South Asian Film Festival of America

JURY Team 2018

The Film Festival Jury brings their talent and expertise as screenwriters, writers, producers, directors, and editors, as well as a passion for film, to evaluate each of SAFFA’s 25 films.

The jury will select the top film from each category (short films, music videos, and web-series) on the basis of capturing the spirit of production, entertainment, and originality.

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Melanie chandra

Melanie Chandra is an actress and producer, mostly known for her portrayals as “Malaya Pineda” in the CBS medical drama Code Black, “Roli” in the Netflix comedy series Brown Nation, and “Fareeda” in the HBO dark comedy The Brink.

Profiled in the HBO documentary East of Main Street alongside nine other Asian-Americans in Hollywood, Melanie has been an advocate for more visible and more accurate representation of South Asians on screen and is currently developing multi-platform projects with South Asian American characters at the forefront - including her anticipated passion project, Surina & Mel.

Melanie is a native of Illinois and holds a mechanical engineering degree from Stanford University.


priya shah

Priya is a Content Development Manager focused on all South Asian content at GIPHY - the GIF library and sharing platform. At the intersection of tech + short-form video, she is passionate about diversifying the GIF experience across platforms by working with brands, networks and people to represent South Asian people and culture. Working in the South Asian space for quite some time - she was a previous TV anchor for TV Asia as well as the inventor of the board game, Desi Chaat. She's a lover of film and music! Fave GIFs: Mind Blown & "Kya" 

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ravi kapoor

Ravi is a writer/director/actor. He directed and co-wrote the feature MISS INDIA AMERICA. He was a series regular on the shows GIDEON’S CROSSING and CROSSING JORDAN for which he also directed. His short films THE 5 and VICTOR RAMIREZ, ASESINO  have played a number of film festivals. His plays include OH SWEET SITA which ran in London and Toronto, and O!EDIPUS which played on the Hollywood Fringe Fest. He is originally from Liverpool, UK  but now resides in LA with Meera Simhan, his two kids and a dog named Elvis.