We Are

THE INDIE MEME TEAM

 Meet our Board of Directors
 
 

Board of Directors

Indie Meme's Board of Directors keeps the operation of Indie Meme alive and provides strategic direction on our vision and mission for all events.

Animon Jose, President
Growing up with the parallel cinema movement in India, Animon has been a fan of quality movies for a long time. Since moving to Austin in 2009, he has been heavily involved in local community organizations (including Indie Meme) and volunteers for a number of charities. He started a Malayalam language class about six years back, developed curriculum and teaching materials and taught about 60+ students.
Ramdas Menon, Treasurer
Ramdas Menon, a long-time resident of Austin, got hooked onto films at a very young age, for reasons that he has only shared with his therapist. He joined Indie Meme (IM) in 2015 as a volunteer, and has been associated with all the IM film festivals. As an IM volunteer, he has performed several duties: chauffeur, delivery guy, ticket collector/clicker, vote counter, theater manager and also served on the 2018 programming team. In 2019, he served as the interim Chief Executive Officer at IM.
Swas Pai, Secretary
Swas gives IM huge credit for making her feel at home in Austin after her move from the beautiful city of Portland, OR. Within six months of her moving to Austin, she got to know of IM through a friend in India whose cousin had directed one of the movies screening at IMFF that year. It started off with a ticket to the movie and then very quickly moved to getting a festival pass to watch all movies screening at the festival. That was the first year of IMFF and she has been part of the team.
Alka Bhanot, Co-Founder
Alka has 10 years of experience producing for Indian Television. Since 2003, her ATX film credits include award winning films produced in Austin, & an animation series for children. She founded Indie Meme in 2013 to screen Indie Films from the South Asian subcontinent & build a community of film lovers. Going into it's 5th year - Indie Meme Film Festival is already at par with the other long running established South Asian festivals in the US.
Alka also currently serves on the Austin PBS Board.
Tripti Bhatnagar, Co-Founder
Tripti has been instrumental in supporting numerous award winning films - such as Lonestar Emmy Winner 'A Fair to Remember' - through extensive research, interviews and marketing. Though she's pursued a variety of careers, Film has been her main passion. Tripti believes in the persuasive power of Cinema and to her, it has the potential to facilitate change. Through her efforts with founding IndieMeme, Tripti aims to connect socially conscious cinema with a wider audience.
Vandana Nayak, Outgoing Tech Chair
Vandana has extensive experience working with companies on their online presence and site monetization initiatives. She is passionate about making technology easy to use. She currently is a Consultant at Dell Financial Services. She actively volunteers for many Austin area non-profit organizations, helping with strategic direction and production of their websites.
Pallavi Malviya, Festival Director
Pallavi joined Indie Meme in 2017 with 8+ years of diverse experience. She found her way to Indie Meme in 2017 as a volunteer. At present, she serves as a Vice President & Executive Board member of South Asian Austin Moms (SAAM), and loves to volunteer with other non-profits in Austin & Maryland area. Constantly exploring & prototyping new ideas, she will jump at the chance to be involved in any aspect of a project.
Rubi Sanchez, Asst. Fest Director
Rubi S. Lozoya is a PhD candidate from the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Mexico, she has been in Austin (and with Indie Meme!) since 2013.



Her current research analyses the effects that streaming platforms, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, have on the creation and distribution of independent Hindi films made by women and about women.
Supriya Kini, Marketing Chair
Supriya is a Storyteller, a Multiprenuer, and a Coach who loves watching movies that make her laugh, cry, and experience all the things in between. She enjoys how well-scripted narratives transport us to new unknown worlds we would otherwise be wary of venturing into and offer us telling glimpses into our personal and collective human condition. Her love for Films is driven by the fact that a compelling story can be a powerful tool to facilitate inner and outer transformation.
Aashi Morales, Outreach Chair
Aashi Morales has spent most of her career as an attorney in public service. Helping the community comes naturally to her. She discovered Indie Meme in 2018, and after that immediately volunteered to be part of that year’s film festival. She is thrilled to now be working with the dynamic and creative members of the Indie Meme board and is looking forward to helping spread the news about Indie Meme’s thoughtful and intriguing programming to the greater Austin community.
Geetika Tiwari, Outreach Chair
Geetika Tiwari is a Doctoral Candidate, Dissertator status (on sabbatical) from the Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her tenure in Madison, she was the Program Developer and Evaluator of a Federally funded Family Strengthening Program whose target audience comprised of pre-adolescent children and their families from the Hmong community.

She has also been a lecturer at University of Delhi, teaching Child Development.
Sweta Rajesh, Programming Chair
Sweta's interest in cinema landed her as a volunteer with Indie Meme in 2016. Initially she volunteered only in Dallas screenings, and later at the festivals in Austin. She joined the programming team in 2017. She performed other duties like, logistics, guest relations, filmmaker liaison, memberships and vote counting as well. Sweta was also the programming associate at MISAFF 2019 in Canada.
Ananyaa Ravi, Tech Chair
Ananyaa reached out to IndieMeme about volunteering in 2018 - soon after moving to Austin. Since then, she's been amazed by the community & art at IM. Growing up in a family of cinema buffs, she loves being an armchair critic of all types of films. Her favorite films are ones with character driven plots, smart dialogue and an eye for the absurd. Her on-repeat films are Andaaz Apna Apna and Booksmart.

When not catching people unawares after screenings, she loves pestering her cat and making chai
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We are very grateful to our past board members Raka Sandell, Ruchi Gagrani, Jeff Raimundo, Anjali Kaul Zutshi, Sandhya Shardanand, Sohil Makhnojia and Seema Govil for their contributions.

Board of Advisors

Indie Meme's Advisory Board is made up of community leaders dedicated to furthering our mission, we are truly grateful for their continued support and intellectual contributions. 

Piyush Bhargava
Piyush Bhargava is Vice-President Global Operation at Dell Technologies and leads a global organization responsible for demand planning for Dell’s Infrastructure Solutions Group. Mr Bhargava has been with Dell for 20 years and serves on the boards of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council, FIRST in Texas Foundation, the Tauber Institute for Global Operations, University of Michigan, and the Rady School of Management, University of California. He's also on the board for Dell’s Asian ERG
Anjali Zutshi
With 17 years of experience in the non-profit land conservation sector and having been the Director of Development at The Trust for public land, she is now an independent non-profit management & fundraising consultant. Anjali's enthusiasm and support have made us navigate many hurdles already. Indie Meme is so grateful for her advise and help as we grow, figure out the important issues of sustainability and venture into the non-profit arena.
Chale Nafus
He has taught film for over 25 years, is one of the founding board members of the Austin film Society and a current Programming Director. Chale has a passion for films and extensive knowledge of world Cinema. Indie Meme & AFS have collaborated many screenings so far and it has been all because of Chale’s support & enthusiasm for the emerging new voices from South Asia. He truely is Indie Meme's mentor!
Gita Lal
Founder and CEO of Daman Consulting, Gita leads Daman in being a leading provider of enterprise business intelligence and data management solutions. The company is a strategic partner for major U.S. corporations such as Southwest Airlines, Freescale Semiconductor, The Pillsbury Company, Boeing, and DaimlerChrysler. She serves on the Austin Community College Foundation Board and has a deep passion for educating the new generation. Daman has been a proud supporter of the IMFF since it's inception.
Josh Hurtado
Contributing Editor and film critic for Screen Anarchy, Josh has been writing about Indian cinema for several years is a driving force in bringing independent & genre films from South Asia to film festivals around the world. He has been a Programming Consultant at Fantastic Fest ATX since 2013. Josh is a member of the Online Film Critics society since 2013 and a Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2017. He also works as a festival representative for Indian genre films.
Marina Bhargava
Marina is the Executive Director of GAACC.
She has worked in enterprises from Benefits Consulting at Hewitt Associates to family owned plastics manufacturing. Prior to joining the Chamber, she was the Language Access and Outreach Coordinator for SAHELI, a domestic violence agency where she created trainings for and built relationships with the various Asian communities in Austin. Marina was Business Development Director at the Multiethnic Education & Economic Development Center, Dallas.
Surabhi Sharma
Independent documentary filmmaker, activist, film festival curator (based in India) The one who made Indie Meme happen. It was through Surabhi’s personal work that the idea to promote Indie Films (not seen by most people in the US) came about. Her feature length documentaries have been screened and awarded at international and national festivals. The films have also been used by grass root campaigns and at universities in India and abroad. Surabhi has a fan following on every continent.
Dr. Vijay Mahajan
Vijay Mahajan holds the John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at Mccombs School of Business, UT Austin. He has received numerous lifetime achievement awards including American Marketing Association (AMA) Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for visionary leadership in scientific marketing. The AMA also instituted the Vijay Mahajan Award in 2000 for career contributions to marketing strategy. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the IIT Kanpur. He has authored 12 books.
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We would like to thank our past Advisory Board members Shaku Selvakumar, Kamran Ali Asdar, Harish Kotecha and Mike Blizzard

 

Interested in serving on our board?

We are looking for committed, dedicated and energetic people to join our team. If you are interested in a position on our Board of Directors, or simply want to get involved and want to volunteer, talk to us! We are especially looking for people that can help with fundraising, public relations, and social media. 

Our Founders

Our founders believed in the mission and the purpose of IndieMeme and turned it into the festival it is now. They push the team forward and make all of it happen year after year.

Alka.jpg

Alka has extensive experience producing for Indian Television and was the Executive Producer for the first Late Night Show, ‘Movers & Shakers’ in India, which won numerous awards. In Austin, since 2003 her film credits include Bryan Poyser’s ‘Dear Pillow’ (2003) Winner, Best Narrative Feature, Atlanta Film Festival, Margaret Brown’s ‘Be Here To Love Me’ (2006) a film about the life and music of Townes Van Zandt and ‘Sunshine’(2009) a documentary about adoption and single parenthood by Karen Skloss which aired as part of the Independent Lens series on PBS. She also worked on the ‘Trevor Romain Video Series’ (2005) an animated kids show which aired on PBS.


Confirmed as an Austin native (yes the allergies finally got to her) Alka lives with her husband & two children.

Co-Founder

Alka Bhanot

Tripti.jpg

Tripti’s passion for cinema and her experience in the field give her a comprehensive understanding of the film process.She has been instrumental in supporting numerous award winning films through extensive research, interviews and marketing. Her body of work includes Lone star Emmy award winner -” A Fair to Remember”, a film that weaves together the colorful stories of the 125-year history of Dallas’ State Fair of Texas, a Cine Golden Globe award winner, “Louie,Louie: A Portrait in Parkinsons” that tells a story of a man’s courageous determination to retain his independence while fighting Parkinsons disease and “The Monster Among Us”, a remarkable and provocative film revealing the anti-Semitism in Europe today. While Tripti has pursued careers in the diverse fields of Finance, Marketing, Film production, Public Relations, Media and Information Technology Consulting, Film has always been her primary passion.

Tripti believes in the persuasive power of Cinema and to her, power to influence masses and thus to her, meaningful cinema has the potential to facilitate change. Through her efforts Tripti aims to connect socially conscious cinema with a wider audience.

Co-Founder

Tripti Bhatnagar

Join our Team of Volunteers

We are looking for committed, dedicated and energetic people to join our team. If you are interested in a position on our Board of Directors, or simply want to get involved and want to volunteer, talk to us! We are especially looking for people that can help with fundraising, public relations, and social media. 

Alka Bhanot, Co-Founder

Alka has 10 years of experience producing for Indian Television. Since 2003, her ATX film credits include award winning films produced in Austin, & an animation series for children. She founded Indie Meme in 2013 to screen Indie Films from the South Asian subcontinent & build a community of film lovers. Going into it's 5th year - Indie Meme Film Festival is already at par with the other long running established South Asian festivals in the US. Alka also currently serves on the Austin PBS Board.