Storied Diaspora. Our panelist here are change makers who have incorporated the South Asian narrative in mainstream American film and television. We will hear their stories talking about our stories! This panel is moderated by Ekta Bhargava
Simran Baidwan, born to East Indian immigrant parents in the San Francisco Bay Area, left a successful career as a criminal prosecutor to tackle the mean streets of Hollywood and pursue life as a writer. She holds a law degree from USD School of Law where she also served as an editor on the prestigious San Diego Law Review. She has written for such hit shows as ABC’s “The Good Doctor” and Netflix’s “Manifest,” and currently serves as Showrunner and Executive Producer (alongside TV legend Norman Lear) on Amazon Freevee’s hotly anticipated half hour single camera comedy “Clean Slate” starring Laverne Cox and George Wallace. She was a guest playwright at the IAMA Theatre Company’s One Day Plays in 2017, and her writing was nominated for a 2019 GLAAD Media Award. In addition, her pilot script “Birdie” was selected for the esteemed 2019 WriteHer Script List. She current lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. Simran is represented by CAA, Literae Management and attorney Jamie Feldman of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark.
Reenita Malhotra Hora
Reenita Malhotra Hora is an award-winning screenwriter, novelist and audio producer. Native to Mumbai, she has many years of experience growing organizations from startups to medium-sized businesses through storytelling, creative marketing and business strategy. Reenita has written eight books (both fiction and non-fiction), two podcast series (True Fiction Project and Shadow Realm), a pilot and two feature screenplays. As a writer she has contributed to Bloomberg, Reuters, South China Morning Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, Asian Investor, Times of India, Rolling Stone, Economic Times, National Geographic Kids, Cartoon Network Asia, Disney and more. As an on-air news reporter, writer, and producer, she has contributed to Bloomberg, RTHK Radio 3, Monocle Radio and the BBC. Her female-driven comedy, 'Operation Mom' is a Santa Barbara Screenplay Awards winner, a Chanticleer International Book Awards (Dante Rosetti YA, Mark Twain - Humor/Satire, Chatelaine - Romance) winner, Eric Hoffer Award winner and Indie Reader Discovery Award winner. Her YA fantasy screenplay, ‘Shadow Realm’ is a Script2Comic, Launchpad and Emerging Screenwriters finalist. Passionate about the Indian narrative, her stories reflect the South Asian experience. Learn more about her projects at: http://www.reenita.com. Her upcoming books include historical fiction love story, Playtime at the Bagh , her literary non-fiction memoir, Ace of Blades and a children's picture book, Festival of Light.
Shruti Tiwari has spent over two decades in the creative arts with acting projects ranging from a Bollywood blockbuster to numerous award winning independent films. After her stints in investment banking and tech, she, an MBA from Mumbai and MIA from Columbia University, changed course to authentically represent minority voices. This year, she was selected for the Women of Color Filmmakers Lab and was awarded the YBCA Artist Power Convenings grant and a BraveMaker Pitch Fest grant towards her short film, "Stain Resistant." A past member of the Playground Writers pool, she has also completed the Sundance Collab directors and producers programs to develop her first feature, "Flares," the screenplay for which is an award winner at the Alliance of Women Filmmakers Scriptwriting Competition, and a finalist at WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Screenwriting Lab and the Big Apple Film Festival. She is also a finalist from the Austin Film Festival Pitch Fest, 2020, and a second rounder in the screenplay competition, 2021. In 2018, she wrote and directed the short, "Trail Past Prejudice," which premiered at the Delhi International Film Festival, won the Silver Remi Award at WorldFest Houston and was bought by Shorts TV, UK. In 2021, she wrote, directed and produced the short film "Mum" which played at the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Film Festival and won accolades at numerous international festivals. Her satire "Bibijis and Auntyjis" has been performed in San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles. Furthermore, she has worked with at-risk youth for over a decade and was awarded a Certificate of Honor by the City and County of San Francisco for creating positive impact through the arts.