Manoj Singh, Executive Director

BIO

Manoj Singh, Manoj, an IT Consultant, has always had a passion for the arts. He has acted in several prominent plays, including: Mere Bachhe, Jisne Lahore Nahi Dekhya woh Jamiya Nahi and A Tryst with Destiny. He is a member of Natya Bharati, the Actors Center, and Storytellers Short Film Club. In 2012, Manoj and his wife Geeta started Ceasar Productions – it has fast become DCs premier company for hosting South Asian TV Talk Show, Theatre, Music, Films and Book-Reading events. In 2018, we started Not for Profit 501 (c)(3) organization DC South Asian Arts Council Inc under which we now host the DC South Asian Film Festival and DC South Asian Literary Festival and soon to add more year round programming.

Geeta Singh, Hospitality and Finance Director

BIO

Geeta Singh, Geeta is an executive in the banking sector. She is the hospitality chief and plays an integral role in the management of logistics for DCSAFF. Geeta is involved with several outreach programs in the community and is a key figure for raising funds for South Asian events in the Washington, D.C. area.

Mansoor Ahmed, Director/DCSAFF

BIO

Mansoor Ahmed, Mansoor Ahmed (Moonie), DCSAFFs Technical Director, retired as the Division Director for Astrophysics at NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center. During the day he studies the stars and in the evening he shoots them. Moonie made his directorial debut in 2013 with the critically acclaimed film, Bhool. His passion for filmmaking can be traced back to his childhood days in Peshawar, Pakistan, where he lived across from the only English language cinema hall in the city – it wasn’t long before he became mesmerized by the world of international cinema.

Vikram Kolluru, Director Technology

BIO

Vikram Kolluru, Vikram Kolluru works for Thermo Fisher Scientific as an automation systems design engineer by profession. As someone with a great affinity to socialize and deep passion to utilize his creative juices, he has placed himself in community groups linked to theater, cinema and entertainment. Indulging in acting, screenwriting and direction have been his top interests. As team member of DCSAFF Vikram has taken upon multiple hats of media management, organizing volunteers and technical support.

Vandana Narang, Director/DCSALF

BIO

Vandana Narang, Vandana Narang is a member of the Storyteller Film Club. She enjoys writing, script development and directing. Her debut film The Ring,which she wrote and directed, won the Audience Choice Award at the 2014 DCSAFF. In 2017 she wrote and directed The Girl on the Bridge and in 2019 A Night at the Bar both of which were also shown at DCSAFF. She has adapted two screenplays ( Relativity and Mango Party) from short stories that were made into films by the Storytellers Film Group. She owns her own interior design firm and is a running coach.

Joe S. Khera, Artistic Director

BIO

Joe S. Khera, Born in England and raised in Canada, Joe S. Khera’s journey into filmmaking began in 2008. Upon graduating from Whistling Wood Film School, he went on to assist director Subhash Ghai on Black & White and Yuvraaj. In 2008, Joe’s critically acclaimed short film ‘Tuesday’ was screened at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival where it was picked up for distribution by Shemaroo Entertainment. In 2013, Joe had the opportunity to work with Oscar winning director, Spike Lee, as a producer on ‘Outpost,’ an India/USA co-production funded entirely with grants provided by The National Board of Review (USA) and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The film won the Martin E. Segal Award in New York and was an official selection at several film festivals including the Mumbai International Film Festival 2014. The same year Joe co-produced ‘Country of Bodies,’ a musical made in collaboration with international composer Stefano Lentini, who scored the music for Wong Kar Wai’s 2014 Golden Globe nominated film, ‘The Grandmaster’. ‘Country of Bodies’ was a part of the Cinephillia Filmmakers to watch film series in Dubai. In 2015 Joe’s PSBT funded documentary (as director) ‘Dancing Shoes’ was the opening film at the prestigious Open Frame Documentary Film Festival, where it was selected by India Today as ‘one of six documentaries to watch out for’. The film went on to win best documentary at the 13th Jeevika Documentary Film Festival and had its television premiere in February 2017. Joe is the Director of Canada’s International Association of Working Women.

Niharika Kalkeri, Intern - Marketing & Administration Coordinator

BIO

Niharika Kalkeri, Niharika Kalkeri is a senior in high school. She is pursuing her passion in computer science and marketing. She is a marketing and admin assistant for DCSAFF. She enjoys the arts and wants to apply her computer science skills to help DCSAFF reach the masses effectively.

Rashmi Nair, Marketing Manager/Social Media

BIO

Rashmi Nair, Rashmi is a physical therapist by profession with a keen interest in offbeat cinema/shows and books. She handles the social media accounts for DCSAACI, promoting events and interacting with audiences on these platforms. In her spare time she attempts to bake but mostly daydreams about cakes.

Brittany E. Blackham, Grants, Development, Funder Relationship Manager

BIO

Brittany E. Blackham, is a grant, development, and funder relations manager at DCSAACI. She has been developing and managing projects related to health and wellness, education, criminal justice, social services, economic and community development, infrastructure, arts, tourism, conservation, and recreation for over 6 years. She currently works as a grant administrator for county government where she has procured over $40 million to benefit the area. She also serves as the Cambria County Criminal Justice Advisory Board Secretary and Grant Facilitator to initiate programs through partnership with criminal justice and human service agencies to improve the local criminal justice system. Some of her past experience includes constituent services with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, two terms of AmeriCorps National & Community Service, teaching with the Western PA Writing Project, as well as capacity building of healing arts outreach programs for an arts and cultural non-profit. In this position, she completed Mindful Schools instruction for underserved youth, creative writing instruction for at-risk adult populations, and advocated to expand trauma-informed yoga programming for women survivors of abuse. She earned a B.A. in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. As a creative writer, her fiction has been published in Volume II of Archipelago, Allegory Ridge and is forthcoming in the 42 Stories Anthology. She was raised in a military family, traveling the world, living in California and Japan, among other places. As an avid traveler and arts/culture enthusiast, she’s eager to procure funding to support the DCSAACI.

Nadia Khan, Manager Legal/Brand Ambassador

BIO

Nadia Khan, Nadia joins the DCSAFF team as Assistant Director of Marketing. She knows that the appeal of South Asian indie films is far-reaching, and looks forward to promoting the festival to a diverse audience. In her day job, she works for the local government on economic and community development matters.

Nausheen Ilahi, Curator

BIO

Nausheen Ilahi, Over the past decade, Nausheen has actively been involved with promoting and showcasing South Asian arts, literature and music; highlighting activities that transcend national boundaries and strengthen links among the south Asian communities in DC. She has arranged book readings, Qavaali and musical performances, and screenings of films and documentaries, as well as other events.

Himank Pande, Program Manager

BIO

Himank Pande, Himank Pande, Himank, is a Technical Program Manager at Amazon with an incredible passion for arts & culture. He is part of the Amazon Leadership team who is responsible for productivity, engagement & team collaboration at Amazon. Associated with the theatre group Yugmanch, Nainital, India, he is a strong proponent of the Kumaoni culture of Uttarakhand (Himalayan Hill State). He has acted in different plays at college level like “Jinne Lahore Nai Vekhya O Jamiya Nai” by Asghar Wajahat and “The man who married a dumb wife” by Anatole France & has been a part of amateur rock bands. His interests include fusing folk music with modern rock, acting, singing & sound engineering. As a volunteer with DCSAACI, Himank is helping with program management, events coordination for DCSAACI at Amazon & its technical support.