Our Team

Our Founders & Directors




Natasha Cohen-Carroll

Artistic Director/Founder

Natasha is a photographer and documentary filmmaker, whose work focuses on culture,  social change, and community history. Growing up in France, she remembers staying up late as a kid to catch the late night showings of foreign films in their original (non-dubbed) format. Natasha has worked in Ahmedabad, India several times over the past few years, namely with Darpana, a performing arts academy that uses art for social change. There, she taught photography and theater, helped film a documentary on rural community leaders in Kutch and worked closely with the organizers of the Cinema of Resistance Film Festival in 2014. She currently is a part of the XAVA film collective and has worked on film projects with various organizations, such as Asian Arts Initiative, The Center for Returning Citizens,and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

 

Hariprasad Kowtha

Program Director/Founder

Hariprasad has dedicated his life to performance as a vector of identity and resistance. He sang bhajans with the South Asian community in Phoenix, Arizona, practiced Carnatic vocals and performed Bharatnatyam.  Hariprasad currently teaches yoga, mindfulness and movement. He is a teaching artist and organizer with Philadelphia Theater of the Oppressed; he co-facilitates T.O. Philly's "Unpacking Race" workshop.  Hariprasad is member of the Philadelphia South Asian Collective.

"This festival makes South Asian stories visible to a wider audience and brings our themes to the Philadelphia public. And I am most excited to hear the conversations that naturally happen after a screening lets out -- conversations that normalize South Asian stories and emotions, shattering the stereotypes I’ve grown up hearing."

Our Crew






Yashaswi Dixit

Sponsorship Coordinator

Yashaswi is a writer, filmmaker, and visual artist based in Philadelphia, PA.  A recent graduate of Temple University’s film program, she is interested in documentary filmmaking as a radical visual language for elevating voices in her communities.  Yashaswi believes that both written and visual media are her most powerful tools for self-expression.  She is a member of Philadelphia South Asian Collective.

 


Imran Siddiquee

Publicity Coordinator

Imran is a writer, filmmaker, and activist challenging representations of race and gender in the media. He was on the founding staff of The Representation Project and his writing has appeared in The AtlanticBuzzfeed, and The Establishment, among other publications. He is a member of the Philadelphia South Asian Collective and committed to dismantling white supremacist patriarchy. 

 

Sarah Juma

Hospitality Coordinator

Sarah (pronounced Saah-ruh) has been called many things - dreamer, optimist, firecracker, stubborn, bold, loud, a black sheep, witty, and wild. These are all true. She is a foodie on a mission to try as many Philadelphia restaurants as possible, is slightly obsessed with Sriracha, loves to travel, and is mesmerised by the magic of movies. Professionally, she is an artist, designer and writer, and beyond her role as Hospitality Coordinator, has designed the Mustard Seed Film Festival Official Selection laurels. If you have any restaurant recommendations, want to learn more about her work, or just say hi, feel free to tweet her @TGIJuma


Medha Ghosh

Outreach Coordinator

Medha is interested in the creative ways of approaching public health issues - like photography and film -  that moves away from looking at health primarily as a person's ability to physically work within society. She is interested in the mental health issues faced by women within South Asian communities, reproductive justice, and the role public health can play in prison abolition. She is a member of the the Philadelphia South Asian Collective.