VARSHA & SAAD
A DIRECTING DUO BASED OUT OF INDIA
DIRECTOR, WRITER, MIXED-MEDIA & VOICE ARTIST
Pronouns - They/Them
Varsha Panikar is an independent non-binary QPOC filmmaker, poet and visual-and-voice artist who likes to tell stories by blending the medium of poetry, performance, art, moving images and sound. Driven by an unyielding desire to constantly create, regardless of the medium, they like to do a bit of everything; from brand advertising, independent audio-visual endeavours to delving into the sphere of art, poetry and performance.
Their stylized narrative involves multidisciplinary practices where they like mixing poetic musings with moving and still images and sound. Drawing inspiration from dreams, memories and the innate need to understand the patterns of one’s existence - their themes range from slice of life, identity, gender politics, the quest for discovery, mental health, horror to new-age romance.
Their other spoken-word film, False Promises, which they worded and voiced just released on 29th Oct 2020 and has been featured by Homegrown. Their debut Music Video - Maya feat. Coshish, was listed in the top 10 Music Videos by Rolling Stones.
You can read Varsha's latest essay "Labels, In a not-so-perfect world" - on why labels matter in the discourse around gender, identity and self-expression on The Lipstick Politico. Their photo-poetry zine, ‘Whisperings To My Shadows’ was showcased at ‘Queer Futures Archives’ at Parramatta Riverside Theater, Sydney – as a part of ‘Burn All The Books That Call You The Unknown” exhibition by Fadesha. "Daydream' from their series 'Dream Diary was published in the zine, 'The Dreamer Issue' by The Local Color Zine. They've also been published by The Rights Collective together with guest editors South Asian Sisters Speak (SASS) in their 5th edition of Zine, titles 'Resilience' with. They go by the pen-name ‘fromtheafterglow’ and you may see their other published work HERE.
DIRECTOR, WRITER, EDITOR
Pronouns - He/Him
Director's Guild of America (DGA) student award winner Saad Nawab's journey to be a storyteller of consequence has led him from the conservative landscape of the Middle East to a strict boarding school in the mountains of Western India to the hallways of the royal Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda where he graduated with an honors degree in English. He ended up in Bombay by chance and caught the eye of some of India’s most respected filmmakers for his creative prowess.
Always yearning to take precarious roads, one fine late night, he chanced upon an unattended portal that led him to the prestigious College of Motion Picture Arts at Florida State University where he graduated with an MFA in film direction. Since then, he has embarked on another journey in search of a mythical book of untold stories that might be the key to changing the course of his undefined future.
Saad’s film “Frankenstein’s Light”, a kids fantasy, has played and won awards in over twenty five film festivals across the Americas, Asia and Europe.
He loves to utilize the visual medium to explore themes of the human condition related to innocence, loss and religion against the backdrop of worlds brimmed with science fiction and fantasy.
He resided and worked in New York before moving back to Bombay, India where he indulges in writing, directing and editing narratives, commercials and experimental films. In between, he finds the time to continue being a veteran dessert enthusiast, and create customized memes that satire his friends and the conundrums of the film industry.
AWARDS & SELECTIONS
Our latest work, Bodies Of Desire, a visual poetry film, written (Varsha) and directed by us, has so far been selected at 22 very prestigious festivals,
including BFI Flare, Berlin Commercial 2020,
in their Cultural Impact category,
and has had a world premiere via Nowness Asia, including a feature by GIF and Nowness in their LoveSick series. It has recently, been selected by BFI Flare and British Council to be part of #FiveFilmsForFreedom2021.