Writer, Producer, Director
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Vandana was born in New Delhi and spent her early childhood growing up in Sydney, Australia. The daughter of an Engineer and a Doctor, Vandana was always aware of the value of education and was also supported in her creative endeavors. She wanted to grow up to be an air hostess, ballerina and artist because of her love for travel, expression and creativity.
In Delhi she studied History at Lady Shri Ram College while pursuing courses in web designing, copy writing and film appreciation. The next step was film school – a Masters from Jamia Millia Islamia’s reputed Mass Communication Research Center. During this time she freelanced on several creative projects, worked as Editorial Coordinator for the ‘I’, a newsletter published at the India Habitat Center’s Visual Arts Gallery and taught teenage slum children filmmaking as part of Plan International’s, ‘Children Have Something to Say.’ With her Masters complete, traveling to Sri Lanka followed, not as an air hostess but as a camerawoman to work on the British Council film,’ My Sister My Self.’
Her passion for teaching was expressed in a short film about Education, which won her the Commonwealth Vision Award in 2004. Travel and Education also came together in Poland where she designed and implemented workshops with an International team on a project called the ‘The World of Knowledge’ that was supported by the UNDP. As a media Consultant at the India Centre Foundation, an Indo Japanese Non Profit focused on inter cultural communication, Vandana made several films to highlight the cultural legacy between the two nations and traveled to the Cannes Film Festival in 2005.
Vandana is passionate about yoga and became a certified yoga teacher from the Sivananda Vedanta Centre in South India. ‘Stretching Towards Peace’, a project on yoga and meditation being a counter to youth violence won the Davis Project for Peace in 2008 and Vandana traveled to Sombor, Serbia to implement her project with Serbian youth.
Since 2006 Vandana has been based in New York City where she worked with PBS’s ‘In the Mix’, The Manhattan Theatre Group, Beliefnet, MTV’s Teen Mom and Alwan for the Arts. PEO International awarded Vandana with the honor of PEO Peace Scholar for two consecutive years and she was also part of the Women’s International Leadership Program at International House, New York. She successfully completed her second Masters, an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College in 2009. The Taxi Takes is her MFA thesis project.
The Taxi Takes would not have been possible without the valuable inputs, generous time and incredible expertise and help given by several people.
THANKS TO :
TITLE MUSIC COMPOSER
Jean Olivier Begin
Abdul Khalque Khan
SHOOTING (INSIDE TAXIS)
Vivek C. Thakur
Special thanks to CBS News for the use of footage in our films’ opening credits.
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