world and she is alumnus of the IDFA Academy.  Her films have been broadcast on channels like National Geographic Channel, BBC, Al Jazeera, TV2 Denmark, Arte France  and Netflix.





Trisha Bhattarcharya, Shishu Gacher Shonge/ Along with The Rain Trees

Trisha Bhattacharya is a film and video artist from India, currently based in Los Angeles. She is deeply invested in domestic archives, inherited oral storytelling traditions and the politics of sound. She stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Logline: The film is a collage of folklore that weaves through inherited memories, shared ecologies and the shifting transboundary river along the Bangladesh-India border.







Sonali Gulati

Sonali Gulati is an independent filmmaker, a feminist, a queer rights activist, and an educator. She’s a GuggenheimFellow and teaches filmmaking at VCUarts. Her films have screened at venues like the Hirshhorn Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and at over 500 film festivals such as the Margaret Mead Film Festival, the Black Maria Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, and BlackStar Film Festival. Gulati has received support for her work from the Creative Capital Foundation, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Third Wave Foundation, Tribeca All Access, and World Studio Foundation.




Zainab Sultan, Stand Up for Madinah 

Zainab Sultan, an award-winning journalist and filmmaker, served as Outreach and Impact Manager for the Academy-nominated “To Kill a Tiger.” Her short film, “Worthy of Love,” earned her a Goldziher award for excellence in covering American Muslim issues. With roles in feature production and festivals such as DOC NYC, she’s dedicated to diversifying filmmaking spaces. Based in New Jersey, Zainab resides with her husband and two children.

Logline: “Stand Up for Madinah” follows the first female Muslim legislator in Delaware as she challenges the Biden administration on the ongoing war in Gaza. When she is not confronting the establishment, Madinah is spending time at  comedy clubs trying to find success as a local stand up comedian.



Chithra  Jeyaram

Chithra Jeyaram (She/Her) is a physical therapist turned filmmaker with an MFA in Film from the University of Texas in Austin. She identifies as Tamil. Her work prioritizes subverting stereotypes by framing narratives that highlight perspectives, struggles, and intricacies that are left out. Her short film, Rags to Pads is the story of a husband, Muruganadham who destigmatized menstruation and framed it as a societal issue, not just a women’s issue. Her next film, Foreign Puzzle examines the true impact of cancer by contrasting the making and performance of a stirring dance against the backdrop of intense medical/surgical procedures and the challenges of being a single mother. She is working on OUR DAUGHTERS a feature documentary that examines open adoption in America through an immigrant lens. In addition to directing and producing her work, she edits – One Thousand and One Berber Nights (2023, Feature), Look Like You (2022, Short Narrative), an episode for CBSN Speaking Frankly Series: Symbolic Justice (2020), and 9 Degrees (2019, Short Doc). She is an adjunct faculty at NYU and Vassar. She is an active organizer and member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia and Bitchitra Collective. Chithra is an alumnus of Visions Du Reel RoughCut Lab, Chicken, and (Egg)Celerator Lab, Brown Girls Doc Mafia Artist Fellowship, Gotham Documentary Fellowship, and Jerome Foundation. Her work has been featured on 2M, PBS, CBSN, Apple TV, Revry, Kanopy, SXSW, and DOC NYC.






Poorva Bhat, What’s The Film About 

Poorva is documentary filmmaker and editor based in India. An experienced editor on Indian and American productions, she will be making her international debut as a filmmaker with her short documentary titled “What’s the Film About?” An alumni of DOC NYC x VC’s “Storytelling Incubator” and Scottish Documentary Institute’s “Connecting Stories”, Poorva is the co-founder of “Open Door Docs”, a space for women practicing documentary filmmaking in India to network, grow, learn and scale.

Logline: When two siblings set out camping with their filmmaker mother, little do they know that their mother wants to film a conversation with them on a rather uncomfortable topic.





Shuchi Talati

Shuchi Talati is a filmmaker from India whose work challenges dominant narratives around gender, sexuality, and South Asian identity. Her feature film, Girls Will Be Girls, premiered in competition at the Sundance where it won an Audience Award and a Special Jury Award. Girls has been a recipient of Aide Aux Cinémas du Monde and Sørfond grants, and the ArteKINO and VFF Talent Award at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. It has also been selected for Gotham Week, Berlinale Script Station and Cine Qua Non Script Lab. Her short film, Period Piece, about an afternoon of period sex, was selected for SXSW. Mae and Ash won numerous awards before becoming a Vimeo Staff Pick. Shuchi is an alum of Berlinale Talents and her work has also been recognized by the New York State Council for the Arts and Région Île-de-France. She is a graduate of the American Film Institute. She lives in NYC and is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers    Collective, the Bitchitra Collective and the Freelance Solidarity Project.





Geetanjali Gurlhosur, Where Do We Go From Here?

Geetanjali (they/she) is an independent documentary filmmaker, researcher and a poet. Their film ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ was chosen for PSBT DocCommune program, the NFDC’s WIP Lab and Film Bazaar Recommends. As a former journalist, they have written on culture, human rights, sustainability, development and media for various Indian and international publications. They have a Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Logline: Nani, Mahesh and Heena are all trying to save the same thing from dilapidation and oblivion in this vertically growing city: their 100 plus year old houses and themselves.






Mamta Trivedi

Mamta is an Emmy-nominated Non-Fiction Documentary Film and Television Executive Producer and Director. Her distinctive work is defined by her immersive approach to international narrative and premium documentary filmmaking. Since 2003, when she replaced a field correspondent in the Iraq invasion, Mamta has demonstrated a commitment to exploring and communicating complex stories. A global upbringing across four continents informs her ability to find a way into cultures with sensitivity to create memorable and thought-provoking films that authentically depict the lived experiences of people and places. Bridging 15 years of global production experience, Mamta pursues projects that create awareness and resonate with a broad audience by illuminating, inspiring, and entertaining audiences.  Her recent projects include Women of Hip Hop for Showtime, The Antisocial Network for Netflix (premiering April 4), Maestra (2023 Tribeca Film Festival), The Wild for Paramount+, The People vs. The Klan for CNN Films, and Emmy-nominated Why We Fight for ESPN+. Mamta is a member of the ECCO committee as a creator in entertainment for The White House and senior Senators working on non-partisan initiatives. She mentors for DemocraSHE and Reel Champs. She is currently raising financing for two feature projects she will direct in 2024-2025 and writing a narrative series. She is repped by UTA.  





Ambarien Alqadar

Ambarien Alqadar is a filmmaker, writer and artist. Shaped by the experience of growing up in Jamia Nagar, New Delhi, the metaphor of border crossing is central to her creative practice. Her first documentary -*Who Can Speak of Men?* was acclaimed as a “revolutionary for its portrayal of Indian Muslim men” at BFI Flare and selected to several prominent festivals. *Four Women and a Room* and *The Ghetto Girl* are experimental video essays exploring intersections of memory, history and collective trauma. Currently she is working on *A* *Land of Dreams*- a portrait of an Indian taxi driver in America and *A Night with Me*- a short narrative presented by Anurag Kashyap. Ambarien is an alum of JAmia Milia ISlamia, India and Temple University U.S where she was a Fulbright-Nehru Fellow. She was a speaker at the International Documentary Association 2020, Decolonizing the Documentary and Rising Beyond the Ceiling: 100 stereotypes shattering Muslim women from India in the United States (Film & Media Arts). She lives between New Delhi and Chicago where she teaches at School of Cinematic Arts, DePaul University.



Bishakha Datta

Bishakha Datta leads Point of View, a Mumbai-based non-profit that builds gender equality in digital spaces. A former journalist and documentary filmmaker, Bishakha’s documentary work includes *In The Flesh *and *Taza Khabar.* Anthologies she edited include *Nine Degrees of Justice* and *And Who Will Make the Chapatis? *Bishakha co-founded the award-winning online imprint, *Deep Dives, *which publishes long-form narrative on ‘the way we live now’. She is currently writing a book on the lives of sex workers in India. Bishakha was a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts wikipedia, and is currently on the board of the global non-profit Association for Progressive Communications.






Sunita Prasad

SUNITA PRASAD is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker best known for editing impactful feature documentaries such as AFTERSHOCK (Peabody Award Winner, Emmy Nominated, Sundance Special Jury Award; Hulu), STORMING CAESARS PALACE (BlackStar Shine Award; Independent Lens), and THE RINGLEADER (HBO). Sunita has been recognized as one of DOC NYC & HBO Documentary Films 40 UNDER 40, a Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellow, and a Jerome Foundation Artist Fellow. Sunita is also a recipient of awards and grants from the Art Matters Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and most recently the New York State Council for the Arts in support of the upcoming short fiction film SLEEP TRAINING.